Hi <<First Name>>,

DFA National spent the dog days of summer bucking the trend. Instead of mimicking the languid tempo of hot and sticky days, we called in and logged on all over the country eager to connect, check-in and collaborate on a daily basis.

How did we create a playful, fluid working environment during the hottest months of the year? We practiced storytelling and reflection by:

  1. Making time to share personal histories and experience, skills we saw directly correlated to an ability to connect and engage with community partners.
  2. Storytelling encouraged us to practice of openness and vulnerability which broke down interpersonal barriers and built trust in real-time.
  3. Constantly slowing down and checking in with our teammates, partners, projects and selves.

The proof is in the photos! Check out the following images from the summer. We bet you'll be able to see the joy and warmth that was achieved through our dedicated effort to build a strong team

Katie + the DFA Team
YMCA Summer Design Institute Kickoff Photo (June, 2021)
Working session equip with fresh summer styling, courtesy of zoom (July, 2021)
Lunch and Learn session on how to make a pants pattern with no excess material,
modeled on various stuffed animals (August, 2021)
How We Work
This summer, DFA National found the How We Work exercise particularly helpful when building our team's culture. The activity asks all group members to spend some time reflecting on their own working style, values and communication style (to name a few) before sharing their story with the team.

Who it's for: This teaming tool is for anyone trying to co-create how they work together. Good for the studio, team, or workplace.
Create a Working Contract
In a recent workshop with Kaleena Tucker's Arts and Social Practice course at Tennessee State University, Kate Rose (Summer Design Coach and DFA Tulane alum) shared a "working contract" template for teams.

Who it's for: Folks trying to set clear expectations and roles for one another in a group project to ensure a respectful and collaborative working environment.

Katie's back to welcome everyone to a new year of DFA. Listen as Katie shares how her experience at DFA shaped her future, and tips for you to consider in the upcoming year.

Katie wanted to hear from you! 
Book a call 
and follow @katiekdo on Instagram to get in touch.
Connect with a DFA Alum in YOUR field! 
Job Highlight | SYPartners

SYPartners help leaders, teams, and organizations build the capability to transform into more vibrant versions of themselves—so they can grow with purpose, and have a positive impact in the world.

They have several positions open and we'd love to connect you to their team!

Administrative Business Partner 
Senior User Experience Designer

Want to be highlighted in the next newsletter? Do you have suggestions for what else you'd like to see? Let us know at
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