THE blind leading the blind is an age-old saying used to describe a situation where someone is trying to show someone else how to do something that they do not know how to do themselves.
This saying, however, is no longer relevant, according to some, as blindness is not a disability but a tool that can be used effectively in the corporate world.
Dialogue in the Dark business workshops provide trainees with new experiences as they will not be able to see in the dark.
Originally founded in Germany, Dialogue in the Dark has reached 30 countries and more than 130 cities across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas since 1988.
Over seven million visitors worldwide have experienced what it means to hear, smell, taste and touch things without being able to see them.
“The concept of Dialogue in the Dark is simple — during the business workshops and other events, participants rely on professional trainers who are visually impaired to guide them in total darkness.
“A debrieρng session lead by a certiρed coach completes the experience,” said Dialogue in the Dark Worldwide director of dark operations Daniela Dimitrova.
“The workshop activities provide an innovative and powerful tool for human resource development, reinforcing a collaborative mindset and emotional intelligence,” Dimitrova, who lost her eyesight at the age of six, added.
Her blindness did not stop her from picking up two postgraduate degrees.
Participants in the workshop will face the experience of temporarily losing the most dominant sense — sight — which results in a dramatic slowdown of everyday routines. This unknown environment confuses and sensitises in equal measure, provoking sustainable thought processes and fueling innovation.
Reaching one’s limits in the dark leads to a tangible experience of emotional intelligence and social competence.
“Participants experience themselves and others in complete darkness where they are challenged with solving tasks in groups. The workshops are emotionally challenging, cognitively demanding. The visually impaired are experts in non-visual per- ception, create a learning atmosphere of authenticity, empathy and openness, ” Dimitrova explained.
Thousands of blind guides and trainers have found employment through Dialogue in the Dark.
Beside the exhibition, a workshop format has been worked out for human resource development and organisational learning.
The workshops are meanwhile successfully implemented in numerous international corporations and develop communication, team-building and leadership skills.