Team Building That Actually Worked

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It's become a modern workplace buzzword. Some loathe it, some love it. Others just do what they're told to do. At the end of Friday's incredible Chamber of Commerce staff retreat with Lori Addicks, it really hit me. Why had this "Team Building" session finally resonated with me when so many others in my previous professional life had fallen short?
And the answer lies in exactly what we focused on: our STRENGTHS. Rather than hearing, as I have, so many times before, that I should focus on being less emotional or more flexible, I learned today how to leverage the many strengths that I do have, rather than feeling depleted by hashing out my weaknesses. WOW.

Lori, well, she changed us. Many of you know that our Chamber team is new and young and adapting. We learned on Friday that as a team of 4, we currently cover all the 4 distinct thinking preferences of the HBDI Model. We all have unique skill sets that are different from our team members. And together? We've got it all covered.
We cried. We shared. And mostly, with Lori's guidance, we began to understand. Why I'm your e-mail editor because I care how many spaces you put after a period, and why Lander loses no sleep on extra e-mail spaces but thrives in her role connecting with people and helping shape their stories. Our strengths and idiosyncrasies come together to build an ideal organizational framework.
We came into today as a team, and we emerged as a stronger one by miles. We had all been labeled "red" or "blue", watched TED talks, read mandatory Team Building books and articles in the past. But unlike our varied previous experiences, today we focused on our strengths. We focused on what we do well, and what we bring to the table. And we can't wait to put it together to make a stronger Chamber for our members. After all, that's what Team Building for your Chamber should be all about.