We Retreat, and Renewed, We Move Forward

August 24, 2016

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CNE had the great fortune to meet at our Executive Director, Cristine Nardi’s, beautiful farmhouse in Nelson County for our staff retreat.

Flanked by rolling hills, wildflower meadows, rambling trees, and a couple of red barns, her airy well-lit home was the ideal setting for unwinding while building connection.

Five out of eight CNE staff members are new, having started work with the organization in the spring. The focus of the retreat was team-building; we emerged with a deeper understanding of each other’s talents and trials. This awareness grows each day that we come together, as we seek ways to invest in individual passions and preferences, while crafting creative solutions to ease areas of discomfort.

We began our retreat with a study and comparison of our fascinating Emergenetics profiles. This analysis delves into how we each think and behave by measuring behavior and thinking attributes that every person exhibits.

A window into each other’s true potential, the process invites us to be better, more compassionate, more productive collaborators.

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Today, organizations the world over are driving results simply by having a deeper understanding of each individual that makes up the team, putting in place a common language that cuts through the differences, and creating a climate that celebrates the individual and bonds the collective.  
How Emergenetics Can Help

What finer way to launch into a fresh understanding of each other than with a celebratory meal?

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We gathered together in the dappled light of Cristine’s porch and enjoyed a chatty and colorful potluck of greens, beans, grains, fruits, dips, and desserts. CNE staff has a known love of  food: savoring, discussing, and sharing it!

Following our meal we talked about the book Drive, by Daniel Pink, CNE staff’s shared Big Big Read for the summer. We circled around and identified ways to incorporate some of his key points—autonomy, flow, mastery, and motivation—into our own workdays.

We also shared titles of other books that have impacted our lives, and why, continuing the quest to know each other better.

And then we made art!

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Without much context, we chose from a large spread of personal objects, cut-outs, stickers, multi-media bits, and markers, formulating large 3-D assemblages illustrating our goals and values—in work, in life.

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There was laughter, honesty, and lots of creativity. Key terminology emerged—humor, innovation, spark, mentoring, self-care, flexibility, solitude, partnership, community, food, family, love—and we are continuing to mold the language into a representative summary of our core values.

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Well fed, relaxed, nurtured, and positive, we parted on Friday afternoon knowing each other so much better.

And as our team re-grouped on Monday, there was a fresh ease, an added trust, and an increased sense of respect. We returned to our desks with a renewed sense of excellence about each other, our work, and the powerful community we serve.

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Zoe Krylova, Communications Coordinator

P.S.
Did I mention that one of the items in the retreat potluck was Alessandra’s Vegan & Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies? To die for. . .

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