Expert Coaching. Practical Resources.

July 25, 2017

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Paul Zilz

Rest? Why Rest? Give me a Break!

It is that time of year! School is out and families are planning trips to the beach and ice cream excursions. Individuals are traveling to scenic mountains, to exciting cities, to exotic locations.

Why?

Why take time out of the ordinary routines to reflect and rejuvenate? Why rest?

Scientific America, in an October 2013 article “Why Your Brain Needs More Down Time”, notes how mental breaks encourage creativity, increase productivity, solidify memories, and replenish attention. Those are good reasons to take a break!

Board members benefit from breaks too. Board retreats offer the opportunity for board members to get away from the normal routines of the day in order to:

  1. reflect on how they can more effectively fulfill their governance roles,
  2. build relationships within the board,
  3. dialogue about and reflect upon the benefits they intend for the organization to achieve for targeted recipients, and
  4. reflect on focused input received from those who have invested in their organization, that is, their legal and moral owners.

Board retreats, though, should not just be an excuse to “get more board work done”. Well-designed board retreats provide unstructured “down time”; that is, time when board members are unplugged from technology and have time to truly reflect on the issues being considered! These portions of the retreat are designed to give people a mental break.

Vacations improve our health and outlook. So do board retreats. Board retreats, just like vacations and personal retreats, are designed to create an atmosphere where minds can be creative, where bodies can rest, and where relationships can be strengthened.

Rest, rejuvenate, reflect…give yourself and your board members a mental break!

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