It is always a pleasure to facilitate learning experiences for my clients. Many times these forums bring together leaders who work for the same organization yet don’t have the “luxury of time” to truly interact and reflect with one another as a collaborative team.
I have found when you bring leaders together and there is openness to learning regardless of level and tenure, quite amazing things happen.
Leaders come together. They discuss topics of importance and begin to trust the learning environment to take some risks, share some thoughts that would otherwise be unsaid. A shared experience that promotes learning, laughter and fun.
Research by Peter Totterdell says “similar results have been found in team sports. When a team is upbeat, positive, and in an overall good mood, this spirit is transferred to individual players. Results also show that when teams are happier, the athletes on the team tend to play better.”
I translate this to recently facilitating a leadership program, where one leader said the experience created a level of intimacy & trust that didn’t exist before. While there was laughter and fun there was also a sense of comfort. It afforded the participants the “luxury of time” and to reflect as a single unit / a collaborated leadership team. This spirit can certainly be transferred back to their respective teams at work and help them perform better.
How can moments like this be created outside of a learning environment?
How can you create an environment where the positive energy you create becomes united amongst your peers and/or staff and becomes contagious?
So when these “moments” exist, where everyone is feeling good and learning is happening, it reminds me of something I read by Brad Stulberg who shared his story of over a decade ago in the foothills of the Himalayas. He has asked a Nepali Sherpa about prayer flags that were all over. “It’s simple,” the Nepali Sherpa told Brad. “When you are feeling a strong emotion, you plant a flag. Since the beginning of time, my culture believes the wind will spread that energy and the universe will receive it.”
Lesson for us as leaders: Let’s plant those flags when these moments are created and let it spread throughout your organization.