Connecting local responses around the world
The RIGHTS Commission comprises three commissions: Women and Gender Equality, Rights of the Child and the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission. At a recent meeting of the executives it was discerned that there was tension among the staff including between senior management and subordinates.
Members of the senior management team agreed to an exercise to stimulate ‘team spirit’ among staff. Exercises of the Community Life Competence Process, was used to achieve the intended goal of stimulating ‘team spirit’ among staff.
As usual introduction of participants using a fruit to indicate their personality stimulated discussion and helped participants to feel comfortable, relaxed and a part of a community that knows each other.
Exercise 1: “Ready-Pull” GOAL: To indicate to participants that EACH of US, OUR ACTIONS can UNCONSCIOUSLY result in DESTRUCTION of our COMMUNITY.
An exercise where participants were placed into two groups and given a piece of paper [large enough for each group member to be able to have a hold on]. Each member of the group is required to have a hold on the paper and the Facilitator indicates when they should ALL pull on the paper. This action is done 2-3 times, using the largest piece of paper after tearing it apart from pulling the previous time. Then the BIG REQUEST! Kindly put the pieces back together? Members of each team work to put the pieces together to form the whole piece in the original state. The team that makes the best fit wins. A discussion ensued to ascertain what contributed to the group’s success. The strengths identified were team effort and effetive communication. The reasons for the win constitute the strengths of the group. While the reasons for the other team not being successful would also highlight some strengths of that group, as well. The MAJOR lesson however is that unconsciously; our individual actions can contribute to dis-unity and problems of the environment in which we operate. Some actions that cause dis-unity could be; no respect, biasness, lack of team spirit, lack of confidentially and lack of cooperation.
Exercise 2: Identifying Strengths
In an effort to make our working environment efficient so that we deliver on our services, we agree to operate from a position of strength. We did an exercise to help with identify strengths we may have. This was done by separating into two groups and each group selecting a clipping from old magazines and from a discussion identify strengths from the clipping. Afterwards we discussed as staff members if the strengths apply to us in our working environment.
We also discussed that the two exercises helped us to stimulate our Way of Thinking (WOT) and should influence our Way of Working (WOW) within our working environment.
Exercise 3: After Action Reflection
In reflection, staff applauded the initiative, it was appropriate and stimulating. We agree that we do similar exercises on a more regular basis. For now we will do once per month, the first week in December will be the next exercise.