Music Monday: Belay On!

One of my all-time favorite Calibration Team Retreats we’ve ever facilitated at LionSpeak was with a small group of women in Seattle, Washington. We went to local climbing gym, had our meeting, got a truckload accomplished and topped it off with some teambuilding exercises on the climbing wall. But before we could do any of the activities we had planned, we had to learn to “belay.”

In climbing, whether it’s a real mountain, up a climbing wall, or at an adventure course on the panic pole, you have a climber and a belay who work as a team. Belaying simply refers to a variety of techniques that climbers use to exert tension on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far and is safe. The belay doesn’t actually have to use a tremendous amount of strength. A correct belaying method lets the belayer hold the entire weight of the climber with relatively little force, and easily arrest even a long fall. By using a mixture of belaying angles and hand-grips on the rope, the belayer can gently lower a climber to a safe point where climbing can resume.

Another great retreat was with a large team at a beautiful adventure park set deep within a forested area. Up on the “panic pole,” people had to climb up a 30-foot pole, stand up on the top which was a small 6″ area before jumping off to catch a trapeze handle. Even though you are secured in a safety harness, with slack in the rope, you still feel very vulnerable. If you did manage to stand up and keep your balance, before you jump you shout, “On belay?” And you wait to hear the reply from your belay, “Belay ON!” Then you jump.

That exchange always makes me think of those critical times we all face in business and life. Times when we are facing something scary, something tough, or something hard. A health issue, a financial crisis, loneliness, an impending change, a downturn in business. Whatever it is… we’ve all been there or will be at some point. And it can feel twice as hard if we feel isolated and alone.

Who’s on belay for you? For whom are you stepping in to be on belay? Is there someone who is new to your team? Is someone stepping in to a new position? Do you know someone who needs a little encouragement and hope?

Being on belay for each other is what great teammates do. They’ve got each other’s backs. They rise above the pettiness, blame, gossip, complaining, jealousy and sidebar conversations. They take a stand for their teammates and for demonstrating how great leaders behave and support. They trust them and lift them up when they need it. They catch them when they fall.

This week, listen with all your senses to those who may be asking you directly or indirectly, “On belay?” Be ready to answer, “Belay ON!”

This is Music Monday (always the first Monday of every month) when we choose a song from my playlist to cement our message. I chose Army by Boy. It’s a special song to me. I chose it to play at the beginning of my wedding video which had pictures and footage of family and friends with us at the wedding whom I treasure and who I know at all times are on belay for me. I hope they know that I am on belay for them as well. My favorite line of the song: They’re my army of fortune, they win every war, they are the love above the love.

At LionSpeak, we are on belay for you and your team. Let us know if you’d like to kick off your 2018 with a bang and have us customize a team calibration retreat for your group.

Boy – Army

“You should see my favorite people,
You catch a glimpse of gold through their skins.
I walk on air whenever I’m with them,
They’re where the happiness begins.
And I’m alright on my own, but with them I’m much better
They’re like diamonds and diamonds are forever.

They stand taller than giants,
They outshine all the stars
They are the love above the love
They’re my army of fortune,
They win every war
They are the love above the love

They’re a boat when I’m underwater
They tame the sharks and they calm the waves
When I choke they pat my back harder
My load is light, my secrets are safe
And I’m alright on my own but with them I’m much better
They’re like diamonds and diamonds are forever…

They stand taller than giants,
They outshine all the stars
They are the love above the love
They’re my army of fortune,
They win every war
They are the love above the love”