Out of the Raft

A client of mine was recently on a whitewater rafting trip. The day started with a 90 minute bus ride to the point on the river where they would put the boats in. It also started without mobile devices since they were collected by the guide staff to be returned at the end of the float. It was shaping up to be a very quiet, very boring hour and a half.

That is, until a guide told the group that they were going to use the ride to get to know one another. Each person was invited to tell the group:

  1. their name
  2. where they are from
  3. and an embarrassing story

But this wasn’t just a fun (and funny) way to pass the time. It had a very specific purpose. According to the guides, you’re more likely to pull someone to safety if you know their story.

That is, the more we know people the more we are likely to help them. On the river, in the office, on the field, in the meeting, people “fall in” all the time. And when they do…when you do… it’s good to know someone will extend a hand to get you back on the boat.

Think about your teammates: who know’s your story? Whose stories do you know?

{Hat tip to Marc Letzmann}


DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.

 

 

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