When Janet from P&G reached out after seeing us on the news several months back, she asked if we would be interested in fusing our craft into a larger team building day for a senior women’s group of human resources professionals from across the globe that had come to town for a conference. We jumped at the opportunity, and quickly began brainstorming how we could add more than just a craft to the experience.
Janet and the rest of the planning committee for this event were the definition of “on it.” They were excellent communicators that created an outstanding day of programming for the women in their group, and their passion was contagious. Together, we designed an amazing program that we hope to implement and improve upon with lots of other corporate women’s groups in the future.
What Shapes You?
The theme of the event was “What Shapes You”, and Janet asked if Kelsey and I would tell our story before we instructed the craft. It turns out that that little prompt would design our entire program.
As we reflected on what has shaped us, we realized that it was each other. It was the countless women that we have worked with before we ever met that lifted us up on those impossible, never-ending days that nothing is going right.
We thought back to who women who were our champions, and our givers of tough love, and our confidants throughout our professional paths, and we knew that they had been what shaped us to be able to go out on our own.
We wanted to give the senior women’s group the same chance to reflect on the strong females who had mentored them, coached them, and encouraged them in their careers. So before we crafted, we did an exercise:
We asked each woman to remember the person who helped them to become who they are today. We asked them to reflect on that person’s characteristics and attributes, and to recall instances that this person made a difference in their professional lives. We asked them to write these characteristics and memories down, and to share them with the women that they sat near.
The conversations were easy and free-flowing. Unsurprisingly, these women had no problem recalling a strong female that had acted as their professional champion. Seeing this group of strong, successful, and diverse women come together excitedly to talk about this incredible topic was so powerful for us. It was hard to bring the conversations to a close, but in true Gild fashion, we knew that it was time to turn that energy into creativity:
We asked each woman to examine the list she had written with those amazing attributes of someone who had made such a difference in her life. We asked, “How can you embody these traits for someone else? How can you be the person who makes this type of positive impact on a woman in your organization? Who is the person you would like to be these things for?”
Once everyone had a woman in mind, we began our craft. Every woman at the event made two Morse Code Necklaces: one to keep for herself, and one to give with an encouraging, uplifting encoded message to a woman they want to see succeed.
We want to encourage these women and all of the women we work with in a professional setting in the future to build positive mentoring relationships, and to pay the support that they have received in their career forward.
The concept of this reflection activity was simple, but made a huge impact- not only on the women in the Senior Women’s Group, but on Kelsey and I as well. We found the perfect marriage between building creativity and building confidence, and we can’t wait to keep spreading this message. We’ve already recreated (and improved) this event with an amazing group of women at Emnos in Chicago, and can’t stop telling everyone we know about it!
Interested in infusing creativity into your next corporate event? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.