It has to be said, Italy does offer a spectacular range of places in which to hold development retreats, conducive to creating a positive team building experience.
This week it was enjoying the sun, sand and sea at Sabaudia with a division we had worked with before (mentioned in this posting on sacred pausing).
Throwing themselves literally into the challenges we constructed for them, it was encouraging to see how they evolved as a group. As inevitable in such a relaxed and fun environment, bit by bit people let their barriers down and opened up. Our debriefs centred on the ways in which they could transfer the learning of the 3 day retreat, back into the workplace, which is essentially highly political, multicultural, hierarchical, complex and with a directive-style leadership.
As suggested in a previous posting, one pertinent question can be transformational. In this case, the question “what has been left unsaid, unexplored, undiscovered?” provided some momentum.
In asking, we gave legitimacy to talking about the unmentionable, or at least invited such matters to be placed on the table. It wasn’t about looking for resolution in the moment, but a commitment to go forward together, inviting the possibility of unpicking them and delving into them layer by layer. The power was first in acknowledging their existence, letting them be noticed, giving them air to breath.
As C.G. Jung said “one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”.
What has been left unsaid?
You may want to ask the same question to the ones you love.
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