Last week, we had Team Week at our company and it’s a chance for us to get together (either physically if there’s no COVID or online, if there is! 😂) to discuss different aspects of our work and plan for the quarter ahead. I look forward to these because it’s an opportunity to see the whole team and discuss our projects, responsibilities and set goals for the next few months.
Every Team Week is slightly different from the other one as we’re trying to continuously improve the format and thanks to our operations manager and our project co-ordinator, together they put on a team week that ensures that all of us have a say and things run smoothly.
As I don’t work on Thursdays, I happened to miss out on the actual meeting we had on this day and instead caught up with the recording (we record all our meetings to ensure that people who are missing are able to see what was discussed).
Imagine my surprise when they did this Team Reflection activity.
Here, our founder Paul Woods and operations manager Nicole Short put up some slides with the team’s names and then talked about their strengths and positives. They each took turn to share how this team member played a valuable part to the team and why. At the end, everyone was invited to share their own thoughts about the team member and how they helped them.
Listening and watching the recording I was blown away at the idea that they did this for us.
It was the most affirming positive activity that I needed.
I can’t speak for others but when it comes to myself, I know that I want to do a good job and I want to help others in whatever way I can. I know that my style of work, the manner in which I present myself to others comes across at times as naive, too idealistic, somewhat quirky and when pressured, task focussed. Most of the time, I’m in my own world, exploring, researching, conceptualising, connecting the dots but if I don’t have someone who can tell me the direction or the goal, I’m likely to go on different tangents and then develop things on my own all the while leading people to think, “what on earth is she creating now?”
As such, knowing how I work, and my own perception of people perceiving me, I do get at times a bit anxious knowing that people may not “get my thinking”. Of course, there are times when I simply can’t articulate my ideas to others because they’re too conceptual or abstract which adds to the anxiety. (I have often said that I always seem to picture myself floating above myself watching me doing an action or interacting with people. I’m constantly monitoring my words, my actions and looking at how people respond and behave towards me).
Is that weird? I don’t know. However, I seem to have a ‘spidey’ sense of things in my life and this is just one of them.
Going back to this wonderful activity, I started to think that many organisations offer feedback for performance reviews and the like but it took 25 years into my working life, to have an activity where my good points are reflected to me by others. So I got an impression of my positive points and how my working style has impacted others or the company.
It was an enlightening moment for me because at times when we are our worst enemy, this simple activity affirmed for me that – I was ok. My work was appreciated. They “got me”.
At a time when things are changing rapidly at work, the majority people really want to do their best job so having an activity like this is a simple confirmation to them that they matter. They’re being seen. They’re being heard.
Have you and your teams had anything like this?