“I remember best the meeting in Brussels,” a colleague shares her memories. “We had to improvise in the very last hour before the event – and with some creativity we made it happen.” The whole team is gathered together and celebrates the past months by sharing funny stories and deep learnings. Some team members will leave soon as their contract is ending, and we are taking a moment of thankfulness and appreciation. Everyone listens, everyone shares some insights, all laugh together.
When you already have a team, it is essential to create events and moments of memory on a regular basis. Those shared memories create a bonding that survives all the stress the daily hustle throws at your people. It is the strong invisible game changer that lets your team thrive in hard project phases where others fail.
But how can you create meaningful moments? Here are some inspirational thoughts.
Moments of Thankfulness
Pick one or two days in a year in which you dedicate some time to share what you are thankful for. Let people know beforehand that they will need to share their stories, too. That way you give them time to think and prepare themselves. Make it a bit fun by asking them to find a matching headline, movie title or hashtag. It helps them to focus on the real essence.
Moments of Appreciation
When you plan a meeting prepare some gifts and warm words in advance. Encourage your team to tell each other which strengths they like about each other. Act as a good example by handing out some meaningful gifts and add a personal note by highlighting specific attitudes and behaviors that you value within your team mates. Give them some time and space to also share their opinions and feelings.
Make the moment last
Have you ever had a great day at work – and the very next day it seemed to be forgotten and you are in your hustle again? Human beings tend to forget the cool stuff quite quickly and go back into complain-mode or pity-party. If you want to help your team to remember their value and worth, create a written proof with everyone on the day when you meet.
Here are some ideas:
- Write all your cool hashtags and movie titles on a board. Maybe do it in a fun creative colourful way. And then take your team picture in front of it.
- Share pictures of the event afterwards
- The letter of appreciation that is written by all to everyone. Here is how: Give each team member pen and paper. Each one writes his/her name on top and passes the paper to the next person. That person writes compliments, strengths and positive adjectives on the paper that is dedicated to the colleagues name on the top. After a few minutes you pass the paper on until everyone has given a compliment to everyone. That way everyone takes a visible proof back home.
In the mentioned team meeting we actually wrote the letter of appreciation to one another. When everyone had the chance to read the dedicated lines, you could see the smiles on everyone’s face. It was an awesome moment in silence. Appreciation settled in. And while the sun was clothing the sky above us in golden light we were all filled with joy and stronger bond to one another.