Team Building - Summer 2017
Building team engagement in a one-day workshop happens when a team has fun, is away from the office, has a great discussion leading to new actions, and learns small practical skills that can be easily remembered and make a difference at work. We do this outdoors, to get even further away from the office and the assumptions and habits that live there.
Come and spend a day with us hiking up canyons in the Rockies, or enjoy a day by a wild river just a couple of hundred metres from road access. We design the day to suit all levels of physical fitness – our aim is to create a day that you enjoy, relax and remember. Most of our work is in the foothills west of Calgary, but we're able to travel to you.
Teams Through a New Lens
The morning is run by Lee Nordbye Photography - link. Lee is a professional photographer with a business teaching outdoor photography workshops. He’s previously worked in strategy and finance in the oil business - link - and has 20 years experience leading teams and managing departments. His passion is using photography to build communication skills.
Lee provides professional cameras and tripods, and works through three exercises that create powerful visual metaphors for communication at work.
The teams we work with do have challenges that hinder communication: it could be scheduling, busyness, distance or just working with different generations. When Lee puts you next to a loud river, or gives you a long lens and moves you 100m away from your partner, you’ll see the similarities. We debrief each exercise, asking the questions and letting the team talk.
Having deliberately had fun during the morning gives us licence to go a bit deeper in the afternoon. The idea is that we all wear masks at work, to show off our strengths and to hide the bits we don’t think are useful at work. Everyone gets a white plastic mask.
The first exercise is to privately write on the inside the strengths, experiences or emotions we don’t bring to work. Some of these things can stay private, and we also find teams love to share the easier bits. One of our teams had no idea that they had a children’s story writer and an illustrator on the team.
They’d worked together for years but had hidden those parts behind their masks until the debrief. “We didn’t feel our hobbies were useful to our job.” That “Wow!” moment unlocked a discussion about creativity in the team, and led to a redesign of their planning sessions.
The second part of the exercise involves everyone writing on the outside of each other’s masks: writing something they admire about that person, something they did to make the last project succeed, and something they love about how the other person shows up.
We’ve had teams take half an hour on this, just covering masks with genuine, sincere acknowledgements. And as it’s written down, it’s not easily forgotten or brushed off.
Most teams celebrate success with a quick “Great job!”, maybe a drink, and then on to the next project. Our workshop helps team members feel valued and appreciated for their specific strengths.
You can imagine the depth of conversation, and the possibilities created, when the team feels appreciated and seen.
What do our clients say?
After today, what will you do differently?
"I will bring my authentic self to work more often"
"Respect the communication needs of my colleagues"
"Take a more active role in communicating"
"Pay more attention to team members' passions & well-being"
Our aim is to create a day filled with fun and learning, with memorable results. We work with teams that know how to communicate, and we take them one step further. We’d love to discuss how we can best help your team this summer – please just call or email us.