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  • helenjbutler

Way out

We were lying under a sheet in a shack so humid that water was running down the walls. I hadn’t dared to open my rucksack for fear of unknown bugs getting in, so I lay in my damp clothes. I shut my eyes tightly and tried to sleep but all I could hear and feel was the gentle thud of large insects dropping off the ceiling and onto the sheet above me. It was then that I realized I needed to be violently sick.

This night happened when I travelled through Sri Lanka some years ago. I tell it to people surprisingly often, considering it was quite a long time ago. But what is most surprising about it is the fact that as horrific as this night turned out to be (I won’t go into detail here, but I was very, very ill in a place with VERY limited facilities), it’s one of my fondest memories and shaped my life in far reaching ways that I could never have predicted.

All the people in my group were very, very ill that night, apart from one. And that night (and the subsequent days) pulled us together and made that trip something legendary.

And that’s your opportunity right there.

If you’re going through a shocking time at work or at home right now, don’t push people away, use it as a chance to pull the team around you together. Think back to all the deep bonds you’ve ever formed and the major achievements of your life and I’ll bet that pretty much all of them were hard won and involved some really difficult times before it all came good.

If your workplace has undergone rapid and far-reaching change, then use that as a vehicle to pull your fellow sufferers close, and establish a deep bond of understanding and shared purpose to make it work. Cover each others’ backs. Behave like a real team, where you all step up and take responsibility together. Where you bring out the best in each other and problem solve together. I promise you, it will transform things for everyone.

And if your team needs a little support right now to get to that place, please have a look at my website. I have just the strategies to help you get there.

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