Over the past 25 years, I’ve seen time and time again the power of Nature, great healer and team ally.
I love the expression
I can’t teach you anything, I can only make you think.
Sure, Bridgeworks has worked with hundreds of teams – So, does that mean I have all the answers to team’s challenges? Is that my strength? No.
Actually, I believe there are two key Bridgeworks success factors:
- The Answers Are Within: My belief is that the answers are within the combined years of experience within that team.
Providing the safe environment for those solutions to bubble to the surface is Bridgeworks’ priority.
- Nature sets the Scene: Nature provides the ideal ‘safe environment’ for solutions to emerge.
When A collection Of people Becomes A Real Team
A couple of weeks ago, a key turning point in a state sales team’s attitudes occurred during a workshop; It happened at a magnificent lookout on an escarpment high above the Hawkesbury River at sunset. Surrounded by breathtaking views, a ‘collection’ of people decided to be and to call themselves ‘one professional team’.
What a great healer nature is!
Another powerful part of the program was a blindfold challenge through the bush. It tested two-way communication to the maximum. Many said this experience highlighted how much depends on the quality of our communication within a team.
The good news is that no-one ended up in the river or down a ditch!
“The Classroom Of Nature” And Timeless Principles
Applauded educator Kurt Hahn recognised the power that nature has in helping people tap into their authentic self; the openness and honesty that prevails to build the deeper foundations required for a team of professionals to become a professional team.
Much of this education was based in the classroom of nature which is Bridgeworks preferred “venue”.
Later Hahn established the Salem school in Germany in the 1920’s; there he developed the “Seven Laws of Salem”, a set of principles to guide education at the school. They still have relevance for most organisations one hundred years later.
The “Seven Laws Of Salem”
- Give people opportunities for self-discovery. – “Every person has a ‘grande passion,’ often hidden and unrealised to the end of life.”
- Make people meet with triumph and defeat. – “Salem believes you ought to discover the person’s weakness as well as their strength. Allow them to engage in enterprises in which they are likely to fail, and do not hush up their failure. Teach them to overcome defeat.”
- Give people the opportunity of self-effacement in the common cause. – “Even the youngsters ought to undertake tasks which are of definite importance for the community.”
- Provide periods of silence. – “Unless the present-day generation acquires early habits of quiet and reflection, it will be speedily and prematurely used up by the nerve exhausting and distracting civilization of today.
- Train the imagination – “you must call it into action, otherwise it becomes atrophied like a muscle not in use.”
- Make games important but not predominant. – “Athletics do not suffer by being put in their place. In fact you restore the dignity of the usurper by dethroning him.”
- Free the sons of the wealthy and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege. – “Rich girls and boys wholly thrown into each other’s company are not given a chance of growing into men and women who can overcome. Let them share the experience of an enthralling school life with sons and daughters of those who have to struggle for their existence.”
During World War 2 Hahn took “the classroom of nature” to wider fame when establishing “Outward Bound” at Gordonstoun school, Scotland. Its great success in helping young people deal with the uncertainty of life saw Outward Bound spread worldwide.
Applying The Power Of Nature The Great Healer
Outward Bound came to Australia after the war. I was fortunate to spend over 5 years working at Outward Bound when I experienced its effectiveness firsthand. Since then, I have embedded many of Hahn’s principles into the Bridgework’s learning style, enabling many teams to function better.
In nature, “learning by doing” provides powerful anchors for both teams and leaders. “Anchors” are practical learning experiences, which we can draw upon back in the workplace and life.
Are you wanting to take your team to a new level of engagement and passion? if that is the case, Give me a call .