How does it work if you put 44 people in a bus and give them a tough schedule, so they barely have time to take a shower?
I got the most interesting opportunity to study group dynamics when I was talked into taking “the big tree trip” from Sweden to Seattle, down through Oregon and California ending in San Fransisco with foresters, forest owners, and farmers - and I am not a group traveler! I am much more the “backpacker type” who like the freedom to choose my path and timetable.
The first challenge was to present ourselves after a long day in Seattle visiting several sites and traveling south without time for lunch. We started our presentations at 6.30 pm, tired and hungry, and people handled it very differently. Some never stopped talking, eager to tell everybody as much as possible! Others were so nervous that they needed notes. And so there were those who self confidently presented themselves as it was the most natural thing in the world. And finally the most common type - they did what they were told to do and were eager to get it over with.
Now after 7 days together we are a group of people that I barely can imagine living without! We have not had a single conflict or disagreement during this week even though the schedule has been extremely tough with no room for private excursions.
The leaders have been focused on making sure that everyone gets as much as possible out of the trip, i.e., they have been goal oriented, positive and coaching but they have not left room for changes in their plan since they know what we need to do during these 12 days. They have done this trip many times and know! And we all accept it!
I will give both of them my book “Leadership & Wisdom - how to motivate yourself and others” since I like to show them my appreciation. They are doing a great job, but for a person with a growth mindset, there is always room for new ideas and tools.
The things I have experienced so far have exceeded all expectations - I was talked into this trip - and we have several days left with experiences that I know will exceed my expectations once again.
If you want to be positively surprised now and then you need to open your mind and welcome surprises!