One thing I see over and over again in organizational life is our inability to slow down and be reflective.
We move from one big project to the next, one urgent thing to the next. If we do stop, it’s often to do a postmortem on how something could have gone better. While this can yield important learning, what gets missed is celebration, appreciation, acknowledging what went right.
As human beings, we can’t subsist just on problem-solving, on noticing what’s wrong, or on getting ready to launch the next big thing. You might not be able to get everyone on your team to journal (sigh–isn’t that a resolution for many of us, year after year?), but you can easily facilitate 15 or 30 minutes of reflective time that will create connection and learning.
My clients know that I love to take out my Sharpie and draw things–here’s a set of prompts I’ve often used to help a team take stock of their life together. These prompts could be sent out ahead of time, made into an in-meeting poll, posted simultaneously on a Google doc or other software your vitual team is using. The important thing isn’t to generate a list for its own sake, but to listen to one another, to get into an appreciative stance.
It’s likely you’ll have team members who may roll their eyes when you suggest this, or maybe some heavy sighs. When I show up to facilitate things like this, folks are often nervous that it will feel like a waste of time or demand too much of them. Persist. They need it, you need it, and it will fuel you for longer than any postmortem will.