10 Lessons from Our Summer of Self-Discovery

We recently finished a fast sprint exercise – a real test for the Floricane team, which has a tendency to test the waters and plan each game. Our Summer of Self-Discovery series was conceived on-the-fly in late June, and launched five weeks later as a three-part series of workshops built on the Insights Discovery® assessment we use with clients.

The focus of the sessions was to help people deepen their understa nding of and appreciation for the many different ways we can leverage our unique personalities to develop personally, and to increase the effectiveness of our teams and our leadership. In the end, more than two dozen people took us up on the offer to spend at least one (and many spent three) evenings with us as we unpacked different elements of Insights at a fast clip.

I walked away with a small handful of lessons:

  • People are hungry for understanding: We see it everywhere we go, whether it's a public workshop or in the workplace. There are just a lot of people in our community who just want to learn!
  • My experience as facilitator is different from your experience as participant: My Insights profile actually suggests that I’m my own worst critic. Taking time at the end of sessions to chat with people helps me understand their experiences much better than packing up and bolting!
  • Tablecloths make an impact: We really love our new space, but simple design gestures – orange table cloths, music – have a huge impact in big corporate rooms. We need to remember to do more to soften our environments.
  • Get out of people’s way. They’ll do better work: Sometimes, it helps to get out of the way – whether your blocking your co-facilitators, or getting in the way of the participants.
  • Planning is not underrated, but it is often overdone: It helps that we’ve been working with this material for more than a decade, but we pulled these sessions together pretty fast! Sure, they could have been tighter, but we found the loose flow to be conducive to the learning – and a bit contrary to our tendency these days to over-plan things.
  • Interaction is always underrated, and often underdone: If over-planning is a disease in our organizations these days, so is under-interacting. Creating space for people to come together, connect and learn is a WIN. Seriously.
  • Soft sell beats hard sell: Lord knows, I’m a terrible salesperson – at least in the traditional sense of the concept – but I continue to find that demonstrating the value of our work trumps packaging it. Creating opportunities to experience Floricane’s approach to change seems to be our most effective approach to selling.
  • We care about what we do: Every time we conclude one of our money-losing, public workshops and step back to debrief how things went, I’m reminded that the biggest driver for the work we do is our passion for people, and for change. It’s such a great reminder for me, and for our team, that we get to live our Vision every single day.