Red Room Workshops: Team-building and Perspective
With Red Room set to move into a brand-new space this Fall, a new chapter ensues. Core members of the Red Room family gathered together to participate in a two-part workshop dedicated to team-building, perspective, and the enhancement of cohesiveness among the Red Room team. Led by experiential learning practitioner and past Red-Roomer, Tai “Prosperus” Mesches, members got together on two separate occasions in early August to engage in not only stimulating and challenging activities, but also thought-provoking and reflective discussions illuminating team dynamics, behavioral patterns, and personal insight. Embracing these workshops with open hearts, each member shared and learned from one another in order to prepare for this upcoming stage of Red Room’s journey.
Red Room Workshop I
The first workshop focused on team-building and what it took for a team to be successful and effective. It started off by analyzing and deconstructing everyone’s individual ideas of what made up a great team and narrowed them down to a list of specific qualities and skills. Following that, the participants were asked to organize these specific competencies into a structure by using a pyramid template based off of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success methodology. Together they rearranged the building blocks based on their collective ideas of what builds up a successful and effective team. After verbalizing and mapping out these building blocks, the participants put them into practice through an experiential learning activity called Blind Rope, where as a team, had to work together to achieve a shared goal. A debriefing session/discussion followed afterwards, where participants drew parallels from the dynamics in the activity to their current situation in Red Room, shining light on individual and collective realities necessary for Red Room to move forward effectively together as a team. Aspirations, awareness, and unity all ensued as the Red Room family embraced as one, offering a diverse illustration of Red Room’s culture.
Red Room Workshop II
The second workshop aimed at the shifting of perspectives and awareness, stressing factors of power dynamics, control, and systems-thinking. The workshop warmed up with simple exercises emphasizing perspective; for example, welcoming various interpretations of a quote and moving fingers in a certain way forcing participants to see the different angles of how we perceive. Extracting these themes, the participants moved on to two more expansive activities that highlighted how we are connected, displaying cause-and-effect and the power of control. Drawing on Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, Tai facilitated the infamous “Columbian Hypnosis” exercise that displayed the structures of power in a system, generating an intriguing dialogue around the inner-workings of Red Room’s makeup. Concluding the workshop, the participants came together once again to synthesize what they had learned about themselves as a family by creating a final image representing Red Room.
Overall, the goal of bringing the Red Room family closer together for this next chapter seems to have been achieved. However, in truth, it is always hard to say when and where the participants’ learnings will display themselves. It could be tomorrow, it could be years from now. The point is, is that our Red Room family decided to deepen their own understanding by engaging and learning from one another so that Taipei can continue to have a sanctuary where diversity is celebrated, welcomed, and most importantly, loved.