Here’s a little story I got to tell about several years ago when I was in hell. We had to do team building as you will read; it was my colleagues, bad leadership and me, Mx. D.
The team building was held at an athletic facility. I felt out of place. I was already an outlier. I knew I had to take the small moments I could to show I was capable of group participation.
One activity included aiding your group members through a chessboard type course. The key: non-verbal communication. The trap: paying attention.
It was all about watching the patterns. Depending on where you were in line, you might have seen the moves others made that were correct and incorrect. Step on the wrong square and go to the back of the line. Once it was my turn I just followed the squares like Michael Jackson in the Billy Jean music video where the tiles light up. Interestingly enough, this is what the director said about incorporating the signature pathway: The budget for the video [was] $50,000…didn’t allow for all the floor tiles on set to light up as planned, and Barron had to apologetically point out to Jackson which tiles to walk and dance on, an inconvenience that Jackson took — quite literally — in his stride.
I walked my way to the end and received a resoundingly silent thumbs up. Okay, do I remember how I got here? Yes. And with my best sign language I guided the next colleague through. After that, everyone else just had to follow the same path. If they were paying attention.