How I’m preparing my leadership team to lead
July 10, 2023
I’m in Boulder today with my leadership team preparing for our team retreat which starts tomorrow. We’ve been planning for months, and today, there are final details to attend to: organizing supplies, buying snacks and beverages, scoping out accessible trails, and most importantly, orienting ourselves to how we want to show up.
As I wrote about in last week’s blog post, during this retreat I’m responsible for ensuring that relationships are strengthened. This requires that my leadership team and I are intentional about creating psychological safety. Tomorrow we’ll meet three folks who recently joined Bright Morning. I will be paying close attention to body language, group dynamics, what people say and how they say it, who sits with whom, who talks to whom, and much more.
Today, I need to ensure that my leadership team is prepped to show up in a way that will build psychological safety and relationships between themselves and others, and between teammates. I’m doing this by inviting people to acknowledge their fears and hopes, and by asking them to show up as their best selves.
How’s this going to happen? Through candid conversations. Here are some of the questions I’ll ask my leadership team members at dinner:
- What are you afraid to reveal about how you’re coming into this retreat? (And don’t say, “nothing,” because I won’t believe you because fear is normal).
- What do you not want me, Elena, to know about what you’re thinking and feeling?
- What past hurts—as a leader and/or a teammate—do you need to acknowledge and put aside during our time together?
- What’s your wildest hope for yourself as a leader during this retreat? What’s your intention for yourself?
One of our Bright Morning core values is presence. When we lead from a state of presence, we experience ease and flow, joy and connection, and we thrive individually and collectively. In order to be fully present, we often have to clear out some of the psychological and mental refuse, which is what I hope speaking to those questions might contribute to, as well as setting and sharing an intention.
My intention this evening is to re-anchor my leadership team in the possibility of presence, and to model presence myself. And I really do feel present today! I’m appreciating all I’ve done in the last few weeks to get prepared and grounded. My intention for the retreat is for my leadership to feel joyful and playful, to me and to others. I’ll let you know next week how it went, and I’ll introduce you to our new teammates!
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