HOLISTIC TEAM BUILDING
Increasing the level of cohesion in groups improves performance, quality of work, and quality of life. Individuals and groups learn to be led by an intelligence far greater than any of their members.
- Sperry Andrews, the Human Connection Institute
The word "holistic" comes from the greek "holos", meaning "all, whole, entire". Holistic Team Building enables members of a team to perceive themselves and to function as a collective entity, rather than the random juxtaposition of separate individual units. Which doesn't mean it negates their individuality; on the contrary, it enhances it.
It teaches them how to access a state of awareness where they operate as a global mind/heart. That state is well known by athlets who practice their sport in teams; they refer to it as "being in the zone", or "being in the flow". It can also be called group consciousness. Musicians in a symphony orchestra, for instance, are also familiar with that experience. When they access that state, people are in a mode of increased alignment with themelves and one another, which allows them to perfom with much higher efficiency.
Holistic Team Building opens a space for authentic communication, where individuals with different styles and points of view are able to understand one another by accessing a broader perspective. From this broader perspective, authentic communication is not expressed by just “what” we say, but where we say it “from.” This “from” is the synergy of group consciousness.
Far from being airy-fairy, these concepts and experiences have solid foundations in neuroscience, quantum physics and transpersonal psychology. Carl Gustav Jung, for instance, one of the fathers of modern psychology, can certainly be credited with pioneering work in this respect for his concept of "collective unconscious".
The benefits of this innovative approach are too numerous to be enunciated here in a comprehensive way, but we can certainly mention the following:
* interpersonal relationships improve quickly and significantly
* consensual, effective decision-making becomes much easier, allowing organizations to by-pass hours of meeting time
* creative problem-solving skills develop
* collaborative activity gets smoother, more efficient
* negotiations gain in fluidity, as mutual understanding grows, along with a desire to reach mutually beneficial, balanced agreements
* team members experience a sense of enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfillment at work
* all of the above results in increased productivity, reduced absenteism, prolonged staff retention