The Co-operators General Insurance Company
These are some but not all of the supervisors in the claims department who took part in a Community building program in 2019. During our time together, I talked about the frameworks of community building, facilitated an experience of community building and showed them how to build community with their teams.
This group of supervisors from across Canada worked with me via ZOOM online video conferencing for eighteen sessions of ninety minutes each. I’m grateful to them as I learned as much working with them as they learned from me.
Here are testimonials, comments from the feedback forms, and (coming soon) a link to the results of the “before” and “after” surveys.
“This year our Team was given the unique opportunity to embark on a journey to building community. Building Community involves having real authentic and candid conversations, and genuinely sharing thoughts and feelings with one another. Lori did an amazing job at facilitating the sessions. The Community Building Experience has been an emotional experience and I believe it has directly enhanced my work and personal relationships.”
Manon Larochelle, FCIP, The Co-operators
“I found the sessions interesting, challenging, emotional and inspiring. Learning by sharing helped our team get to know each other on a deeper level and gain perspective. Lori made it fun for our team and created an environment of trust that encouraged conversation. She is passionate about community and wants to share the benefits and feeling with all.”
Kate Rodgers, CIP, Reporting Centre Supervisor, COSECO Insurance
“Lori did an amazing job leading our group in Community Building Sessions. She encouraged and promoted honesty & vulnerability which allowed us to grow as a team. I truly enjoyed my time spent with Lori and would encourage the use of her services. Time very well spent!”
Kate Esson, CIP,BA, Claims Supervisor, East Coast Response Centre, The Co-operators
“I thoroughly enjoyed Lori’s Community building program, I was surprised by how much, many of us opened up, and by our willingness to expose our vulnerabilities.
“We are a closer knit and more collaborative group than before the program and the quality of our relationships have deepened.
Lori did a great job of guiding us through the process and we all learned a great deal about ourselves through reflection and challenging each others preconceived notions and ideas. The move from pseudo community to chaos was exciting for me and really ‘woke me up’.
“Lori’s program helped to crystalize and better define some of those underdeveloped latent understandings I had.
“The discussions on the value of authenticity reinforced my own convictions and I feel I’m more successful being my authentic self now.
“Thank you Lori. “
Simon Carter CIP, Claims Supervisor, The Co-operators
“While I wasn’t part of the initial conversations had to bring this great opportunity to our leader teams I was very grateful that it happened and thrilled that I got to be a part of this wonderful experience!! I really had no idea what to expect but I was eager to join and do the work necessary to build our community.
“Before going through this process, I assumed that building community was only something that you did when you lived and participated in your local community. I had no idea that it could be so much more or that it could happen in a work environment. By following the 7 pillars of community building we were able to strengthen our relationships, sharing our experiences and opening up on a much deeper level, which was truly inspiring! Lori’s leadership to help us achieve this was also commendable. Her passion for community building is easily demonstrated in her work and in her teachings.
“The program requires hard work and dedication and there were many ups and downs throughtout the whole process (which is actually required to build true community!) However, we also had a lot of fun and laughs along the way and learned how to trust and be vulnerable to one another. In the end I left feeling like we had developed a good group of solid community members which we can now rely upon whenever needed. I would recommend this process to anyone looking to understand the real benefits of true community building and Lori is certainly the right person to make it happen.
Thank you Lori!”
Aimee Chapman, Claims Supervisor, The Co-operators
From the Feedback Forms
Question: What was the intangible value of Lori’s services?
- Enhanced connections between other members of the group that were involved
- We established a core group of community members that I felt supported by and felt that I could trust.
- I have personally enjoyed the trusting relationships I have developed with the group and believe this experience is valuable to any team or group. I have really enjoyed this experience.
- Lori has provided a new perspective of community building to our organization. As a group, we have a better understanding of our potential.
- Lori’s sessions took us on a journey of discovering what community can bring to a group. Understanding the difference from teamwork was a valuable distinction for me. Building community involves making a choice to engage in authentic conversations and relationships with a group of people. I have personally enjoyed the trusting relationships I have developed with the group and believe this experience is valuable to any team or group. I have really enjoyed this experience.
- The ability to really explain what community was to our group and also to actually get people to open up who were afraid to in the beginning (or middle for some.) I was very happy with how/where we landed in the end and felt that we established a core group of community members that I felt supported by and felt that I could trust. Without Lori’s presence that wouldn’t have happened.
- Her understanding of what community entails and ability to make us understand the difference between community and team building.
- Finding a level of comfort in being uncomfortable.
- Patience and persistence.
Question: Why should someone engage Lori to work with their group?
- If they seek more cohesion and a more collaborative culture
- To help build community -have teams build relationships on a deeper level, increase trust
- To build/improve relationships
- There’s a lot of emphasis in the corporate world on numbers and results. Lori’s program allows for a new way to reach those targets by strengthening the team from within.
- You can easily see her passion for building community and she’s able to explain things in terms that are easily understood without getting into too many details. A lot like her book, once I got the chance to read through most of it. I feel that her process and the effort she put into these sessions really helped our team grow into community. I enjoyed her tough reflective questions and funny stories. I’m really happy to have met her and sad that I won’t get to see her as often.
- I think this type of session could be valuable to any group. Groups struggling with poor engagement could benefit from finding a new way to communicate and build trust. Groups who are engaged could benefit from making their group stronger. Overall this type of session can build engagement which in turn can increase productivity.
- Lori was very knowledgeable about the topics we discussed as well as the community theme. She is thoughtful and had great insight to share with the groups. I enjoyed that she challenged us and pushed boundaries. I’d highly recommend these sessions.
- To gain a better understanding of what community is. So often as business leaders we think of community as working well together and understanding strengths. I have learned that, while this will certainly help achieve business goals, there is a different approach and strength which comes through community. It’s personal.
- Knowledge and leadership.
Question: What skill(s) did you feel you now have as a result of attending the program?
- Interpersonal skills; Better listening, deeper consideration for the opinions of others
- Deepened the ability to start meaningful conversations
- To intro and discuss community bldg. with my team
- I’m more comfortable managing the “chaos” we may encounter.
- I listen better now, willing to hear out others whose opinions differ more from mine. I’m more thoughtful in my communication style. Not guarded but at reading my audience and playing to their styles. I enjoyed facilitating a session, although I do facilitate frequently in my current role.
- Understanding of the difference between community building and team building and how to integrate community building into a team if participants voluntarily want to participate.
- Listening, communication, dependability, vulnerability (I do believe this is a skill), authenticity.
- Greater communication for myself and my team.
Question: What is your biggest take-away?
- True community has real value, as does the journey toward it
- Looking at the opportunity to apply the conversations in other areas of my life- family and my own team
- A strategy for relationship bldg. with/for my team
- People are complex. Getting to know each other past the surface serves to make us each better teammates and human beings.
- That it’s ok to open up and trust in others and be vulnerable. It’s not a weakness and everyone is there to support you.
- Community building takes time and commitment
- That we can influence the way our teams work together at a deeper level. Community is NOT about identifying strengths or coming together to achieve a goal.
Below: Our last session – and Christmas party! I’m going to miss these people.”