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Why bother with “Team Building”, surely it’s all a bit 1980’s?

“I recently found myself reminiscing about the evolution of “Team Building” exercises from the glorious 1980’s. I wondered if they still happened, and, if they did, what were they were really all about…

What is the point?

Although I believe I have a really strong team around me, everyone knows that, wherever there are two or more people, there can be little ‘niggles’ under the surface, the odd mis communication here, or whisper there, which can affect business or personnel. These issues seem only to grow in time, as opposed to fade away, so perhaps this would be a good chance to ‘clear the decks’ with all of the staff together…

Surely, it’s just an expensive “jolly”?

The more I investigated the concept, the more I worried it may, indeed be, an expensive “jolly”.  However, almost immediately, I began to weigh the cost of a weekend away against the price of investing in my staff, and soon realised the value of my team. It became a ‘no brainer’, and my research began in earnest.

What was my aim?

I was surprised how excited I became at the chance to have my team all together ‘under one roof’ for a couple of days and didn’t want them to worry about what was expected of them, so I made a clear aim for the event. “Let’s relax together and get to know each other” quickly came to mind and soon stuck.  The next issue was where to hold the event.

Isn’t it all about jumping off scaffolding in the pitch dark, or forcing yourself to hold your colleagues’ hand through a mortifying pot holing ‘adventure’?

Given the theme, I was determined to find a single building which could sleep up to 10, with all mod cons, but few distractions.  Winchester Forest Park had just the tree house! Peace, quiet, woodland, massive outdoor table – and a hot tub!  We gave no structure to the two days away, only that everyone was themselves, and the mantra that “What goes on in the tree house, stays in the tree house”.

How did it go?

We rose to natures alarm call, rambled through the woodland, talked through the night time and laughed through everything.  Together.

What was the outcome?

I now feel completely at one with my team, in a newly honest, communicative way, which feels utterly brilliant.  We learnt all about each other, our strengths, weaknesses, triggers and peccadillos, at the same time.  Safely. Our office now has new bonds of trust, support, tolerance and unity. “Team Building” doesn’t really do the experience justice. It was a relationship overhaul.

What was the hardest part?

Getting Marshall out of the hot tub!

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