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As a human resources team, we decided to bond over Art Jamming. The place was organized and we were looking forward to creating our “masterpieces” on a Friday evening in Singapore. We reached the place- nice and fancy with splashes of colours everywhere. When we about to settle down, our facilitator-Renae threw a twister. She gave us pictures and two of us had to paint 2 pieces of 1 full picture. So we sat down and started working on it. It was good and the mood was upbeat. Suddenly, Renae got up and announced that we have to move to other paintings and complete it and our painting was taken over by someone else. Imagine the resistance, as we were getting attached to our piece of work already. We had no choice, so we moved on and this happened 3 more times. It seems quite straight- forward, by the emotions were not. Bonding was great as we paired with different team members and there was a lot of fun and laughter but there were also plenty of lessons, which we learned as a team.

My take-away from this exercise was the following:

  1. When we start a new project, we get attached as we see it as our “baby”. When we have to leave it in the hands of someone else, we will always be critical of them.
  2. When we inherit someone else’s project, we tend to do the same- criticize the earlier painter or project owner and think that we are the saviour and will make everything right.
  3. We tend to focus on our part and sometimes forget that success will be recorded when all of us do well, together.
  4. When we paired up as a two-person team, it was important that we are in sync, otherwise, the final product was not great.
  5.  In the team when someone did not follow the “rules” and did not explain the story behind their painting, the next person who inherited was completely clueless and either complained endlessly or did what he or she thought was suitable. This did lead to some consequences ( hilarious during art jamming), which could be detrimental to the organization.
  6.  When someone was lagging in finishing, we all chipped in to complete it as the closing time was approaching. Real teamwork helped to finish the paintings in the end.

The above really made sense, as we do see it in corporate life. Most of the conflicts arise because we are unaware of our own emotions during those circumstances.The key is to be aware of these emotions and try to overcome them. Easier said than done, but worth a try.

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