Another Transformative Retreat in the Books

By/
Imahni Moise

At the end of January, Resolve’s staff came together for our annual winter retreat to build camaraderie, enhance communication, spark creativity, and plan strategically for the future.

While some sessions throughout the day focused on strategic planning and in-depth discussions for more effective decision-making, there was still room left for fun as some staff brought forth a diverse array of skill-sharing workshops. From delving into the world of lucid dreaming to mastering the art of listening for understanding, our team left no stone unturned in creating an enriching experience for everyone involved.

Resolve team viewing a presentation that says, "Strengthening the Scaffolding"



Lucid Dreaming Workshop
One of the standout sessions at our retreat was the lucid dreaming workshop, led by one of our own esteemed team members, Steve Volk. The workshop kicked off with a personal journey into the realm of lucid dreaming, where overcoming phobias, confronting recurring nightmares, and connecting with departed loved ones became not just possible but profoundly impactful.

The lucid dreaming workshop delved into the neuroscientific aspects of dreaming, emphasizing that while the experiences are not physically tangible, they carry real neurological weight. The potential benefits range from overcoming depression to facing anxieties in a safe dream space.

The session aimed not only to educate but to entertain, with the hope that attendees would leave with newfound knowledge and, ideally, embark on their own transformative lucid dreaming journeys.

Listening for Understanding Workshop
Another fan-favorite workshop during the retreat focused on the crucial skill of listening for understanding. Participants were guided through two experiences, both positive and negative, to recognize moments where effective listening could make a significant difference. Roadblocks hindering good listening were identified, and practical demonstrations showcased the art of truly hearing what others were saying.

The workshop was led by Gene Sonn, our Senior Director of Collaborations, who (outside of work) has led communication workshops tailored for couples, emphasizing the importance of effective communication in navigating the challenges life presents. 

By fostering better communication skills, our team aimed to enhance relationships and create a more connected and supportive community within our organization.

What did Jenga teach us about goals/milestones?
Resolve’s retreat was well thought out, and our Operations team didn’t miss a beat when it came to making sure that even the session more focused on strategy was interactive and would get the whole team involved.

Our session on milestones gave each team space to brainstorm what we want to accomplish in 2024 and identify the milestones that would help us get there. After coming up with our milestones, each team member was asked to write their milestones on Jenga blocks, and then each team built a tower. After we reconvened with the full staff, each team member read off their milestone as they removed it from their team’s tower, and all of our staff watched anxiously to see if the tower would remain standing or crumble.

Jenga blocks with milestones written on them



What we learned:

1. Smaller teams had fewer milestones, and therefore fewer blocks and smaller towers. This visually represented the capacity of smaller teams and served as a reminder of how much a smaller team can realistically accomplish.
2. To build our Jenga towers we had to stack our milestone pieces on top of each other. This represented how teams build on each other and need one another for support. When a block was pulled from the tower, it represented how things can crumble if we don’t support our teammates.
3. Teams made an effort to ensure that the base of their tower was tight and sturdy so that the base formed strength for the rest of the tower. This represented the importance of a strong foundation that would not crumble under the weight of it all.

Needless to say, our bi-annual retreat was a resounding success, thanks to the dedication and expertise of our talented staff. From exploring the limitless possibilities of lucid dreaming to honing essential communication skills and learning through play, our team is committed to fostering personal growth and creating a positive and collaborative work environment. We’re looking forward to our summer retreat which we expect will be filled with even more enlightening experiences and opportunities for learning and growth. 

Hear directly from our staff:
In what ways do you think retreat has strengthened team cohesion and camaraderie?
“There always seems to be some humor infused into everything Resolve does which keeps the mood light. You can tell no one takes themselves too seriously while being seriously committed to the work. It was also really helpful for some of us who hadn't previously met in person to get some face time.” -Danielle, Editorial Director of Community News

“I love that staff have an opportunity to share skills that they have built outside our work together, whether it's listening for understanding or lucid dreaming. It's rare in a workplace to have a chance to bring these kinds of expertise to colleagues. And this is part of what we mean when we say that Resolve is a place where we allow our team to show up as their whole selves.” -Jean, Executive Director

“I believe there was a good amount of reflection that people were able to do, which allowed for us all to think about how we show up and others.” -Rasheed, Editor, Germantown Info Hub

“With the format of the retreat balancing personal and professional development, I had opportunity to get to know fellow staff better not just through strategic collaborative thinking toward achieving our professional goals but got to know them better through fun and low stakes scenarios. As a relatively new addition to the team, it was a new opportunity to interact with team members I haven't had too much 1:1 interaction with and get to know their interests, recommendations, etc.” -Siani, Associate Editor of Collaborations

“Retreat allows us to get to know one another on a different level, especially newer team members or those who work fully or often remotely. It's one of the best way to learn about and from folks you don't normally get to work with. Laughing together and breaking bread is a powerful tool for strengthening bonds.” -Aubrey, Director of Practice Change