You are here:EP Blogs






Real Magic

by Katherine Hunter on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:26 AM

Magic. It is real.

“What?” you say, “Isn’t magic just an illusion?”

I’m not talking about the kind of magic in which you are persuaded to believe in something that is not there. Real magic happens when you bring something into the world that wasn’t there before. Let me explain.

Last week I had the opportunity to work with a distributed HR team. For the first time, they had come together from across the country for a face-to-face workshop. I was asked by the Director of HR to facilitate a one-day session with the following objectives:

  1. Facilitate teamwork within the group
  2. Introduce new techniques for collaboration that the team members can take back to their respective sites
  3. Identify the group’s core values
  4. Create a compelling vision and mission statement for the HR department that aligns with and supports the corporate objectives.

On the agenda I had a little over five hours to deliver and that time included lunch and breaks. In addition to meeting the client requirements, my own goals included making the session fun, gaining participation and input from everyone, and ending the day with the group feeling that they had experienced something transformational both personally and as a team.

I put a significant amount of time into the planning process to make sure the activities I intended to use would meet the objectives. Armed with a basic outline and an ample supply of large poster paper, markers, images and words, I arrived the first morning of the offsite excited to see what would happen. The exercises were designed to spiral in and out of the creative process: spiral in to work through the details and spiral out to gain perspective on the whole. I was intentional in forming smaller working groups, then mixing up the groups so that everyone had the opportunity to work with everyone else. As the day progressed, everyone became increasingly comfortable. Indeed the exercises had created a space and structure for group collaboration.

Not everything went quite as planned, however. There were times when I could sense that the group was starting to get stuck. Trusting my intuition, I simply adjusted the activities a bit to keep the momentum going. At the end of the day, the group combined the elements of each of the exercises into a cohesive group mission statement. It was hard work, but satisfying. When it all came together, it was magic.

“We’ve got it!” exclaimed one group from across the room. Everyone stopped to listen as they read their mission statement.

The remainder of the team gathered around and, with a few minor wording adjustments, the final mission statement was perfect. The team cheered, whooped, hollered and clapped. You might have thought they won the big game! The final statement was penned nicely and everyone enthusiastically signed the document and posed for a picture in front of it. (Their idea, not mine!) I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Magic does happen and it is exactly for these moments that I do this work.

Magic can happen for you too, here are the elements:

  • Create a plan, but be flexible
  • Have more than enough techniques available as practiced craft so that you can respond directly to what arises in the moment
  • Learn to become comfortable with chaos
  • Trust the process
  • Draw input from everyone
  • Allow the group time to struggle through to a solution that everyone is excited about.

I received a thank you card from the group just yesterday signed with notes from everyone on the team. Some of the comments were: “Thanks for getting us to mission with all your patience and grace”, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had developing a mission statement, thank you!” And my personal favorite, “Thanks for the magic!” Magic indeed.

Blogs Parent Separator Katherine's Blog
Strategic Direction
Katherine Hunter

Katherine has completed three advanced degrees in human behavior including a doctorate in Transformational Psychology. She is passionate about transformation: transformation of business, company culture and individuals. Katherine believes that the success of an organization is directly proportional to the passion of the individuals to make a difference and works with clients to leverage teamwork and collaboration as key components of sustainable performance.

Home   |   Our Practice   |   EP Blogs
    Subscribe to our Newsletter


Contact US
For More Information!
(708) 220-7101