Recently, I took on a consulting assignment to co-design and facilitate a two-day team meeting. Why did I do it? First, I had worked with the leader before and knew it would be fun. Second, it’s been a while since I worked on a change project and I didn’t want to become rusty. Third, based on an initial phone briefing I knew I could help.
Getting dressed for my first meeting I remembered that tying ties is not a strength. Wearing a suit, however, felt good. As I entered the office building I felt ‘corporate.’ As I waited in the lobby I mused that these spaces are the same around the world – the seating area layout, employees briskly walking with purpose, a courier dropping off a package, and a receptionist directing a call – I could have been in any city. In the meeting, I could feel energy. There was a puzzle that needed solving and we were gathering pieces to do so. As I drove home, my mind was full of questions, facts, and possibilities. I was alive.
There is a unique confidence felt when doing something you have done successfully many times before: you know the raw materials, you can sense what works and what doesn’t, and you don’t stop until you get it right. This is how I felt when I was working on the design. Facilitating was great, too. Interacting with a team reminded me how much people have to give.
After the event I made the following notes:
– Everything effects mood, e.g., location, tone, pacing, language, etc.
– People can’t absorb all the information they are given (no matter how you give it to them)
– Individuals need to be understood and validated (including me)
– Energy is contagious
– A team with a common goal is extremely powerful
– Change work is exhausting
– Helping people build a better future is the biggest thrill
Now it’s back to editing my second draft and writing additional stories. I have missed my book over the past couple of days. Would I take on another assignment? Absolutely, if it had the same elements as this one. You always get more than you give.