Boost Your Impact off-site: fun, summer and profound insights.
Earlier this year, we shared everything about our Boost Your Impact program, an 8-step journey towards better personal knowledge, soft skills and confidence. Part of that program was also a 3-day off-site trip in Houffalize. This retreat provided a unique opportunity for our crew to reflect and invest in their personal growth – and they surely did!
During the 3-day off-site in June, we took our entire 45 Degrees Crew to Les Ondes, a hotel from De Cronos Groep situated in Houffalize, Ardennes. There, we engaged in various role-playing activities with professional actors, addressing interpersonal struggles we encounter at work. But it wasn’t all focus, we also made sure there was plenty of fun and coziness! But don’t believe our word for it – let’s ask Michel Van Hoof, Enterprise Architect at 45 Degrees.
Michel Van Hoof: “We arrived on Tuesday evening after work. We first checked in to see how everyone was doing and what we all expected from these couple of days. We started Wednesday with a general workshop and a first role-playing workshop in the afternoon. The second full day we started with role-playing games and ended with a good hike to clear our heads.”
During the workshop the team got more information about tools and frameworks like nonviolent communication, how to have a constructive dialogue and correspond in a disarming way. All very helpful tips, that the team could directly use in the afternoon.
“The role-playing games were intense and captivating, especially when we had to identify the challenges we faced in our daily professional lives. It was clear that many people struggled with similar issues, such as ‘leading’ when you don’t have a formal mandate. As a consultant, it is common to find yourself in an unofficial project leadership position without the actual authority to direct individuals. That comes with its challenges, particularly in change management. Projects have certain goals, but the employees may not necessarily be equally enthusiastic about them or receptive to these changes. Especially when the keywords to these changes are “automation” – you would also fear for your job security. These types of situations require conversations that go beyond technical matters, requiring us to empathize with different perspectives and therefore needing more interpersonal skills.”
And that’s exactly what we ‘tested’ during these role-playing activities! The team was split up into two groups, joined by professionally trained actor/coaches. We all chose a particular struggle, provided some background information on the situation and person, and off they went.
Michel: “The actors really played their role outstandingly. They’re not just actors but also coaches, so they can assess perfectly what buttons to push and how to react in order to confront you with your own limitations in communication. I thought it was truly eye-opening and impactful.”
Another important part of the program was completing the Leary Circumplex or Circle. It’s an exercise where you ask colleagues, direct reports, clients, friends, and family members to provide in-depth feedback on who you are. It’s an ideal tool to get insights in how others see you.
Michel: “For some, it can be very confronting to discover how they are perceived by others, but the exercise has so much value and facilitates the opportunity to improve your communication. No one wants to be seen as something they’re not – right? It is only by allowing to hold a mirror, you can see flaws you might not see on your own. Everyone’s got a blind spot. That is, what I think, exactly where you can grow as a person.”
“Even for those few colleagues that weren’t so sure at the beginning about the whole off-site experience, it turned out to be a very valuable and insightful couple of days. We all openly shared our personal challenges, which turned the atmosphere quickly info a safe and supportive space. Everyone felt comfortable being vulnerable and communicating without judgment. That in itself is extremely valuable to do as a team.”
Michel: “I believe that such programs would be less effective if you conducted it by yourself instead of in a group. The fact that we could open up and be vulnerable in a safe environment has truly allowed us to grow. It was an eye-opener for all of us.”
We absolutely loved this extraordinary team building and our looking forward to our recap day and the other workshops of the Boost Your Impact journey!
Stay tuned on our LinkedIn 😉
Special thanks to Anja Moorgat for setting up this entire Program for us.
Part of the Cronos Group
Need some help or guidance on your transformation journey? We are happy to listen, and even more to help.