About three years ago, I was lucky to work with a team of over a dozen senior executives. Their leader invited me to design a one-day strategic planning retreat and they wanted tangible actions and results.
No lofty prolonged visioning exercise for them, please. They wanted to pull the weeds and plant the bulbs.
This was a yearly event. Once. A. Year. Yup, you heard that right. All of them in one room, with an agenda that needed a small miracle to make an 8-hour session produce what needed weeks of time.
The real issue? These people did not get along. Maybe in pairs, here and there, but mainly not.
Each a significant expert, they were busy and had work to do. Though they could come to agreement on policies and protocols, they didn’t do that with a lot of kindness and tact. People (relationship) got in the way of what really mattered, their work (tasks/things).
Now if you don’t know this yet, you’ll know it eventually.
Relationship trumps task. Connection comes before action if you want a successful outcome. If you break or don’t have a relationship with some degree of caring, you’ll get trouble when trying to get things done.
Without connection, you’ll get compliance, resistance, and a big load of hostility.
With such little relationship capital, I knew that if I didn’t help them connect with their hearts and each other, working on actionable strategy would result in a lot of head butting.
Connection Before Task
So here’s what I did – as I had done with leaders for years. I connected them with what mattered most, WHY they had chosen their particular vocation.
I placed over 200 8 x 10 inch images out on the floor and asked them to pick one that represented why they had chosen their profession.
With the help of these spectacular images of world paintings, people, culture, nature and symbols, they each in succession told the story of what their picture meant to them.
Their stories brought tears to their own eyes and brought their humanity closer to their colleagues.
With a newfound warmth, respect and tenderness in the team, we took a brief break and then got onto the job of making concrete changes for the sake of the business and its customers.
So What’s The Point?
As a poet, artist, singer, musician and improviser, I bring it all. I bring and have always brought as much of myself to the workplace.
The differences in me, as in you, are what produce innovative solutions to common issues.
The more you bring your true self everywhere, the richer becomes your environment.
Trying to fit in will ultimately strip your whole life of the gift of your uniqueness and will succeed in making you turn your best asset – you – into a dormant jewel that lies in the back of a drawer.
How stressful is that? You could actually be enjoying living from a place of ease. Imagine…
And For A Short Time Only
Want support in your work and leadership journey? For a limited time, I’m offering a few 30-minute Breakthrough Sessions. We can talk about what success means to YOU and find the hidden opportunities to being yourself and leading your work journey from a place of ease and confidence.
You can enjoy your work life and find immense personal power and rewards immediately.
Click here to start that ball rolling.
Over To You
If you could dial up your authentic self at work, what would you do differently?
P.S. Please Share
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© Miriam Linderman 2015