IRL conversations, there is nothing like them.
Team retreats, while more the exception than the norm these days, are a staple of team development in the corporate world. Co-workers converge on a hotel, resort, or AirB&B and emerge as allies.
And while we’ve all heard horror stories (or lived them ourselves) of trust falls and terrible food, here at 304, we’re celebrating the modern team retreat.
When C-E-Wonderful Jen Thornton hosted the first-ever company retreat* in the scrubby, desert hills in Burnet, TX, in January, it was a real game change for how we, as a team, began to relate to and with each other.
Even though there’s so much to love about remote teaming—a high-performing virtual team immersed in a culture of progressive leadership can work together with ease and flow—real-life meetings where everyone is working together towards a common goal, sharing ideas, insights, and inspiration…well, that can feel downright magical.
For two days, and even though very few of us had actually met in person before, we jumped right into deep conversations about our people (emerging and established leaders), what they need (to connect the dots with the way the human brain responds to language and growing innovative, high-performing teams), and how to deliver a difference (custom training, corporate coaching, custom programs).
We designed an incredible 3-part program for our annual subject-matter-seminar and webinar series called Leading Edge.
Marketing plans took shape, core values identified, and new programs/products started to emerge.
What’s more, we got to know each other as people. Everyone had the opportunity to showcase their own work—a million lightbulb moments fired off as we all gained a deeper understanding about how our unique talents coalesced in a collective culture of design thinking, talent strategy, and applied communications.
And in between times, we learned about Texas, country music, and Buck-ee’s Beaver Nuggets. We drank wine, sat on porches underneath Rumpl blankets, and listened to live music. We celebrated client wins and each other. We bonded as a team and grew as people.
Something happened to our company culture; and it’s the best news ever.
We encourage you and your team-building dreams to embrace the modern team retreat. Things happen in that space of community that could never happen in a conference room or from behind a digital screen.
When people feel psychologically safe to be authentically themselves, the innovative ideas flow like chocolate on the River Wonka.
Are you ideating a retreat for your team in the next 6-12-18 months? Bring in 304 Coaching to facilitate a session on Conversational Intelligence®. a “macro-skill” that transforms the way everyone in an organization communicates. It builds trust between you and your colleagues and sparks creativity, innovation, and higher levels of teamwork.
Reach out to Jen to see how we can help you maximize the conversations you have with each other, IRL or otherwise.
* It’s amazing to even share this story, because as 304 Coaching celebrated her 5th birthday, in many ways we still feel like a scrappy upstart. Having a company retreat seems so….grown. Thank you for being a part of that success story. We wouldn’t be the same without you.