Reunite your Business and/or Family Tribe with a little Tradition:
First let’s increase your Word Power with a Few Native American Tribal Definitions:
Council Fire: “A Council Fire is called in Native American Cultures when decisions need to be made that affect the whole tribe. One earned the right to sit on the Council with years of being truthful, brave, compassionate, sharing, a good listener and a fair judge.”
Pow-Wow: Also known as a “quickening for the people”. Pow Wows brought old friends together and many a night were filled with stories of what had occurred since the last gathering. Tribes would share news, methods of tracking, fishing and hunting and play games linked to tribal pride. At the end of a pow-wow, everyone was filled and renewed with a Sense of Unity.
Blessingway: Navajo cultures used Blessing Way rituals to help members who were preparing for an important task. Increasingly used as a ceremony for women preparing for motherhood.
What are the traditions and gatherings that bond your family and/or business? Do you have a year-end gathering or tradition that inspires loyalty, shares lessons learned during the year and renews the tribe’s spirit and common vision? Perhaps you have a ritual that prepares you mentally for an upcoming business or life challenge? I attended a Traditional Blessing Way earlier in the month for one of my dearest friends who is expected to give birth to her first child on December 24th. Larissa had gathered all of the women who were important to her, and would be to her new daughter, to share the wisdom of our mothers. Council Fire of Elders? — You Bet!
In a world filled with constant movement, nomadic careers and life changes, annual rituals and traditions serve to re-energize and re-connect tribal members. So my question for you in this month that we associate with family and gatherings is what are your tribal rituals? What symbolic activity or gathering, can those in your business and/or family tribe depend on? What traditions will they pass on to new employees and new family members and in so doing honor and remember you and remember your tribe’s mission?
No, handing out turkey to everyone in the tribe doesn’t count! It’s well “Just Not Special or Meaningful”. Whereas Tribal Traditions bearing the marks of “Good Medicine” are 1) Symbolic — linked by a physical memory/keepsake given to each team member that can’t be eaten and therefore forgotten 2) Personal — by the sharing of a wisdom learned during the previous year by each member of the tribe. Native American cultures pass the “Talking Stick” where the only person allowed to talk is the person holding the stick! Not to dwell on the Turkey, but can we really think that one person saying grace at our Holiday Dinner could be more meaningful than everyone at the tribal table sharing personal thanks for a particular blessing they received this past year? As I recently gathered with my own family tribe in Virginia, we passed the talking stick and each of us spoke from our heart, as we shared one thing we appreciated about each family member. It will sustain us for yet another year until next year’s Family Pow-Wow.
It is fascinating to me that as far back as Native Americans, the need was seen for an annual meeting to discuss the plan and what was learned in last years business cycle . In short, despite the fact that so much has changed in our current world of blackberries, nothing has replaced the tribal need for an annual face to face connection.
Source for Native American Tradition: Jamie Sams — The Discovery of Self Through Native Teachings