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The Art of Human Towers


A person taking a picture of a human tower.

Perseverance is the ability to get through obstacles and tough times thrown our way and what we try to achieve as individuals. Although many people think this is an individual trait, it’s a best kept secret that it actually has nothing to do with you at all. But it does have everything to do with the people around you. What perseverance truly is, is the result of the environment you’re in. Do these people care about you? Do they support you? Do they believe in you? And that’s how you get through tough times.


These relationships are foundational, and without a solid foundation, you’ll be quick to burn out, give up and throw the towel in. The ones that persevere have put the time, energy and effort into building and sustaining strong relationships and experiences.


Have you ever heard of Human Castells before? They are a traditional Catalonia practice building human towers during festivals. They’re pretty incredible to watch. This practice involves creating a human tower by stacking person on top of person with the ultimate goal of creating the highest, most creative and complex tower possible.


You can imagine building a human tower would take a great deal of perseverance from everyone involved in this tower and a passion for doing it. It’s an exhausting event, where people must work together, communicate, push through mental and physical boundaries, never lose focus and dig deep for that grit. Towers become wobbly and sway but they pull together with a one team mentality.


Here’s the break-down of the tower:


The base layer are the strongest and most experienced people because they know how to provide support and stability as the tower is built. When they feel they are sturdy, the next layer is added.


This next layer is responsible for creating added support and making sure they help with balance as it grows taller.


These layers continue to grow, and people continue to shimmy on top of each other. The towers can take on various formations but there is one constant in all the human towers. A child carefully climbs to the top of the tower and raises their hand in the air to signal completion of the tower.


Not only does this tower have to be carefully constructed going up, but de-construction is one of the most difficult and often dangerous parts of the human castells. And when every single person is back down on the ground safely, they celebrate.


Much like building a human castell, building a culture requires a strong foundation or it can come crashing down quickly. Building a culture takes determination, willingness and grit to build something incredible together. It’s the true power of human collaboration.

 

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Where have we demonstrated true perseverance in our team?

  2. Thinking about the human castells, what are our strengths as a team or organization that makes up our foundation for us to build upon?

  3. Share a moment over the last month where you witnessed someone within our organization demonstrate their grit and determination?

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