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Skagit Valley Hospital

“Retreat” Illuminates TCG Personalities

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Last week The Collins Group had a half day retreat. While the “retreat” was held in our office, it was a time to get away from our inboxes, smart phones, and other distractions to come together as a firm and spend some time talking about ways to better serve our clients, and strategies to work more effectively as a team. This was the first retreat we’ve had since the light at the end of the recession tunnel became visible. Having weathered the storm of the last two years together, it was nice to have the opportunity to take a step back, acknowledge the challenges we’ve faced, and find ways to inject new energy into our team.

As part of this process, we held a personality evaluation session and, with help from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, tried to pinpoint the aspects of our personalities that most heavily influence our work styles. When planning this session, I remember thinking that only one or two members of our staff would likely identify as introverts; we are, after all, a firm comprised of pretty outgoing, opinionated people who know how to work a room and can be seen giving presentations at regional conferences. I was amazed, however, to find that about half of us identified as introverts – this was one of many surprising revelations resulting from the assessment.

Once we’d each decided on our four dichotomies (Introversion vs. Extroversion, Intuition vs. Sensing, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judgment vs. Perception), we went around the room and shared examples of our personality’s influence on the way we work with our clients and each other. It was enlightening to hear what aspects of our work people like and dislike, and be able to view that information through the lens of their personality type. Having this background has brought a deeper level of understanding of the way each member of our team works, and will hopefully help us all grow more tolerant of each other’s quirks.

I walked away from this retreat with a stronger feeling of teamwork and armed with information about my teammates that will make it easier for us to work effectively together. I am grateful we had this time to reflect and take a closer look at the internal workings of the firm. It is so easy to maintain an external focus – paying all of your attention to the needs of those you serve (for us, our nonprofit clients – for our clients, their donors and supporters), but it’s always a good idea to periodically examine what’s going on within your team and determine what’s working and what’s not. In the end, the benefits of high employee morale and effective internal working relationships will trickle down, resulting in better service for the individuals you work with outside of your organization.

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