Face-to-face, device-free, team time

Kia ora all,

Recently I have experienced quality, face-to-face, device-free time with our team! For one of the sessions our team engaged in a 'tourist-like' activity, where we journeyed, socialised, and spent quality time together.  Later that day we faced a more intense time together.  My wondering is this... Did the bonding, connecting and recharging in the first session enable us to face the next session with a new lens?  Undoubtedly, I believe it did!  Perhaps my wondering is more:  how do we ensure these connections are an unavoidable consequence of any team time?  How do we schedule in precious face-to-face, device-free time?  

For another session, we cleared the room of tables and devices, and again spend focused, face-to-face, device-free time!

I would love to hear from you all.  How are you developing a mix of meeting times, in your schools and teams?  How do you ensure that the needs of your teams are met?

Anne K

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  • What a neat experience...and great questions. I am hesitating before typing as there is a stream of things going through my mind...these include, in no particular order:

    - Love the idea of time together doing things that don't involve devices (love the walk we all took at the DVM wananga for example)

    - What about the people who are shy and don't really like to socialise? Or prefer 1-to-1? Or find the online space their 'comfortable space' and that's where they do their meaningful socialising?

    - How do we find a balance between unstructured time (i.e. the difference between grabbing a coffee and going for a chat about work / work-related things, and more structured social activities such as the 'tourist-like activity' you described). What are the different expectations between the two? Given the investment to bring everyone together, how do we ensure we are still as productive as a team? Or does the time to socialise help increase the effectiveness of the work we do together?

    I'm sure more thoughts will occur (and sorry...not really answering your questions, but rather mulling over a heap of wonderings). Would love to know what you think :)

    • Hi Hazel, 

      Thanks so much for your response and questions.

      Time away from devices is increasingly appealing.  Since this session I have had a number of sessions with schools where we have been device free.  Getting right off-site has not been so much of a success YET...

      Thank you for the reminder to be mindful of people who may not enjoy socialising or prefer 1-1.  Forever it is a balance, a mindful balance.  Noticing, acknowledging and valuing the needs of all must be a way to support each other into spaces and places that we are not 'automatically comfortable'... Lots more pondering here and maybe the seed of another post thank you!  :-)

      There will always be a tension between time and task.  Increasingly, I am wondering, are we becoming more focused on task than time??? I feel time taken to establish a relationship is the work, with a trusting relationship as the starting point.   Acknowledging that every situation can be unique, diverse, and / or complex, I guess we need to remain cognisant of the purpose, task and mode.  Just as virtual mentoring sessions can be more effective at times with cameras off, or with camera on; so too, face to face meetings can be more effective with devices powered up, or powered down.  Agility, flexibility and transparent practice should guide a pathway to best fit for purpose way of working... 

      My thoughts at this stage...

      Would love to hear from others.  How do you balance the tension of times on and off devices? Virtual and face to face?

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