Workplaces full of trust and deep meaning do not form out of the blue. If we want to create meaningful relationships we have to reveal more of who we are starting from the leaders. It has become fashionable in many companies when teams don’t collaborate well to call for a team-building event. Kicking a ball together can be a fun break from work, but such activities are generally the same. They keep to the surface and don’t really foster trust or community at any deep level.
Most of these events lack the essential element we have used to build community and create shared narratives since the dawn of time: the practice of storytelling. We have lost the power of stories that bring us together and in the process we have let communal relations dwindle and erode. We need to recover the power of storytelling.
Every opportunity I get to facilitate a team building, my team and make sure we incorporate some form of exercise that helps people to become vulnerable. The games are supplemental. Embrace storytelling because therein lies the power to cultivate empathy, galvanize a community and watch transformation happen before your own eyes.
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