When I was in my 20’s, I was asked to work with another young woman to facilitate a youth retreat for young teenagers. Neither of us had done this before, so we really relied on each other to pull it off. We each had different strengths and we discovered how to learn as we went along. Talk about being thrown into the deep end!
The two of us devised an approach that worked brilliantly. After each session with the youth, we’d get together and each of us had one minute to say everything on our minds—just a complete brain dump. The other person just listened. And then we’d switch.
At first our sharing was pretty intellectual, as everything was going smoothly. Then we started to hit some bumps and those one-minute sessions became a necessary safety valve to voice all of our challenges, frustrations and fears. By having a short, focused time to express what we were experiencing, we were able to get it all out and then we could focus on solutions.
We faced situations that neither of us knew how to deal with and we didn’t have time for a lengthy discussion. But after our one-minute brain dumps, we were able to see the situation much more clearly and came up with solutions immediately. Then we’d go back to the group and address the situation, fully in-sync with each other. It was a very intense process of truth-seeking—we didn’t have time for anything else. And not every solution worked. Sometimes we had to come together again and change course. But every time, we came at it with an attitude of “What do we need to learn here?” And every time we found a solution by working together.