Tim Jones Helping Us Nurture Relationships with Authenticity and Vulnerability

Tim Jones is a master storyteller and connector of people, leveraging his twenty years of experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors to cultivate communities of belonging. As the Executive Director of Longer Tables, a Denver-based non-profit, Tim creates spaces of connection through large-scale community table events and consulting services. His unique approach combines storytelling with a deep understanding of identity, belonging, spirituality, and human relationships.

A graduate of the prestigious USC Film School, Tim uses his storytelling prowess to enhance his work in community building. When not setting tables, Tim enjoys directing movies, spending time with his nine nieces and nephews, playing his great-grandparents’ piano, or enjoying wine in Santa Barbara. His diverse interests and experiences enrich his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

Under Tim’s leadership, Longer Tables focuses on the transformative power of shared meals. The organization aims to reconnect people, combat isolation, and foster unity through communal dining experiences. Tim also leads Longer Tables at Work, a consulting agency that helps companies build cultures of belonging to improve employee engagement and retention. His work demonstrates the significant impact that shared experiences and meaningful connections can have on individuals and organizations.

What I Didn’t Tell You

At the Connection Crew May Masterclass , Tim led an activity called “What I Didn’t Tell You,” which emphasized the importance of moving beyond superficial interactions to foster deeper connections. This activity involved participants sharing more personal and vulnerable aspects of their lives, aiming to build empathy and solidarity.

As Tim expressed in the workshop, we should always be kind to others because we don’t know what kinds of battles they’re facing. It is on this premise that he selected his activity, to pull back the curtain on our struggles to let empathy and freedom thrive for meaningful connection.

Participants were split into breakout rooms where they had the opportunity to get to know each other at a deeper level. One person asks the other, “tell me about yourself”, and the other responds. After that, the initiator asks a second question, “what might have you left out?” Then, they are asked a second question, “how did you feel when expressing that?” The purpose is to invite the other person to share more about themselves, fostering a deeper connection.

Through this exercise, Tim highlighted the value of truth-telling and vulnerability in creating spaces where people feel safe to share their true selves. By sharing personal experiences, participants were able to foster deeper connections and understanding. Tim’s approach encourages individuals to look beyond surface-level interactions and engage in more meaningful dialogue.

Implementing these practices can help build more authentic and connected communities, both in personal and professional settings. By fostering environments where individuals feel safe to express themselves, we can create stronger, more empathetic bonds and improve overall well-being. 

Tim’s work with Longer Tables exemplifies the transformative potential of shared experiences and meaningful connections, showing how simple acts of vulnerability and openness can significantly enhance community and workplace dynamics.

Updated on 10 Jul 2024.

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