To reflect on the year past and plan for the near future, Noble Impact held its first-ever team retreat this summer. Our three-day, two-night getaway was filled with an itinerary that focused on framework around the mission and vision of our next chapter, but more importantly, it was an opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level.
The goal of day one, in particular, was simple… get to know each other better. Here’s a little about what that experience was like.
We left Little Rock around nine o’clock in the morning and headed to Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain… about an hour west of Little Rock. True to the outdoors nature of our retreat, we started our journey with a hike along Cedar Falls trail, which begins just outside the rustic and welcoming Mather Lodge and ends up at a waterfall. In Erica’s words, “this got us into full-on retreat and growth mode.”
So, after the hike, we spent about three hours sharing personal stories. Going one by one, we created an environment that welcomed the process of being vulnerable. It consisted of a fine balance between listening and speaking and we challenged each other to dive deep within our own personal narrative.
We had to ask ourselves…If we’re really going to make a difference in education, How can we exude an unstoppable approach without listening to each other? Without accepting each other? Without understanding who we really are and why we want to do this work?
This process emphatically did not include anything about Noble Impact and allowed a space for each of us to clearly define the “who” and “why” of ourselves. In fact, Erica had already experienced this type of process as part of an MIT program and storytelling venue called The Yarn. You can watch her talk here. Sharing our narratives proved to be valuable on many fronts, especially in the context of being able to listen and empathize with each other.
If you are on a team and haven’t yet engaged in this process, we highly encourage it.