True confession. I’ve been in the workplace for a very long time. Forty-two years to be exact. In that span, I’ve held a multitude of jobs with multiple employers and started six businesses.
No matter the job, the employer, or the situation, one thing has continued to intrigue me: the variety of opportunities I’ve had to attend special events outside the normal workday.
There have been too many conferences to count. These events stretched my thinking and expanded my library (who would resist those conference book stores?). I typically found that I came back brimming with exciting new ideas and new energy. Yet even with the best of intentions, most of those ideas met the same demise as new year’s resolutions, vanishing after a few weeks.
There was also the “team-building” phase where my employer sent team after team to a YMCA camp that combined group work with high and low ropes. The perception of risk on the ropes was high; the actual risk was low. The wooded setting was lovely, and the wooden bunk beds designed for adolescents were problematic. Every group got the canned lecture reminding us that there was no “I” in “team.” I suspect it sounded as cliché and hollow to others as it did to me.
And who can forget the “fun events”? Picnics. Informal dinners and elegant, extravagant dinners. Ball games, bowling, and other diversions. At times, these were welcome breaks. Yet far too often, it was “forced fun” in which all involved tolerated the time until finding a respectable time to dash out the door.
Last but certainly not least, there were the retreats that left an indelible mark on me. The ones that pulled me into a place, time, and space that forced me to go deep and, as a result, get to unlock some breakthrough ways of thinking and being. Places where I could find the clarity that led to keen insights and profound shifts. I’m fortunate to have both participated in and led a significant number of these.
Here is a smattering of examples:
- A two-day retreat I designed for a corporate client on essentialism (or focusing on the most important things) that asked provocative questions in a setting that prompted both introspection and teamwork.
- The evolution of our Evergreen Leadership Community Builder’s retreats, which over the past six years have invited award winners to go deeper into themselves and their passions and at the same time forge lasting bonds with the peers they met just moments before.
- My personal practice of taking “days of discernment,” twenty-four hours of solitary reflection in a beautiful setting “off the grid” that result in consistently emerging with fresh insights and clarity on my direction for the coming year.
- A corporate trip to the mountains of Taos with a series of experiences that ranged from Jungian analysis, bodywork, individual and group work that led to lasting insights and deep personal growth.
- Three weekend hiking trips with women from all over the country with evening sessions that drew us together as a group and invited each of us to search within.
I could list more, but I hope you get the idea. Rather than prattle on, I’ll get right to the point.
I am called to take the best of what I’ve experienced and learned about off-sites and retreats and offer them into the world. I’ve designed four different retreat experiences and am ready to help you and your teams do some big and important work.
I feel a bit vulnerable about claiming my gift in leading this work and putting these offerings out for the world to either accept or reject. Yet each time I facilitate a retreat (and I’m coming off two in the past month) and experience the incredible alchemy of the right time, space, location, and programming, my passion for this work is affirmed.
In my long tenure, I’ve seen various outcomes from different types of retreats. This is why I have designed and am offering four very distinct experiences:
- The Reset Retreat — for those who need to step out of the day-to-day to get focus and clarity in their lives and to experience some mindfulness techniques they can use every day. Great for teams that are in high-stress situations or to celebrate a big accomplishment.
- The Harmonic Team Retreat — for teams that want to forge better working relationships. Excellent for virtual or hybrid teams looking for an opportunity to work together meaningfully in a face-to-face setting or teams who need to work through a challenging team dynamic.
- The Higher Purpose Retreat — when a group needs to articulate, understand and get aligned around their common shared, higher purpose. This retreat works especially well coming out of an annual planning cycle.
- The Questions Only Retreat — for tackling thorny, illusive situations or creating new thinking. Great when you want to innovate or when you want to resolve a chronic issue at a deeper level.
While the focus is very different in each one, what is consistent is the power of putting people in a new environment with a skilled facilitator and program that guides them to keener insights and new ways of being. Each is an opportunity to step out of the day-to-day with enough uninterrupted time to do the bigger picture work that so often gets neglected. Each has an underlying design and flow that moves the group through an intentional process for profound discoveries.
And so, I have a favor to ask. Do you know of a leader facing any of these challenges that would be interested in exploring if a retreat might be helpful? If so, I would greatly appreciate a referral.
- Leading a team that is over-extended / burnt out or needs to learn how to manage a high-stress environment
- A team so busy or physically scattered that they don’t have the time for meaningful face to face interactions
- A need to innovate and create — and no time/space/energy to make it happen
- A desire to help their team get clarity, focus, and alignment on a bigger picture
- A new team that needs to come together and learn how to work together
- A team where trust is frayed, and it is impacting day-to-day work
- Wanting to get focus and inspiration AFTER the strategic planning process
If you’ve thought of someone, they can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a text at 765–404–8950 or send a LinkedIn message. Or you can also pass along this link to my webpage describing the retreats I offer.
Thanks in advance for your referrals, and know that if I can help you in some small way, please ask.