Hey Team – What’s Cooking?

By Clyde C. Lowstuter

Last Sunday, the R|L staff andVia Classico Photo spouses cooked a five-course meal together.   Amongst the 20 of us, we were excited, but also a little apprehensive as to whether we were up to the challenge of replicating an upscale French restaurant experience.  With the expert guidance and encouragement of the team of talented chefs from Via Classico, our 10 subgroups successfully sliced, diced, trimmed, whisked, seasoned, and pounded the ingredients into sublime submission.

We had a wonderful time creating and consuming a sumptuous feast prepared by our own hands. I was delighted, though not surprised, that the shared experience felt very similar to some of the executive team building retreats we have designed and facilitated.  What we had at Via Classico was an event, not a team building, even though we all drew closer together.

I’d like to share how you might utilize a cooking school like Via Classico to align your leadership team even more so.  The ingredients of such a retreat might include:

  1. Identify your team’s TOWERING STRENGTHS, as well as its diversity of capabilities.
  2. Determine the ROADBLOCKS to success  (e.g. lack of trust, vulnerability, and open communication; lack of understanding and appreciation of diverse styles).
  3. Highlight the ACCELERANTS to success (e.g. alignment of core values and commitment to succeed).
  4. Create LEVERAGE regarding the benefits of operating in collaborative and cooperative manner.
  5. PAIR UP COLLEAGUES who may have had interpersonal challenges previously who now have to rely on each other and work collaboratively together as equals.
  6. Have everyone PREPARE THE MEAL and while eating and drinking fine wine; DEBRIEF the experience.
  • What did you learn about your partner that you might not have realized before?
  • What was most fun about this exercise?
  • How well did you communicate with your partner?
  • What interpersonal shifts did you make that enabled both of you to work effectively together?
  • What past roadblocks were you able to set aside and not be hindered by?
  • How much more effective do you feel you’ll be able to be in the future when you interact with your dinner partner?

We are big believers in “stirring the pot” and enhancing our clients’ capacity for personal breakthroughs.  Sign up with Via Classico in Glenview, IL or find your own venue.   Kathy O’Sullivan  (847-257-7043) is the head chef and manager of the cooking school.  She and her chefs are knowledgeable, amazingly supportive, and fun!

Good luck and Bon Appétit.

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