Attended Environmental Leadership Program at a beautiful scenic location near Philadelphia with fellow environmental professionals across various sectors. There was lots of learning with deeply impactful conversation.
“There are no environmental programs. There are massive social programs with huge environmental impacts”
paraphrased quote by Dr. David Suzuki
Prior to the retreat a Peer Assessment survey was provided to all participants requesting colleagues to answer in an honest & anonymous manner discussing strengths and weaknesses. The survey summary was refreshing to read and offers opportunities for growth and expansion to enable success for WeRadiate to reach mutual hopes and goals.
The retreat was held in a peaceful environment free from distraction of office and personal duties. This allowed all members to participate with full presence, focus, and concentration. The workshops and facilitators were incredible – giving their full effort and dedication to each session to ensure maximum learning while also being flexible to dive into topics based upon our interest as a group.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion were dominate themes. These themes are deeply impactful because they present themselves across our daily activities in terms of organizational structure, communication and how we interact with colleagues at the personal & professional levels. Takeaway discussions include:
- Reducing barriers for participation
- Promoting access across our environmental fields
Active Listening was a powerful session to recognize how we connect and share information. In doing so, asking open-ended questions (such as How, Why, What) are more dynamic for continuing conversation in comparison to Yes/No. When in conversation, a distinction creeps in between Active Listening vs. Problem Solve. It’s more important to stay present and use two ears then engage with one mouth.
On our last day, we were placed into our PODs (4 person groups) which support growth towards our ELP Leadership Plan. This plan is a culmination of personal and professional priorities (readily modifiable document) that can assist and support progress over 5 – 20 year time period. There are various sections to this plan: Personal Statement, Gifts & Strengths, Constituency & Diversity. The POD assists in generating growth and feedback through phone check-ins and electronic communication.
This was a wonderful initial retreat. The journey is long but recognizing that our everyDAY steady growth and progress allows celebration and success to happen.