This is a great read about offsites. Meaningful offsites create conditions where we:
Connect to a shared purpose. I’m not talking about a group edit of a mission statement😝. I’m talking about work where you feel that spark of energy – electricity – around the big thing that’s possible when you’re working toward it with a group of colleagues.
Connect to our colleagues. We feel seen, heard and valued. We feel a sense of being in it together.
Ignite our superpowers. We get an opportunity to put our unique superpowers and talents to use in a way that moves the ball forward.
The thing I love about this piece is that it recommends a bit of genius prework. It recommends that everyone ask themselves a question like, “who do I need to thank?” or “where is there friction that I need to resolve?” and plan to have the necessary conversation while you’re at the offsite. I appreciate that this kind of pre-work is a relatively light lift, it’s personal and it has a big pay off in deepening relationships.
Here are additional pre-work questions I’d use:
Who have I seen shine recently? How can I describe their superpower to them with enough specificity so they see one of their unique strengths through my eyes?
Who could bring a different perspective to a problem I’ve been working to solve or a new idea I’m trying to get off the ground?
Who do I lean on regularly but our exchanges are largely transactional – maybe I’m always emailing with requests for help, admin items, etc? How can I get to know this person a little bit better so our exchanges are nested inside a sense of connection?
One other nugget that’s on my mind this week is this Outside podcast episode with Angel Collinson where she talks about why she quit skiing at the peak of her career.
As you think about staff offsites, retreats and other convenings, I hope you think about prework that is a relatively light lift and boosts connection!