Seeking Out a Retreat

For seven hours today, I was a world away from the confines of my home office.  The occasion was the annual "staff retreat" for my part time telecommuting position.  Since I don't work in the office with the rest of the staff, today's off site getaway was a good opportunity to reconnect and refresh our ties as a team.  I keep in close contact by phone and email, but it's great to occasionally gather together in person to focus on team building and communal goals.

A few thoughts from the perspective of an attendee for anyone planning a staff retreat:

>Location, location, location – If possible, go off site to minimize staff ducking into offices to "just check email for a minute".

>Timing – Start and end promptly and schedule sufficient break time.  Do not overbook the alloted time.  Be respectful of attendees' time!

>Choose speakers wisely – If you will be using a keynote, select and individual capable of engaging the group, not simply lecturing at them.  Better yet, let your own star staff members shine by highlighting them as speakers.

>Focus on group interaction – If the goal of your retreat is to team-build, allow ample time for small group interaction.  This was by far the most productive part of my day today.

>Silence is golden – Allow attendees at least twenty minutes of private time for silent contemplation, personal goal setting, reflection and planning.

>It doesn't have to be a big deal – Don't let time constraints or expense deter you from going away on retreat.  Much can be accomplished with four uninterrupted hours and a potluck lunch!

Home-work for Today:

  • Whether you're a small business owner or a stay at home mom, make arrangements today to take a half day "retreat" some time in the next month.

Reading Room Resources:
Blog posts from this week related to Learning and Professional Development


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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  • Guest

    Craig Huggart Tech Rest "Enjoying technology and finding rest in a restless world"




    I love the idea of having silence planned into the retreat. That is an excellent idea. At times, when I have been at a conference, I have just gone off by myself to get some quiet time.


    Great post!