Learning from Trust


How do we encourage quality professional conversations, where trust and personal safety are guaranteed? This remains an inspiring question for me as a facilitator. Trust and safety are a prerequisite for any participant of a professional conversation to show vulnerability, and a requirement for deep learning.

Examining your assumptions
Learning at the surface level, where you are seeking a practical solution to a problem from your usual assumptions, is sometimes simply necessary and useful. But learning to examine inherent assumptions is, of course, a much more personal process that raises more uncertainty and fear, and therefore demands more from the learning environment. Not just from yourself, but from the facilitator as well, as from the tools used. Leading intervision (peer review) I therefore like to call it a professional art, similar to coaching.

Last week I had an interesting conversation with my colleague, Hans Paul Sparenberg in Leiden. He developed the InteractionViewer, which is an online tool to correctly work out peer review cases in advance. It is also possible to use these, at a later stage, for other conversation types. The interesting thing to me is that this tool is based on cognitive psychological principles. This is of enormous help in the beginning of peer review cases, as the case can be properly and extensively prepared beforehand, (the intervision has already started!) and it promotes commitment, the discipline of the contributor. In addition, it encourages all to think about his or her assumptions. And you can do it online!

On 7 March, Hans Paul and I, along with Sibrenne Wagenaar, will lead a webinar through Losmakers. Together with colleagues, we’ll explore how this tool works for us. This will be a small pilot and not a real peer review, but now I want to examine how we can maintain the highest possible quality of this professional conversation. So, how to remain safe, what is needed to build trust and, perhaps most importantly, can this trust actually be realised?

Online intervision – a survey of 3 tools

online intervisie tools

1. Emtbe.com or e-intervision. It is a tool that:

online intervisie 1

  • Implements in writing and asynchronously.
  • Uses 9 different well-known intervision methods, for example Balint, incident method, ten steps etc.
  • The facilitator creates a group, enters participant data and plans the duration of each phase.
  • The facilitator starts the intervision process and monitors progress through the various stages of the methodology. However, the digital environment structures the phases independently.
  • The facilitator occasionally sends messages from the portal to monitor the progress of the intervision. The role of the facilitator is still important and calls are made for a separate facilitator.
  • The writing process forces participants to formulate questions properly.
  • The messages run through a secure server. The process is therefore, in a digital sense, secure and confidential.
  • The entire intervision group, with a facilitator, is controlled by E-intervision BV. For example, an intervention can take place in the event of a facilitator’s absence.
  • The tool can also save documents.
  • The tool makes the logistics of intervision convenient and transparent, and ensures progress.
  • The intervision can take place from anywhere in the World.
  • The tool is available in Dutch, French and English languages.
  • Within the tool there is no synchronous interaction. This can take place in the intervision group in a F2F meeting, in addition to the tool. For example, the tool can complement F2F intervision meetings.


2. Interaction Viewer or iV. It is a tool that:

online intervisie 2

  • Sees intervision as an application for online qualitative data gathering.
  • The tool can also be used, for example, in the exploratory phase of strategy development or conflict management.
  • The tool has a cognitive psychological, scientific basis and applies this knowledge in the area of judgement.
  • It focuses on planning meetings and the preparing, sharing and deepening of cases.
  • The tool does not work with any particular intervision method.
  • The goal is to create strong cases online that can be shared at the meeting. The detailed online case can also be projected by a beamer during the F2F meeting.
  • The tool asks the contributor questions about cases to be elaborated, explores the situation, shifts and regroups answers.
  • The tool also works visually, but is based on text.
  • The result is a detailed case study provided by the contributor, which is digitally shared in advance with the participants and introduced at the F2F meeting.
  • The online tool therefore facilitates pre-work for the F2F intervision of both the contributor and the participants.
  • The tool improves the discipline of the intervision process for the analysis of the case, and the planning of meetings.
  • The tool makes possible the building of a case file as a basis for group education.
  • The tool provides the formulation of lessons learned.
  • During the process, support is always available from IV.
  • The tool costs 37.50 euros per month.


3. Zoom or Zoom.us. It is a tool that allows synchronous online work and:

online intervisie 3

  • Is used as an alternative for, for example, Skype, because it is more stable and has more possibilities.It also provides a more professional working/learning environment.
  • It is used for webinars, coaching, synchronous online learning groups etc.
  • It also has a chat option, a whiteboard, screen share, you can upload PowerPoint. You can also turn off all videos, form subgroups, place screens next to each other (gallery view). So, it is very flexible and dynamic.
  • You can record and save sessions in MP4. This can, for example, be used for contemplation afterwards.
  • Zoom can be used for online synchronous intervision: in conversation, with questions/comments in the chat, the facilitator drawing on the whiteboard.
  • To properly guide this process could require a second facilitator.
  • Using this tool, you use the power of personal interaction, the power of the written formulation of questions/comments and the power of the visual (whiteboard).
  • Zoom costs $15 per month.
  • Zoom is appropriate for online synchronous intervision, for example over long distances and in different countries. In practice, F2F sessions don’t seem to be missed all that much. F2F sessions could still take place, but will then serve “human, social needs.”

The three of these tools have their individual strengths and offer several advantages. For online intervision, a combination of different tools appears to be the best solution.