Jeffrey Platts

Authentic Relating

This TED Talk video by MIT Professor Sherry Turkle helps show why authentic relating events have become so popular.


What are the goals of Authentic Relating Games?

  • Teach participants relating skills to understand one another on a deeper level.
  • In contrast to traditional informational trainings, when learning is engaging and most importantly, experiential, participants embody the ideas much more profoundly and leave with a visceral understanding of powerful concepts.
  • Create a lasting feeling of team connection and togetherness to help the bottom line and enhance day-to-day workplace harmony.
  • Allow each team member to see each other as a fellow human being, instead of hierarchical positions or organizational labels, creating genuine connection and affinity.
  • Facilitate engaging, highly interactive partner and group exercises that demonstrate authentic relating, in turn helping participants better appreciate who they connect with. 
  • Create a safe space for participants to discover more about ourselves and how they relate to coworkers and the world around them, while exploring potential relational blind spots. 
  • Pick up where ropes courses, personality assessments and “trust falls” leave off, offering a deeper alternative for team unity and togetherness.

What does the research say?

  • 35% of the variation in a team’s performance can be accounted for simply by the number of face-to-face exchanges among team members…Social time turns out to be deeply critical to team performance, often accounting for more than 50% of positive changes in communication patterns, even in a setting as efficiency-focused as a call center.” Harvard Business Review, ”The New Science of Building Great Teams,” Alex Pentland, Director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory 
  • “When 20% to 40% of the team members were already well connected to one another, the team had strong collaboration right from the start…The most productive, innovative teams were led by people who were both task- and relationship-oriented.” Harvard Business Review, “Eight Ways To Build Collaborative Teams,” Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at London Business School
  • “It’s individuals who have the ability to connect with other people who stand out among the crowd.” Relational intelligence is about influence. “It increases your influence, your likeability, the desire for people to want to be around you.” Jeremie Kubicek from Fast Company, “Why Relational Intelligence Gives You A Competitive Advantage”
  • “If you’re authentic, you’re not being a chameleon depending on where you are,” Wilkins says. “There’s a consistent thread in terms of your values, how you treat people, and what you stand for.” “What you’re really looking for is less dissonance in your life,” she adds. “You want there to be congruency in who you are at work and who you are outside of it.” Fast Company, “The Surprising Ways Inauthenticity At Work Is Hurting You”


Are you tired of spending way too much money in loud bars with unfulfilling conversations that lack spark or connection?

Are you craving a space where you can talk about something OTHER than “what do you do” or “where did you go to school” and actually connect with people?

Join a growing D.C. community at Authentic Relating Game Nights, a space where you can discover how much more fun and richer it is to BE YOURSELF. ALL are welcome. Bring a friend, bring your partner or come solo! These are NOT singles/dating events.

Authentic Relating Game Nights are inspired by the Game Nights held in San Francisco by AuthenticWorld.  Sometimes loud, sometimes intensely quiet, sometimes risky. Always fun and revealing. We are tapping AuthenticWorld for fun and engaging games that we can play ourselves. DC’s Authentic Game Nights are designed to give you that same experience with people you’ve never met before.

What kinds of games are these?

  • Imagine a fun playground where you can practice the art of relating with others but in a fun, social atmosphere. They are safe places for taking risks and playing a little more outside our comfort zones and the discovering more about ourselves than we might in our everyday lives. All this is within a light-hearted container which is safe for getting real, taking emotional risks, and personal growth.
  • By ‘games’ we mean fun, highly interactive partner and group exercises that demonstrate and explore authentic relating, getting to know yourself better while at the same time learning to see and appreciate more about everyone you connect with.  These games are NOT board games like Chutes & Ladders and checkers.
  • By ‘authentic’ we mean that there is no cookie-cutter mold for how you “should” be or what relating “should look like”. Everyone is a complete universe unto themselves, has a unique style, personality, and integrity that is perfectly *them*, and everyone is perfect and amazing as they are (including their belief that they aren’t.)
  • They’re also a chance to have fun and party in a conscious way with great people, going beyond small talk and expected (and sometimes boring) social norms.

What can I expect?

  • Laughter. Fun. Energy. More genuine connection. Anxiety/excitement (while learning the difference). Relief. Feeling alive and awake. Conversation beyond small talk. Play. Connection. New possibilities. New friends. Insights. Sparks. Challenges. Personal growth. Transformation.

Who can play?

  • Adventurous adults of all ages who want more fun, richer connections with people.  In a relationship. Single. Old. Young. Short. Tall. It doesn’t matter! (Again, these are NOT singles/dating events.)
  • You want the opportunity to experience an open-hearted space where people get to “cut through the superficial” and be truly themselves without apology for an evening.
  • You enjoy exciting, fun and very juicy social evenings with lots of laughs, plenty of insights, and sometimes sparks flying!
  • You are looking for a real, authentic connection with new people and are prepared to take a risk to try something NEW.

What are people saying?

“Connecting with people on this deeper level was rich, fulfilling, and pleasantly eye opening. I learned many things about myself that I had never even considered, even throughout my 4 years of deep spiritual introspection. I learned that people connect the most when they are honest about a vulnerable emotion like, “I’m not sure what to say now and that makes me feel uncomfortable.” That realness is what helps people to connect. People were given the space and the freedom to be real with each other, to dream big in safe spaces, and to feel deeply understood and appreciated by others who were seeing them for who they really are. It felt so good to be seen in this way. I had an amazing time and I will be back!!! Highly recommend this to anyone with even a slight interest!”
Mallori Stoller, Washington, DC

“Jeffrey is such a neutral, yet passionate and dedicated facilitator. I have experienced facilitators who have strong, almost overbearing energy (albeit in their own judgement-free way) but Jeffrey always provokes inspiring thoughts with the most trusting finesse, it’s a skill I admire and respect to no end.”
— Lori Zelman, Alexandria, VA

“Jeffrey has a natural wisdom demonstrated by the insightful questions he poses and the ability to echo and reframe what participants communicate to ensure that their words are most helpful.”
— Doug Levine, Washington, DC

“Jeffrey creates a space of safety that allows people to relate to one another straight from the heart.”
– Julie Holly, Washington, DC

“Jeffrey keeps it real and is considerate of all who participate. He genuinely cares about people’s experiences and his range of life experiences and skills gives him an open mind from which to approach and lead Circling making it a comfortable space.”
— Neda Dowlatshahi, Washington, DC