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Probably the best way to bond with someone is to experience something new with them. That ‘first-time’ sensation is a life-long impact that trumps all other experiences. It’s memorable, and the person (or people) that you share that experience with will always be remembered and hold a special place in your heart.

Thanks to my practice I’ve had the opportunity to create such memorable ‘first-time’ experiences for some of my clients. The Leadership Outbreak Journeys have enabled them to connect at a level they couldn’t possibly imagine before. It’s about forging personal bonds while collaborating as a team and taking that new found relationship to the workplace with enhanced vigor and focused unity.

The Elements You Need

When you’re actively pursuing a ‘first-time’ experience you need to be consciously aware that the relationship you have with the people who accompany you at the start of the journey won’t be the same at its end. You will change. Your colleagues will change. Your mindsets will be altered and your perceptions of each other will be different. It’s a journey that’ll allow you to see another side of your colleagues – a side you most definitely don’t see at the office.

And to achieve this you’ll need to ensure your journey consists of these four elements:

  1. Step out of your comfort zones
  2. Create experiences together
  3. Have conversations that matter
  4. Embrace first time experiences

The success of this ‘first-time’ experience journey lies in the combination of these four elements that can transform the team into a tight unit.

First Time Experience Is Central

The idea of all such outbreaks and activities centers around one main theme – a first time experience. It forces people to do new things (things they’ve never done before), embark on transformational journeys and (quite importantly) confront their fears. As a leader, you get into the habit of masking your fears with confidence and resolve. Seeing you as a rock is great for your team and direct reports, however, for your peers it’s quite different.

During first time experiences when you drop your guard and share your fears, you allow people to be closer to you. To see you in a different light. To see an alternate version of you. A version that’s truer than the persona you normally put on at work. Confronting your fears is precisely the moment when you allow people in. That’s the moment when they see you as someone who’s as human as themselves. It’s beautiful and powerful altogether.

The bond you form in this moment of your first time experience is one that’ll be hardest to break. Its positive impact will be something you’ll experience when you get back to work, for years.

I’ve seen the positive impacts of first time experiences on many Leadership Outbreaks and every time I’m left amazed and driven. I’ve seen people who generally had issues seeing eye to eye being accommodating and willing to listen. There’s redefined respect for one another that’s key to a strong and successful leadership team.