This past weekend my friend, Kim Volheim and his wife, Claudia hosted a gathering for our guest services leaders and coaches. Fifty plus men and women filled their home with no agenda. There was no meeting, no objectives to review or sharpen.
Kim created space. Just space.
Space to eat lots of sugary sweets and salty snacks. Space to talk. Space to be.
Most teams get launched and organized around task. There is a vision; there are clear objectives; there is a reason for the team's existence. They are built to get things done. it's how any vision or mission worth pursuing gets accomplished: team.
However, although task brings people to a team, tasks aren't the only glue to hold a team together. In fact, because teams are made up of people, they won't stay for long without positive, nurturing relationships - with each other. Relationships are critical to the team getting things done well.
I know - you've probably been part of an organization where the "team" got after it with little to no real friendships. And as you know - that team existed in a very corporate (even in church world), bottom-line, grinding kind of organization. But that's not a fully orbed team.
It's why I so appreciate any team Kim leads. He gets this reality: teams focused on task are healthier and more productive when they have space for relationships.
Trust is built not only through demonstrated credibility, but also through telling our story and relating to someone else's story.
Commitment is renewed when we know enough about each other to value who we're "tasking" with - beyond the task itself.
Confidence is strengthened when through authentic relationships we know someone else has our back.
If the only times your teams gather is to get the task done, you're missing the value of team. Create space for relationships. It'll bring fresh value to the task.
P.S. - I should note this. Another teammate - Dawn Lovitt - gets this too. On the same evening I was attending this guest services gathering with my bride, Dawn was hosting a gathering for our prayer team and hospital visitation team. They enjoyed relational space at a bowling alley (where I'd need lots of prayer to do well and the potential for a hospital visit would be highly likely).
The holidays are a perfect time to create space, to communicate appreciation and value. What are you doing?