Copy
"You're not a team because you work together. You're a team because you respect, trust and care for each other." Vala Afshar
    
-inside this email- 
 

Inside Look: A Team Above All, Above All a Team

"The folks who truly embrace these practices return from their time in Brazil having been transformed. They appreciate the deep connections they develop, both with the Brazilian students and their teammates."

 

 "I’m a little bit nervous about going to a place I’ve never been before, but the excitement for going to Brazil is far greater than my fear. Interacting with and helping these students learn a new language is an amazing thing to be able to do."


 


Stories of Connection: 2016 Fellows 3-Day Workshop

Fellows from Northwestern Michigan College, Flathead Valley Community College and Kirkwood Community College convened in Denver this month to participate in a 3-day workshop preparing them for a successful three-week trip in Brazil.

 


Impact in Action: Becoming the Leaders of Tomorrow

Former Fellow Noe Gonzalez delivers a powerful speech at the Miami Dade College commencement ceremony. 

A Team Above All, Above All A Team

By JULIA MUNSON, US-BRAZIL CONNECT HEALTHY TEAMS CONSULTANT

    


You’re not a team because you work together. You’re a team because you respect, trust and care for each other.”  Vala Afshar
 
 When our son Zach was growing up, like many boys his age he loved sports! He tried all of them - soccer, baseball, football, swim team, basketball and hockey. Zach was eight years old when he tried baseball. His closest friends Tim and Alex were playing, and Tim’s dad Mark was one of the coaches, so this sounded like something that would be fun. Within a couple of weeks, Zach hated it! The games were long - sometimes up to three hours - and especially when he was placed in the outfield, Zach was bored out of his mind. It was hot and at the skill level of eight-year-olds, there were long stretches with little to no action. As a parent in the bleachers, I hated it, too! I was just as hot and bored as Zach. So it was tempting to give in when he asked to quit. His dad and I talked about it and decided he needed to see it through. I still remember the grumpy look on his face when we told him our decision. “You’re part of a team, Zach; this isn’t just about you.”
 
You may assume that by the time someone reaches adulthood and signs up for something like a fellowship at US Brazil-Connect, people would have integrated the lesson, “It’s not all about you.” However, our experience has taught us that age does not always translate to maturity and that under stress we all are prone to self-preservation.
 
During the rigorous 12-week training that Fellows go through, they devote 25% of their time to what we refer to as our Healthy Teams curriculum. This training consists of learning a set of practices that are designed to enhance connection and collaboration rather than competition and criticism. We reinforce practices that build healthy relationships, both with our Brazilian partners and with each other. Such practices include:
 
Being Creative Partners vs Consumers
This is the mindset that says “I’m here to contribute and creatively collaborate with others when challenges arise.”
 
Appreciation vs Criticism
This practice involves being intentional about generating a flow of positive energy with my team and with my students. We’ve had teams get very creative with how they express appreciation - by leaving little notes for each other… by making sure to recognize people at team meetings, etc. We recommend teams strive for a ratio of 5:1 - 5 appreciations for every 1 criticism that is expressed.
 
Responsibility vs Drama
This practice involves learning to act from a position of 100% responsibility. Anything outside of 100% means I’m functioning from something called the Drama Triangle, where I’m the Victim, Villain or Hero. We spend time teaching our teammates what these positions look and feel like, so that they will be able to accurately locate themselves and then shift back into a position of responsibility.

The folks who truly embody these practices return from their time in Brazil having been transformed. They appreciate the deep connections they develop, both with the Brazilian students and with their teammates. Even more than that, participants often tell us that one of their greatest takeaways from the program has to do with all that they learned in these areas of relationship skills, and how excited they are to see the fruits of this work in all of their relationships.



ABOUT JULIA MUNSON:
Working with over 500 US-Brazil Connect Fellows and Leaders, Julia Munson, LCSW, has helped to turn the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship into a journey of conscious leadership formation. She helps ensure our teams stay in a zone of collaborating and connecting as team members, taking on life-changing, maturing experiences. With over 30 years of experience, Julia provides training and consultation to organizations and non-profits and has deep expertise in creating conscious relationship skills and building conscious communities. 

With fewer than two weeks until our first US-Brazil Connect team hits the ground in Brazil, Fellows and Team Leaders continue to connect and build meaningful relationships with our Brazilian partners and students. As the in-person phase of the program, Phase II, draws near, everyone’s excitement continues to grow. Beyond excitement, many are feeling a mix of anticipation and nervousness. Noah McDuffie, a Fellow from Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) in Kalispell, Montana, shared his feelings leading up to Phase II. “I’ll admit that I’m a little bit nervous about going to a place I’ve never been before, but the excitement for going to Brazil is far greater than my fear. Interacting and helping these students learn a new language is an amazing thing to be able to do. I look forward to making connections that will last a lifetime. Not only will I be helping them, but they’ll be helping me too. I think that this experience will help me become a better leader. Also it will make my worldview broader, and in turn make me a better, stronger Individual.” McDuffie and the FVCC team will travel to Macapá, Amapá to begin Phase II on July 4, 2016. Similar to FVCC, our Kirkwood Community College team will begin Phase II on July 4, 2016. Our Northwestern Michigan College team will be our first team to start Phase II, as their opening ceremony in Cacoal, Rondônia will be on June 27, 2016.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see photos and videos of our teams
in Brazil this summer. 


 
 

2016 Fellows 3-Day Workshop

 

Fellows and Leaders from our three teams convened in Denver to participate in a 3-day workshop. The workshop was designed to prepare the teams for a successful three-week trip to Brazil. 

During the workshop, Fellows engaged in activities designed to: strengthen Fellows' understanding of how they are contributing to the goals and mission of US-Brazil Connect, the Brazilian Confederation of Industry, and Conexão Mundo; establish a foundation for a healthy team dynamic;  and to prepare to coach Brazilian students in person. 

US-Brazil Connect home office team members: Bri Erger, Mary Gershwin, Rachel Lyons, and Julia Munson, along with alumni: Michael Guzman, Paul Bindel, Brenton Weyi, Ami Jones, Niko Kirby, Susan Gershwin, Angela Espinosa, and Kerri-Ann Appleton were in attendance to inspire and support participants.


"I feel like I got exactly what I needed from this workshop and it was so incredible to spend that time with my team and others. Everyone involved did a fabulous job setting up engaging and energizing activities along with crucial information we need for success." - Olivia Fleet, Northwestern Michigan College Fellow



Former Fellows from across the United States continue to demonstrate global leader skills and inspire others to make a difference in the world. 

US-Brazil Connect alumnus Noe Gonzalez delivered an incredibly powerful speech at the Miami Dade College commencement ceremony.

"Embrace adversity, because in the midst of the challenges and obstacles that life throws us, we learn and grow into the leaders of tomorrow."


Copyright © 2016 US-Brazil Connect, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list