Saying goodbye to a group for me is not related to whether the group was high performing. It is instead related to a sense of having gone through a battle together. For example, the closing of our Head Start Delegate agency was difficult. We had worked so hard as a leadership team – spending late hours, fighting to keep the agency afloat. The decision to close was not ours. We adjourned with a sense that we had not accomplished what we had set out to do.
For me, when a group is high performing, the adjournment is easier, more celebratory. I can walk away with a sense of accomplishment. In those scenarios, we never completely adjourn. I still see these colleagues around in new roles and on new teams.
Due to my “issues” I don’t much care for goodbyes. I never really dealt with the passing of either my father or my mother. I hold on to objects to keep me in touch with them in some way. When I’m done with Walden, it’ll just be another day. Hopefully, I’ll meet some of them at an NAEYC Conference or something like that. Maybe they’ll join my men in child care facebook group.
My distinct lack of interpersonal skills means that ceremonies and rituals are extraneous events to me. I don’t think of rituals. I don’t really celebrate holidays or my birthday (which is today). I only attended my high school graduation because my Mom pleaded with me. I didn’t attend my college graduation. I didn’t have a bachelor’s party. For my 50th birthday, I put together the bench my wife gave me and sat in my back yard for a while. I have the little ritual objects – a plaque, a certificate, some of them really beautiful. Most are in boxes somewhere. So to me, adjourning isn’t essential at all. I understand that it may be important to others. I just don’t get it.
The things that I do display, that I do celebrate are works in progress or completed. A resolution, a position paper, a rant, materials for a workshop. I celebrate the work itself – no ritual needed.