Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sharing Nugget #35

#35: (Social Science Society team-building retreat): how it moved me.

Over the weekend, I conducted, with a fellow senior Claire, a team-building retreat for Social Science Society.

I planned and executed 4 activities for them. Wow, they really bonded. At the 2nd debrief, they were still at the phase where they were happy with not achieving the task. They feel that the process is more important. I had a hard time trying to convince them that they could have done so much more.

I discovered that their idea of team-building is more of bonding and process. But me and Claire knows that our activities can offer so much more. They have the chance to see for themselves what a high-performing team is like. And through challenges, they could achieve a high which comes after achieving a task. That high as a team is something no body can take away from them. And that high creates a level of bonding what no games can do for them.

However, I was not experienced enough to convince them at first. But luckily, Claire rescued me with an intervention, and it gave me some space to sort out my thoughts. And at the end of the 2nd debrief, I was able to help them see a misalignment of expectations, and the potential they have. I learnt that to do team-building and facilitation well, it takes experience and learning on the job.

I was hope that during the next day, they will be able to progress into the high. And true enough, they did it. They did very well. They applied the learnings, and their team spirit was very strong. They completed electric fence. The 10 of them did it in 2.24 minutes. Relatively, it is almost a record for SMU. (Still cannot beat the 4.04 minutes by a team of facis for AELC 2 of 20 people). But they hold the record for a team of 10!

During the final debrief, many of them told us that although at first, they were “sian” about the retreat. But after the team-building, they felt that it was all very worthwhile. I was touched. We did it. The Social Science team was a good team. And I hoped these are the ones who gets elected. It will do so much good for Social Science with such a team.

This retreat, and conducting a team-building session, is very rewarding. It is tiring, but it reminded me of the good times. I felt fulfilled. And I would love to do this again. Looking ahead, there is a senior faci and OSL staff meeting about the future of ExPLOR. This retreat will be a good example of how we SF can still contribute to the SMU community. I still want to do my part. And I am now more motivated to present our case.

My thoughts go out to those social science seniors and juniors who made up the team that was born during the retreat. Thank you for everything.

My favorite teams will always be the ones that have a group of friends who can depend on each other when it counts. We know we can get the task done, we know we are all here because of our passions, we know we will make a difference, and we know we have common experiences that no one can take away from us, and we know we can depend on each other. Hardoichi, SIFE Toronto team, SF and the few Social Science ex-cos were such teams.

Now, I hope I can add one more to that list: the 4th SCD council.


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