Building Belonging Virtually

Commonalities: A Micro-Training


November 19th, 2020
7:00AM – 8:30AM EST*

*Check your equivalent timezone here.

via Zoom**

Sometimes it’s the little things that help us feel connected to one another.

Meeting on-screen feels so much different than sitting in a room together, we can all agree. And when we’re new in a group or a group is new, it’s easy to feel alone and “other.” NSRF’s Commonalities Activity was designed to form new, small bridges between people, finding ways to connect people who don’t typically connect, or to deepen/reestablish existing connections. When you can find SOMETHING in common with someone you don’t know well, it helps the two of you align a tiny bit. Those tiny alignments can be powerful, particularly in times and situations when exclusion and “othering” may be more likely. 

In this exclusive, online micro-training from NSRF, come together with other educators from around the world and learn to lead a brand-new activity to use to build trust in groups and to improve our communities. These activities can be used with adults or students in virtual environments like Zoom.

You can expect to:

  • Share some personal (but not too-personal) details in response to a prompt with a few strangers in a breakout room,
  • Choose whether to share-out in the full session the details your breakout group has in common,
  • Learn how to use this activity and the icebreaker activity with your colleagues or students. 

By promoting feelings of empathy and revealing ways we can support each other, we will be stronger together through difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but also during more local or temporary challenges.

This is NOT a webinar but a collaborative session promoting self-care and community led by NSRF’s amazing, trained facilitators.

We will be using breakout rooms and debriefing as a larger group in a pattern that will be familiar to those accustomed to Critical Friends Group work. Previous CFG experience is not required, however.

After your participation, we will ask you to write Reflections about this Micro-Training, and then we will email you PDF copies of the icebreaker activity and the Commonalities Activity for you to keep and use in your own work moving forward!

This 90-minute session is OPEN TO ANYONE but has limited “seating.”

Don’t delay! Registration will close approximately 30 minutes before the training begins.

Please be on time or a few minutes early as we will start and end on time.



Important Technicalities to note for this registration process: 

    1. This process asks you to create a simple account on the NSRF site. If you already have an Account and/or Membership on the NSRF website, you will be asked to “login” with your existing username/password before completing the purchase/registration. Click in the upper right corner to login, and then return to your “cart” or this registration page. If you have questions regarding your account information, contact us.
    2. After completing the registration form, be sure to “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” and then “CONTINUE” to complete the payment process to receive a confirmation email with download and join links! After entering your information and clicking “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” on the next page, you must select the “CONTINUE” button as needed through the process to take all the steps necessary until you come to the screen that reads “Thank you!” You should receive a receipt of purchase in your email immediately after.
    3. Upon completing the transaction, you will be added to our participant list. You will see the links to “Join” the Zoom meeting on the “Thank you” page following your purchase and also in your email notification/receipt that the order has been received. Save the link to either join the meeting via the Zoom App or through your web browser. In most cases, using the Zoom App works best. Add this event to your calendar!
    4. Once you have registered and moved through the purchase process completely, you will receive an email notification/receipt as well as TWO “reminder emails” leading up to this Zoom meeting, one 24 hours before the date/time and another one 3 hours before. If you have not received any emails, go back to BE SURE YOU HAVE MOVED THROUGH THE PURCHASE PROCESS COMPLETELY (until you have reached the “Thank you” page and received a confirmation email). You may also check your spam or junk filter.

These short MicroTrainings are non-refundable once purchased. However, if NSRF must cancel the event due to a lack of participation or other circumstance, NSRF will notify you right away and a full refund will be offered. If you have any questions or problems with the purchase process, reach out to us right away: We are here to help!

This event has a limited number of seats—Act now!

We hope to continue to offer new online materials and virtual trainings for you! If you are interested in NSRF’s protocols and Critical Friends Group work, you can easily become a regular Annual Member of NSRF for only $25/year which gains you access to our extended Online Members’ Protocol Library! You are also invited to become a certified Critical Friends Group Coach at one of our upcoming Open Trainings.


*Please prepare for your camera to be on and to interact via your microphone. It is helpful to have a headset with mic to avoid background noises. We will be utilizing Zoom’s “breakout room” feature. Your registration for this event is documentation of your permission for us to record the group activity (not the breakout rooms).

Zoom is a free application for videoconferencing commonly used in education. Although you may be prompted to download the application once you click on our meeting link, you are not required to sign-up or download Zoom to attend a meeting. Read more about Zoom.