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The Purposeful Team: Building Positive Team Dynamics through Mindfulness


The UC San Diego production of Man in Love was a collaboration between the two areas of the Department of Theatre and Dance, blending traditional theatrical storytelling with expressive dance interludes. To meet the show’s needs, I chose to think strategically about building a Stage Management team that could easily handle the challenges of this ambitious project. By focusing on awareness and being mindful of the human needs of the production, I was able to foster a team dynamic where each of us could stretch our skills in an environment of informal mentorship and friendly feedback, allowing us to lead with equanimity and grace.

The cast and crew came from widely diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise. For many, this was their first time on stage. The show would also take place in the largest of the five theatres on campus. Part of my team had been assigned by my mentors, and I determined that we would need two additional members to meet the needs of the show. To ensure that the cast and crew found representation in their leadership, I was very deliberate about bringing diversity into the group. I established a nightly check-in where we could self-reflect and share our discoveries with each other and encouraged each of us to try new things. As we encountered challenges, I modeled transparency and authenticity in sharing our feelings. These considerations allowed us to thrive and gave us the cohesion we needed to be a group of highly functional leaders.

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