Updated: May 30
Over the years, I've engaged in countless team-building exercises and icebreakers that ask me to reflect on my childhood. I used to sit with the discomfort of having to reflect back on my childhood neglect, struggles to identify mentors, and cringe as people would take turn after turn sharing knowing my turn was soon approaching.
Sometimes I would embellish a story, and then try to suppress the painful memories of the parts I didn't share. *At some point in stopped embellishing and began graciously opting out when I could, or modifying the rules to highlight something I felt comfortable sharing. *The more I stepped into the power of choice, the more I was left to feel ostracized, and would hear on occasions talk of how I wasn't a "team player."
"The team" in that instance was never really mine to play on, because if it had, the team would recognize the diverse lived experiences that sat at the table playing the game. *I share this story as a point of reflection as we continue to increase our ability to lean further into inclusivity. *Team Building and icebreakers are fun, and serve several purposes. It can also act as a tool to allow for greater inclusionary practices to take root.
I share this as a point of illustration that those like myself...who have experienced high levels of neglect as a child, who may not have experienced stability, or parent child connections...still sit at tables in a multitude positions, and WE are team player, WE just need to team to open up and provide opportunities for us ALL to play.
Thank you for reading!