The Performance Power Of Shared Experience

If you’ve ever been invited to join an exciting corporate team-building retreat, you may already relate to the kind of transformative performance potential of sharing an experience with peers and colleagues beyond the social and physical walls that separate people in organisations.

If done right, these adventures into the unknown – and often, far outside participants’ comfort zones – can pay huge dividends for a leadership team and individual executive leader.

Seeing colleagues in their unvarnished states, at ease with their guard down and spirits high can incite one’s own sense of fun, team play and exploration of what’s possible.

Often, these team-building experiences put the focus equally on how to best work with the people around you, while offering instruction on how to find and leverage the best of yourself. Sometimes, they create lifelong memories and friendships that extend beyond the boardroom or management committee.

Part of what’s powerful about spending time with a team without the pressures of everyday operational firefighting is the opportunity to explore the biases, assumptions and perceived limitations exhibited by its members.

Sometimes, the very things that hold the team back from achieving its true performance potential include messages that can’t or won’t be said in the workplace, or which require some revelation, surprise or intervention that only a new interpersonal familiarity can summon.

Trust, courage, deeper respect, better self-awareness and improved communication are often cited as the key takeaways for a team that has made an investment in allowing its leaders to know one another better.

The payback for individuals who’ve made the same commitment is equally transformative in terms of reaching new heights.

Some leaders come back completely changed, humbled by the experience and willing to renew their outlook on the organisation and its people. Others find their own meaning in the experience, in some instances sharing they literally had to get away in order to know themselves better. And still others find strength in the enriched relationships that often result.

The management sciences might chalk all this shared experience and learning up to the soft side of running a business. The management arts would point to it as an essential building block for any high performance business team.

The lasting effect, however people look on team-building retreats from the outside, is invariably a matter of leadership. Sometimes, a team or individual cannot move past an obstacle without committing to see the business – and themselves – with greater clarity, or from a new perspective.

So the next time you’re offered a chance to take some time away on a corporate retreat, go ahead and jump at the opportunity. You might just be amazed – and changed for the better – by the experience and valuable stories you later share with others.

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2015


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