Organisational life often feels as though we are on an incessantly running hamster wheel. Deliver to this months targets, get the reports out, have team meetings, react to a problem, fire fight and then – it all starts again. You don’t have time to stop – right?
Well – not necessarily. Because when we’re stuck in the constant ‘do,do,do’, it means we neglect our ability to reflect and review. When we do this there’s a risk that we will just keep on doing what we’ve always done, which may eventually lead to poor results.
Reflection develops our understanding – of what’s working, what’s not and what we could do differently. It builds our resources to innovate, create, collaborate and improve.
The actions we then take are more considered, focussed, specific – we speed up. Less firefighting – more problem solving.
In a competitive world it’s essential that organisational teams are agile in the face of change. This stems from their ability to learn. Learning happens in both the doing and the understanding. To understand, you must reflect. John Dewey (psychologist) said, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”
Reflection isn’t just about understanding what went wrong and how you could do better, it’s about understanding what went well, so you can do more of what works. It’s honestly and non-judgmentally examining our contributions.
When we’re contained within our work environment and the pressures it presents we’re not always in the right frame of mind to pause, step back and examine with an open mind.
The work environment demands (sometimes covertly) that we demonstrate our competence, our ability to be in control and deliver. This is what is recognised and rewarded, however, this doesn’t facilitate openness.
The most effective reflection happens in a safe environment. One where judgement and criticism are suspended and it’s possible to examine a situation openly and honestly. James Zull (author, the Art of Changing the Brain) said, “Even if we experience something that has happened to us before, it is hard to make meaning of it unless it engages our emotions.” He also points out that reflection is a search for connections and suggests that we have to seriously consider the role of emotion if we want to foster deep learning.
The Big House Co. have the ideal settings for a corporate away day where you step away from the hamster wheel and take a productive pause. With big comfortable spaces, plenty of equipment and spacious dining areas, The Big House will take care of the practicalities, so you can concentrate on spending time together.
Some reflective conversations may get intense (in a good way), so take some time to have fun together too – reinforcing trust and positive relationships to take back into the workplace. Every large house has onsite fun, ranging from games rooms, cinema rooms, to hot-tubs & pools, we can even put you in touch with excellent local chefs if you want a helping hand with some cooking!
Setting the boundaries around open and honest review is very important to productive conversations. Lyn Bayley-Paxman has over 20 years experience of facilitation, working with corporate leaders and teams. Her mission is to help teams to work in an environment where they thrive not strive. If you have a specific objective for your corporate away day she will design a bespoke day with you, facilitate a specific meeting, or use her proven process for a ‘Team Pause’ day, where teams reflect and understand, before considering their future shared vision.
Here is her Linked-in profile or contact her on 07950 914328, firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, get in touch with us at the Big House Co about your corporate away day and we’ll organise for Lyn to be part of your experience.