Collaboration is often heralded as a dream tool for leveraging organizational resources. I completely agree. In fact, collaboration is the tool of choice when players wish to achieve together that which cannot be of achieved alone. Yet, few of us receive training in how to do it well. Thus, it should come as little surprise that many collaborative endeavors fall short of their initial promise or implode altogether. – Debra Mashek Ph.D
Recently, I was in Germany working with the the Lutheran Youth organization. They are a great group and are working to reach the many young people inside and outside the church.
I was doing both training and mentoring using our Results-based Conversations (Rbc) method. We had done our planning and had a Design for the sessions. The preliminary work was done by others, that I had trained. They would be leading the sessions. I was mostly involved with reviewing, mentoring and making suggestions.
We only had about 20 hours together over the weekend. Fortunately we were all staying at a lovely retreat center. It was in the countryside and we had our meals together in a dining room, shared with other people also at the retreat center. Our activities kicked off on Friday evening as the participants arrived. They were from different churches in specific region of Germany. Most everyone did not know each other. On Saturday we continued our sessions and on Sunday we wrapped up around midday.
There were expectations by both those leading the event and those attending. Over the weekend there seemed to be a rollercoaster of emotions for the leaders. At times we each wondered if there was enough progress, but at other times we were enthusiastic about the breakthroughs we experienced. As the event concluded on Sunday, it was gratifying to see the changes in each of us.
We may accomplish great works but what will also last are the great relationships we build in the process.
We had met as strangers on Friday evening. Over the weekend we had developed heart-felt relationships with one another. Meaningful conversations occurred. Our thinking was challenged. Our hopes were raised. Our doubts were acknowledged. Our problems were shared. New plans were made. Commitments were established. And we were ready for next steps.
It is easy for me to become accustomed to these results because I see it so often. But when I step back I realize how much RbC empowers others. Sure it helps us plan and accomplish tasks but it also offers opportunities to build better relationships. And isn’t that just as important?
Everytime I’m involved with a Learning Community and we use RbC for collaboration, we also make new friends while building trust and respect. My hope is that these relationships will be a lasting legacy.