12 October 2021

A Balancing Act

It seems like a long time since we were able to get face to face with our colleagues, clients and friends, in our first face-to-face programme we learned about the new challenger we’ll be facing post-covid.

It’s been a while

Last week we ran a team development programme at a venue in the Cotswolds for a team. For many of the group it was the first time they had gotten together in more than a year. For our MD, Paul Beal, it was a first time working with a group in a face-to-face setting since the pandemic.

It seems like a long time since we were able to get face to face with our colleagues, clients and friends. It can feel a little alien at first, but if there’s one thing, we have learned over the last few months it’s that getting together is a crucial aspect of team building and bonding.

In the room

The first thing we noticed at the beginning of the session was, that there was a certain amount of anxiety and a period of adjusting to being within the same room as other people. It’s likely that this will become a common occurrence as we drift back into normality, balancing our need to be sociable with our conditioning to distance ourselves due to Covid-19.

However, this was short-lived as the team quickly adjusted – reverting to the light-hearted conversation which had made them such a tight-knit team pre-covid. This showed us just how important it was for teams to have some time to ‘play’ together – having that time to chat freely and engage with each other outside of the work environment without work being the central subject. The catching up and natural conversation period upon arrival was a joy to behold.

Shared experiences

What we found from our conversations with the group was that while there was some anxiety about getting back to work, there was a new enthusiasm for sharing experiences of the lockdown. We facilitated in helping people open up about how the last 18 months had made them feel and the group were surprised to be sharing many of the same opinions, experiences and worries.

This leads on to looking at what kind of challenges our teams will be facing when they come to integrate back into the workplace. It is highly important that we all have honest discussions about how we feel about returning to work and how it has impacted our lives in a wider sense.

What did we learn?

This first foray back into the mix was a good learning opportunity for us here at Insightful Exchange. We’re finding that with every programme we run, we uncover new challenges and different benefits to the new formats. We are continually evolving into a hybrid model of delivery of our programmes and we see the opportunity for face-to-face client contact as an essential balance to working virtually.

We received fantastic feedback from the group on the day and the methodology we used was well-received and, most importantly, worked. We use a process by which people talk about what they felt as both professionals and human beings; after all, there’s not one without the other.

After running he programme our Managing Director, Paul said:

I am feeling inspired and excited about getting back out into the leadership and team development space with our clients. It was a pleasure to spend time with this team of professionals last week as part of this programme.”

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