We start and end our professional development as a group. Our aim is to create a cohort feel so that your employees can talk with each other as they move through the program and share their experiences together. We have found that this helps people to understand the concepts even more and helps build confidence and relationships.
A large part of our focus is on developing self awareness and self-reflection. With our first group session, we look at what values you hold and how that interacts with your colleagues’ values. It is interesting to name and discuss the varied values we all bring to the table and how that influences what we say and the actions we take.
So many times we act out of habit and of what we feel is necessary. Thinking critically about what we value is not something we typically do. Instead, we recognize when our actions are not in line with our values because we typically feel “off” or we have a nagging feeling that something isn’t right. This leaves us feeling disengaged or that we are just going through the motions. This creates a dissonance that we often can’t pinpoint. By regularly examining your values and connecting those to your present actions, you gain a greater awareness about your motivation and why you do what you do.
What have we seen during this session…
Usually at the beginning of this session, most people are wary of the process and reserved or skeptical about talking about values and the program in general. Some people are eager to do the work while others are nervous to open up about “personal” feelings at work. As the session progresses, however, the comfort level increases as participants name and narrow down their personal values and reflect on how this shapes their actions. It is always interesting to watch as participants share this with their colleagues and start to make connections as to how they get along with each other. There is often an increase in empathy and understanding as people start to connect on a human level. It is our belief that this human connection and cultivation of empathy is essential for a productive and healthy workplace. Empathy and connection allows us to get out of our hard line ways of thinking and gives us the skills to talk through hard and divisive topics.