I sat in on a meeting at work yesterday (actually I was forced to) so that I could take minutes for the meeting (I have since been roped into the committee). The company that I work for has this team building ‘thing’ that they do, call ‘The Journey’. I have never been to any of these meetings, and these meetings are based on 12 ‘cards’, basically conversation starters, thus the cards are labelled conversation 1, 2 etc.
What I have been told, is that The Journey is an opportunity for everyone to get to know their colleagues and peers, and it allows insight as to why a colleague (for eg) might act the way that they do. People share stories about their lives, their past and just themselves.
I have a problem with this.
I do not like communicating verbally as I’ve mentioned before; I way prefer writing down my thoughts etc. When I asked in the meeting yesterday, if one was forced to share their past etc, I was told that if I don’t share part of myself, then I am not a part of the team. That I DON’T WANT to be a part of the team. I was shocked quite honestly. This is a work environment; why must I feel forced to share bits and pieces about my life to people that are ultimately strangers? I had issues talking to a shrink; now I must talk to my colleagues? I was then told that these sessions become very emotional, and that there’s loads of crying and that people share both the good and bad parts of their lives, from marriages to abuse etc. Well, good for them.
I wrote a post a while back about my history (not going into much detail) so a lot of you know what I’ve been through, but I am not comfortable speaking out loud about what happened. And why in the hell should I be forced to?! I’m very torn about this, because the last thing I want to be seen as, is a loner who doesn’t want to work in a team. I am in this company to build a career, to find stability. I just don’t want this to affect my journey through this company.
This year, The Journey is continuing from conversation 6, so I have to do a bridging session for conversations 1-5. There are a few other people that also haven’t done them, so hopefully it’ll be a small group. But I am already mortified at the thought of sitting down in front of all of my colleagues, my BOSS and airing my past. It doesn’t sit well with me at all. How will people look at me afterwards? Will they judge me? How will it affect my chances of moving up within the company?
I thought no meant no.