It was a picture of a sunflower that I was drawn toward, when it was turn to reintroduce my self to the group that I have meeting with for the past 6 months. It reflected a missed photo opportunity, and the “picture I wanted to take” on a recent family holiday to France. As a family we are keen cyclists and as well as seeing the final day of the Tour de France in Paris, we were planning to cycle in the Alps and around Annecy on the periphery of the Alps. I wanted a photo of us cycling in front of some sunflowers, a copy of many iconic photos of the Tour. Alas we did not, but it gave me an opportunity to start a dialogue in which I let a little more out of myself to the group, including a new member.
I have been working formally with the group for the last six months as part of a “Community of Practise”; coming together regularly to share ideas and challenge each other around specific subjects. Its been a great experience and one that I have found increasingly rewarding.
What struck me though was the new information that came from the exercise of six of us sharing thoughts about a single picture that each of chose from a pile. Even though we have worked together for six months, more for others, we shared information and insights, past experiences and former names we were known by that was surprising, funny, revealing and prompted “no, really”.
This simple process left me wondering how in the teams that I have been part of and teams that I work in, that we made time just to reintroduce ourselves to each other, and as a result of increased trust with one another, how much more we opened up with one another.
So lesson for me. When teams say, “but we know each other”, I am really going to challenge that, and I challenge you with your teams to just maybe re introduce yourselves to each other, and I wonder what you might just reveal and find out about each other.