You will have to forgive me for what will most likely be a very scattered blog, but I have just finished a 48 hour Leadership Experiential so my mind is saturated and fatigued. But, having said that, I have found it amazing to see how far we have come compared to our very first Experiential at the beginning of the year.
We have been put, yet again, into new groups. This is group number 4 and the final one, with whom we will be doing our 2nd ICP. So far we have only spent 3 weeks together sporadically, working on the odd group assignment here and there. Real group work hasn’t been required yet, as the ICP doesn’t start until October. We have already assigned roles though, which you are required to for the ICP (group leader, client liaison etc.), and the time we did spend together was spent efficiently and with good results. But we weren’t a real group yet. We only came together when we needed to work on a deliverable, nothing more, nothing less. The argument we all used is that we have so many personal things going on, such as job applications, that this was simply the most efficient way of working. But we were lying to ourselves. There was clearly more going on, the question was just what. And who was going to be the first to raise it, to break the ground for that discussion to take place.
Now if this would have taken place 8 months ago, we would have stuck our heads in the sand and played nice for a long time. It probably would have taken a big argument to kick start that discussion and even then I am not sure the real fish would have been put on the table, as we say in the MBA. But not now. Now, 8 months on, this underlying tension was raised almost immediately in the very first group meeting in the experiential. You can argue that the environment gave us the push or the fact that we had a coach with us, which may have created a sense of safety, but that would be taking away from the courage displayed by my group. It took guts for the first person to open their mouth and for everyone else to do the same; it is all to easy to scapegoat the first person that puts something on the table. It is a lot harder to confess that actually you were feeling the same.
Sharing those feelings immediately deflated the tension in the group and allowed us to grow that much closer. A perfect example of this is the fact that we stayed until late, voluntarily, debriefing the rest of the day and sharing the various struggles and learning's we each have gone through. So I would like to say a big thank you to my team, for having the courage to open up, for trusting each other with their emotions and for committing to making this group the best it can be at all levels.
Thank you for helping me to grow that little bit more as a person.