Resource for Team Leaders

Summary of Major Points

You may want to reflect on your team’s experience and the discussion that took place. Here are a few of the ideas that may have come up during your team’s experience:


Tap Into Your Own Weather-Dependent Elements

You discussed the process of “tapping” sap from maple trees and the importance of timing tapping according to ideal weather conditions—early spring with a four to six-week window to collect sap. Tapping at the perfect time creates the highest quality syrup. Consider your own “weather-dependent” elements and what conditions typically lead to you and/or your team performing at their best.


People Are More Receptive Than You Think To Inquiry

When questions are relevant to a conversation people are more willing to open up and share personal insight. When we share our knowledge and experience we discover more together and become more innovative.


Creating Space For Discovery

By temporarily shifting your focus from ‘work’ to ‘a shared norm’, you found new common ground and enjoyed each other’s company. These are the building blocks for teams that treat each other with respect and build off of each others’ ideas. The biggest ‘learning’ from the 30 minutes may have simply been recognizing the importance of deliberately creating more space for a time like this to explore ideas with each other.

An Exercise For Your Next Staff Meeting

You may want to begin a future meeting with a dedicated “team break” to reflect on and extend the learnings from your experience. Here are some guidelines and discussion ideas we developed for your team:

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Take Time to Reflect Together

Set aside 10-30 minutes at the start of the meeting or as its own event. Stress to your team that this time is not a “meeting” but a dedicated space to have a break together. Encourage a casual or open vibe in order to recreate the relaxed, non-competitive, non-judgmental atmosphere of the Teamraderie experience. Have a clear plan to involve all team members present for the meeting.


We recommend having a more intentional discussion during your reserved time, focusing on valuable reflection and targeted discussion topics. We have created sample prompts for your team to help you reflect and discuss further ideas.

Pick one reflection/discussion pair from the options below or mix and match!


Option 1

  • Begin Simply. Reflect Through Personal Anecdote. Ask team members to share one surprising fact from their tasting experience or from hear the history of “tapping” or from learning the process of making tree sap into maple syrup.
  • Discuss The Role Of Origin Stories. Tapping technology and maple syrup have a unique origin story which you heard during your team’s experience. How did this knowledge influence your overall tasting experience?


Option 2

  • Reflect On Tasting Objectively. What was it like to taste “objectively”? Were you able to describe flavors using your taste experience alone or did you find yourself slipping into “opinion-forming?” Why might it be valuable to separate the evaluation methods?
  • Discuss Applying a Beginner’s Mind. The tasting experience in many ways requires a “beginner’s mind” or a willingness to discover new and different flavors. What can we gain from applying “objective tasting” or a “beginner’s mind” to aspects of our work?


Option 3

  • Reflect On The Vibe. Did did maple syrup sampling and your team snacks change the vibe compared to meetings without a shared food or beverage?


Discuss Ways to Create A Safe, Enriching Meeting Space. “Tasting” together, like the experience we shared this week, helps to build trust, understanding, and psychological safety for your team members. What are some actions you can take as individuals to ensure all team members feel comfortable expressing new ideas and opinions in both formal and informal settings?

An Email to Share with Your Team

Teamraderie has been asked by some managers for a ‘post-experience summary email’ that they can share with the team members after the 45-minute Teamraderie experience. We drafted a memo for you to customize:

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Principles Behind the Experience

Teamraderie experiences are designed in collaboration with management professors at Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Here are the principles incorporated into your experience:

Invite Team Members to Share Personal Stories

A Rotterdam School of Management (2021) study showed asking members of the team to express unique viewpoints and perspectives (showcasing diversity – but within an inclusive environment) led to higher creative expression on teams. This Teamraderie experience helps satisfy both “uniqueness” and “belonging” needs of teams.

Team Discussion of How to ‘Action’ a Shared Value

An Ohio State University (2017) study found those who learn something at the same time report feeling more connected to the people whom they learned with and rate those people as more trustworthy. This Teamraderie experience seeks to create a shared epiphany around tasting and classifying maple syrup.

Additional Expert Resources for the Experience

Interested in learning more about these topics?


Teamraderie recommends the documents and publications below for additional perspective:

Author: Alice Walton, Chicago Booth School of Business

Highlight: “When exposed to deep vs. shallow conversations, participants felt happier and more connected, regardless of whether they generated the topics themselves or discussed assigned topics.”

Author: Julian Zlatev, Harvard Business School

Highlight: “Trust is a conviction that is built slowly, over a long period of time, through repeated interactions. How can we build trust under these circumstances?”

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We appreciate the opportunity to work with modern managers
who are embracing new forms of leadership.