Sessions scheduled into monthly executive meetings designed to foster stronger team dynamics, clearer decision-making and more effective leadership.
For nearly two years, the executive team of a manufacturing company has integrated a Reflection Point session into each of their monthly meetings. Facilitated by faculty members from local colleges and universities, the group continues to read and discuss short stories.
- John Updike, Trust Me (selections)
- Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge (selections)
- Raymond Carver, “A Small, Good Thing”
- Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth
- Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Interpreter of Maladies”
- Gabriel Garcia Márquez, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
- Aimee Bender, “The Color Master”
- Gish Jen, “Who’s Irish?”
- Edwidge Danticat, “The Bridal Seamstress”
Program Outcomes and Participant Reflections
In interviews, participants reflected on the way Reflection Point:
Fostered a sense of connection and community among participants.
“You share things about your own life, and share things about your own background, ways that you connected or didn’t connect with the story, that helps you better understand that peer, that person you work with every day, and wouldn’t have gotten to know in that way before.”
“I think it does draw you to the point where you can actually have different conversations, and you’re not afraid to go and knock on the door.”
Encouraged respect, trust and openness.
“It’s not so scary to be vulnerable and open up. It’s a very safe environment. We all feel very comfortable with each other.”
“I learned how to open up myself, to let other people know how I think, how I feel. I now tend to have more patience to learn how other people feel.”
Created pathways for exploring sensitive ideas with compassion.
“To start our staff meeting talking about these noble things, and the real stuff of life, suddenly it puts the next two days of staff meetings in a different perspective. I think there’s an extra measure of compassion, understanding and thought that comes to the rest of those days.”
“We really do touch on some very sensitive things at times—racial issues, religious issues—and they’re brought up in a way that we can have this open discussion in a safe environment.”
Improved participants’ ability to express differences of opinion.
“You do speak up and you find it easier to challenge someone’s opinion. So far, that has helped us.”
“Afterward we had a challenging situation where we didn’t agree on a complex manager role, and we were actually laughing. We said very openly, I disagree with you. There was not a sense of ‘I’m about to fight somebody.’”
Helped participants reflect on their roles as leaders.
“I think many of us left there that day really feeling the weight of leadership, and how serious that is, and how, even though it’s incredibly difficult and uncomfortable, to speak authentically and candidly as a leader. There have been many of those moments.”
“It helped me as a leader. I have to understand the people, understand people come from different background experiences. They have their own thoughts."
“The sessions help you better understand that peer, that person you work with every day, in a way wouldn’t have before.”