Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018Blog Home
Dress Code: smart casual, no jeans (unless your name is Jean of course)
I’m sure you have been there; the resilient nightmare that stops us in our tracks before we attend the ‘Team Away Day’ or ‘Staff Training’ session. Wtf shall I wear? “Hey Joe, what are you wearing tomorrow?” No mate, you can’t wear jeans, it says so on the email. Smart casual, but no jeans”.
Regardless of what the email said, you just know someone will turn up in their jeans! Perhaps even the trendy ripped ones. And of course, there will be loads of middle aged men with their shirts worn outside of their trousers; looking like they are going for a night on the town or at the very least, for a few beers and curry night at the local Wetherspoons!
You can’t hurry love
The agenda has been set, the boss and the trusty lieutenants all have their respective ‘key note messages’ to give to the rest of the team. Targets have been set; lessons to be learned (they actually mean lessons to be identified). There will be flip charts and marker pens scattered around the room. Hopefully biscuits too! Jammy dodgers? Sparkling water and mints.
Perhaps even the boss and the senior managers have forked out and purchased some Haribo’s to help enable the safe passage of the difficult change management session.
Can’t wait? Well, it’s the chance to go somewhere different; be out of the office and the workplace. See the colleagues and work mates in their ‘non-work’ clothes. A change is as good as a rest.
But sit back, relax, brace yourself, for the twilight zone awaits of the inevitable death by power point challenge at monotone speed. “OMG, someone pass me a needle please”.
You can’t come in here with those on
“Do you think this looks ok for the team away day tomorrow love? I think we are going to talk about cost improvements. Where is it being held? It’s at that 4-star hotel just off the motorway and they are laying on a buffet”. “Yeah that’s right love, cost improvements.. with a buffet!”
These boots are made for walking
Perhaps you even got something new to wear and you can then swear blind to colleagues ’what this, new?..no this isn’t new, I’ve had it for ages’.
You arrive and you start to notice the variance in the other attendees ‘interpretation’ of smart casual. Yes.. someone has got their jeans on!
Some are still wearing their usual work clothes (there is always at least one). And mmm, she/he looks nice. Go on, tell them!
Then the boss walks in and is wearing a short sleeve white shirt with a red tie and light grey trousers. He looks like he has just parked his bus up the road.
Someone looks as though they shouldn’t be wearing ‘that outfit’. How old is she?
Shake a tail feather
In the end, the smart casual challenge came and went. What was all the fuss about? We all wore our ‘tail feathers’ and hopefully had a brilliant day!
Some contributed more than others. The usual loud ones and the quiet ones. A loud voice alone does not make a great leader though. Some got their money’s worth at the buffet and some may have brought the their own because they didn’t know there was a buffet (there is normally at least one of those too!).
And there are always the extra ‘private meetings’ for those ‘who are in the know and need to know’.
But overall, we can do this. We need to do this. Meet the expectations and challenge the perceptions. Project managed deadlines and manage the risks. I believe I can fly. On the wings of a dove. The wind beneath my wings. We, are the champions, my friend. And we’ll keep on fighting, til the end…
Team bonding over a hot and cold buffet can be an amazing experience, as long as you didn’t get any sweet chilli sauce over your new (erm, I mean old) top!
It will wash out I’m sure. You are resilient.