In June, we all went to Heaven Retreat in Kigali for a reflective retreat on ‘team collaboration.’
I like retreats because they take us away from the office, computers and discussions about projects. Retreats help energise the team and improve our collaboration.
This year’s retreat topic looked at ‘personality’. To prepare for the retreat, the Three Mountains team took a DISC personality test (see: www.123test.com.) The DISC test describes four main personality traits: dominance, inter-activeness, steadiness and cautiousness. We had to answer 20 questions which then gave us our profiles, such as: specialist, individualist, inspirator, persuader, objective thinker and results-oriented.
When we saw our results, we all laughed! Some of us thought they were correct, but others totally disagreed with their profiles. I personally agreed with my profile. During lunch someone asked: “Now that we know our personality profiles, what next?” to which Jan Willem replied: “Ah, let’s wait for the retreat, we will learn more then.”
Our one and only Renee Ostée, a coach and trainer who has worked with us before, led the retreat. She always runs this well. She asked me about my expectations. I said I was looking forward to having fun, as others said, and looking forward to something new.
We first discussed our profiles in pairs which helped us find out if others recognised what their profile described. My profile is ‘a persuader, an optimistic person with strong self-motivation, persuasive, people-orientated and determined.’ My colleagues said that it was really me. They said that I always tell stories that make an impression. I was surprised to hear that they thought of me as a persuader.
Our next session looked at how we collaborate as a team. We stood in our quadrants and Rene asked us how we collaborate. She asked questions like: “Who does what well in the team? Who do you contact if there’s a challenge?” These prompts helped us see ourselves as one team.
We also looked at what we can learn from each other to achieve a common goal. For example, an objective thinker can learn from individualistic or result-oriented people about how to be confident. Renee asked us not to become ‘stuck’ in a quadrant, but to try to move into other quadrants to explore our hidden potential. The session ended with us drawing a picture of ‘a perfect day’ at Three Mountains.
Was this what I was looking forward to in this retreat? Yes, indeed! We had fun as a team. We enjoyed a delicious meal and jokes. We got to know each other better, and reflected on how to explore our hidden potential.
We also know now what type of new team members we need, so I’m looking forward to the 2022 retreat and working with more people.