Thursday, August 09, 2012

this is the house the team built

I led my first ever team retreat day today at Uniting College. We began with a focus on our giftedness.

In preparation, I had given each of the team a wooden shape (found in the craft section at Spotlight last week). I had then asked each of us to come to the retreat prepared to share three things we think we bring to the Uniting College team. To enhance collegiality, we had also drawn the names of one other person on the team out of a hat last week and been invited to come prepared to share three things they brought to the team.

Today the process went as follows
- each person shared the 3 things they thought they brought
- each person placed their wooden shape on a table in the middle
- each person heard from another in the team what they brought

Which left us feeling vulnerable in sharing and affirmed in hearing. And a pile of wooden shapes on the table.

As I had hoped, over a break, a group gathered around the table and began trying to fit them together. Which they did – into table and chairs. Working together, we became something greater than the sum of our individuality.

Which then produced a great discussion (ie spontaneous yet planned learning moment). About how a team is more than just a pile of gifted individuals who happen to be in the same place. About how a piece was missing – because a team is always losing people and gaining people, always needing to rebuild. About how if their was no missing piece, then the team would be perfect and there would no room for growth and development.

Leading team building retreats creatively. I think it’s one of the gifts I bring to a team :)

Posted by steve at 11:47 PM

3 Comments

  1. Hi Great idea. I notice one chair has only one leg. What did that mean ? (If you can explain without breaking confidences.)

    Comment by TonyM — August 12, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  2. Thanks Tony, delighted that it has the affirmation of a top MBA student! :)

    Re the missing leg, I tried to reflect on it here – “About how a piece was missing – because a team is always losing people and gaining people, always needing to rebuild. About how if their was no missing piece, then the team would be perfect and there would no room for growth and development.”

    With Andrew Dutney, who was the Principal, leaving last month; with another of one of our staff on a 2 year secondment, it seemed a way to engage that reality – that sense that a team is on a journey, is evolving, with people coming and going. So it needs a set of practices that allow this, rather than trying to “freeze” itself – that search for the perfect community – that in actual fact becomes inhospitable and exclusive to the newcomer.

    steve

    Comment by steve — August 12, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  3. Hi thanks for the response. I like the idea of leadership teams that not complete but on a jouney
    Tony

    Comment by TonyM — August 19, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.