Time for Some Team Manager TLC

Submitted by: Melinda Sines, Retired Team Manager, Rindge, NH


Whew! You survived the first weeks of Destination ImagiNation meetings. Lots of energy has been expended helping the kids on their way to becoming a team and getting them started on their Challenge solution. Then you added holiday celebrations and family gatherings to the hustle and bustle of your life. The holidays are over. Maybe you found the time to pack up all the decorations and put them away until next year. You look at the calendar and realize DI Tournament Day is looming in the not so distant future. The team members are getting more anxious about being ready to present their challenge solution. They want to schedule more and more time to work together. Or maybe they do not recognize how much they have to get done and are just enjoying each other’s company during the meetings. Hmmm…How to discuss the topics of To Do Lists and Time Management without initiating a team panic?


Stress, stress and more stress…


Wait! Take a breath and take a BREAK!

Yes, give yourself permission to take a day off from all things related to Destination Imagination. You have earned it, and you NEED it! Spend the day in your comfy pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Read the book you have been looking forward to. Find an indoor facility and hit a bucket of golf balls or go swing a bat. Play tennis. Swim some laps. Get a mani and a pedi. (Guys, do the equivalent). Take a nap. Finish a cup of coffee—while it’s still hot! The point is, you have been giving of yourself and your time for several weeks. It’s okay to do something for you!


Before you get to the end of your rope, take a break from DI. Send the team home declaring a family day (or two) for all. Then do something for yourself to rejuvenate your stores of energy, revive your supply of patience, and renew your sense of humor. All three are very important tools in the team manager’s tool box. You and your team will be all the better for it. Everyone needs to take a break so the experience does not become a chore. DI is a journey and a process. Be sure to enjoy the time you have with the kids and their antics. Take the time to appreciate who they are and what they are learning through the DI program. You are working with a great group of kids. They will amaze you with their ideas and what they are capable of creating and accomplishing.


Again, give yourself permission to take a time out. If you need a break, chances are the team needs to step away for a bit as well. Walking away for a short time will help give the team members a chance to reflect on what they are creating and an opportunity to come back with a new perspective, refreshed and ready to tackle their solution with renewed energy.


Take care of yourself. Without you, the team would not be able to participate in the DI program. They are lucky to have you to help guide them on their DI journey. In case you haven’t heard it lately:  Thank You! Thank you for being a team manager and all you are doing for your team.


Now, where are those fuzzy slippers?