Teamwork. Whether playing a sport, working in an office, playing in a band….it is imperative to be one harmonious unit. While Jenny Koleth, Profugo’s Executive Director, was in town, we had a day promoting teamwork within the tailoring center. Jenny began the day using the analogy that each woman represents a strand of thread. One thread is weak and easily breaks. As you begin braiding more and more strands together, the thread becomes stronger, more durable.
With that image in mind, we began our team building exercises. First to promote clear and consistent communication, the women partnered up and stood back to back. In one woman’s hand she held an image, in the other woman’s hand a crayon and a blank piece of paper. One woman had to describe the image she held while the other woman drew. After a few minutes we came together to see how the pairs did in giving and receiving the descriptions. I was impressed with many of the pairs. Of course there were a few mess-ups, which the women enjoyed chiding each other for and giggling over. The most noteworthy discrepancy came with Savitri and Bindhu. The image had a picture of 2 sheep. Savitri described them as 2 bunnies, and Bindhu drew 2 chickens. From that we deduced there is some room for improved communication.
Next, we had some problem solving and trust building exercises. The problem solving exercise involved each woman recreating a piece of a puzzle on a larger scale. With only a small snapshot of the puzzle, no one knew how their individual piece would contribute to the big picture. It was only after everyone finished their individual piece and put them all together that we began to realize how our own portion fit in to the grand scheme. This exercise reinforced that each person’s contribution is a necessary and important addition to the end product.
Closing the day we all sat down and had some chai and biscuits and reflected on the day’s activities. Teamwork is comprised of many relationships between many individuals. It requires constant nurturing, constant communication, trust, and a commitment to one another to work in collaboration towards a common goal. As the tailoring center expands, the strength of our thread, comprised of many individual strands, will hold us together and move us forward to success.