Epics by Esséré

HASSONVILLE : Unleashing energy of trust in a Leadership Team

The setting was a castle with beautiful grounds to inspire the CEO and leadership team as they arrived in Hassonville for their seminar. We had been asked to facilitate 2,5 days with the team, to inspire them, and to bring meaning to their work after months of home office.

After a few minutes of soothing music, breathing with intention, and silence, we began with what we call an inclusion. We asked each of the directors to prepare some simple questions and share by two their response. Before starting, we discussed the way we wanted them to share this. We used a simple tool called the “Compass of the Leader” where we asked them to listen at three levels: head, heart, and guts. People mostly listen with their head in organizations. They listen to the facts, the logic, and the data. In this seminar we also wanted the team to listen with their hearts, to be aware of the feelings, emotions and body sensations continuously changing within them; and with their guts, where they could really connect with each other. This third level is where their more profound desires and values should come out.

Observing the team, we noticed that after the inclusion, the energy began to shift in the room. An element of trust was building. We were ready to start sharing and working at another level. So, we asked them to raise any question they wanted to address to the team and which was taking energy out of them. Here are a few of them: “What brings us to be within this team?”, “Do we see ourselves as a team?”, “Do we have a common understanding of our financial, social, and environmental goals?”, “How do we manage conflicts?”, “How do we track and follow-up on our collective work?” We discussed these questions further, practicing our Compass and then left the team to think about them overnight.

The second day started with a time of inner concentration and reconnection to the previous day. Then we held a session on trust. Each director rated the other directors individually based on 4 possible levels of trust (Cf tool THE 4 LEVELS OF TRUST). It was clear from the scores that the team needed to work on its trust. But though this experimentation and as we continued the discussion, we could tell that the team was starting to really feel the value of being a team and recognizing the need for level 4 trust to be strong and work more efficiently together. With this level of oppening building, we took some time to explore recent successes of the team as well as those things that they find heavy or energy-draining. Out of this session came some real gems, areas and capabilities that the team agreed they could focus on to make sure they functioned collectively and always in a safe environment. We closed the second day with more depth and trustful discussions. We were ready to tackle day 3.

The 3rd and final day was what we were aiming for and the conditions were created. Could they connect to and share their deepest desires and even dreams for their professional future: “which collective human adventure is worth living in the company?”. We talked about aligning our wills (what our head wants) with our desires (what are guts want, deep inside) and the importance of this for a collective alliance. We asked the CEO to start sharing – we had helped him prepare a bit in advance. His words came from his heart and guts and this was felt in the team. Then each director reflected quite a bit about his/her own aspirations. There were some incredible moments of inspiration as the team came together with lots of joy and energy to create the potential future of the company. By the time they left at the end of the day, each could feel a visible transformation in the way they connected with each other and with the CEO. We felt that each member of the team was taking the destiny of the team into his/her own hands.