Molding Your Employees Into A Strong Team
This past Saturday afternoon, the Clicc Media Inc crew visited Body4Yoga in Hialeah, FL for our very first corporate team building event. The idea behind it was for us to get together outside out of the office for some “team bonding”– plus, who doesn’t love a nice, challenging workout?
Our group was comprised of a mix of avid yoga practitioners and individuals who had never stepped foot in a yoga studio, let alone practice a Warrior Pose. Together, our instructors and owners of the studio, Olga and Diana, created a fun and interactive event that brought out the inner Yogi in both the novice and more experienced team members.
After successfully completing our first corporate team building event, we can definitely see how team activities can really mold the team work dynamic into a more positive one; and when your team is happy, it truly reflects in the success of your business.
Problem Solving As A Unit
Every business comes across the occasional “fire” that must be put out in a pinch. Often times, it requires your team to put their heads together and come up with a solution to the issue at-hand. Now, if your employees get along and are able to listen to one another to work cohesively towards a common goal, then putting out fires shouldn’t be so hard. However, the harsh reality is that this doesn’t really exist in every work environment.
Sometimes, you may be faced with a room full of type A personalities– all who clash with one another and don’t allow themselves to take a step back, assess the situation, listen to what their coworkers have to say and develop a solution together. Hey, it happens.
As a “warm up” team exercise – and a true test to using different personalities to work towards a single solution – Olga and Diana had us do what they call a “continuous plank”. This move required us to get in a push-up (i.e plank) position, but here’s the catch: each person’s feet must rest on the upper back of the person behind them, so they are essentially supporting your plank while the person behind them supports theirs. Here we are in action:
Now, you may think this looks easy (which, after a few practices, it was), especially because our instructors split us into two small teams. The real challenge came when all 8 of us were challenged to create one continuous plank together. The larger the group, the harder it became to execute this move. In a true “do first, ask questions later” fashion , we immediately threw ourselves on the ground and attempted to jump into the pose without discussing amongst each other or really thinking about how we’d support each other’s plank.
Ego definitely trumped logic during this first attempt.
After trying and (quickly) failing, we kicked our brains into overdrive. We needed to come up with a plan to be able to not just position ourselves in this plank, but successfully hold it for a maximum of 10 seconds (a lifetime in the acro yoga time scale).
This is where the problem solving came in. We realized we all had one common goal, which was to complete the plank together. Every person had a pivotal part to play in order to succeed–there is definitely no “i” in “plank”. We sat down and discussed the best strategy to take. This included moving people around, changing the direction of the plank, etc.
Whether you’re 8 people deep in a seemingly impossible yoga position or huddled in a conference room for an afternoon brainstorming session, strategic thinking is a key element in getting things done with your team.
Building Leadership and Negotiation Skills
The great part about the planking exercise, along with the other activities that we were put to do, is ability to bring out the element of leadership within your team. In any group activity, there’s always that one person who seems to stand up to take the leadership role. However, being able to take command isn’t what makes a good leader; is the ability to negotiate well with others to arrive to a common solution.
Team building activities force your team to work with one another by listening to the varying ideas and perspectives of your coworkers, then encouraging those ideas and taking best parts of each one so your leader/team can put those moving parts together. The ability to negotiate is critical within any business– not just with the people within your office but with clients as well. Everyone must learn to effectively listen and negotiate a solution that can satisfy both parties. This won’t always be easy, but it is a strong skill to have within your business toolbox.
A solid workforce that knows how to motivate and encourage one another to reach success is one that reaps the benefits of its efforts.
A Little Competition Never Hurt Anyone
Some of the activities we took part in were timed, which added a nice competitive edge to the event (lucky for Diana and Olga, our team gets along very well). While our team does have a very positive dynamic, we all have a slightly competitive nature; when we were split up into small groups, that nature reared its impatient head.
The great thing about these timed activities was that it forced us to work effectively to meet a deadline (aka beat your opponents time). Deadlines are very common within any work environment, so the ability to prioritize your tasks is crucial to meeting those deadlines. Sometimes, it’s not just an individual who must meet this deadline, but your team as a whole.
During the yoga team building activities, we were partnered up to complete a series of poses and hold each pose for a maximum of 10 seconds (again, a lifetime in yogi years). Of course, we all wanted to be the first one to complete and hold their pose, so everyone immediately went to work as soon as the clock began. We quickly looked at our partners, bounced ideas off one another and prioritized our moves to reach our goal quicker. At times, our strategy would fail which led us to immediately brainstorm a new one. This constant trial-and-error forced our minds to be open to new ideas instead of repeating the same failed strategy and losing our efficiency.
After the partnered poses came the trust building activities, and for these we were partnered up randomly. From a business standpoint, it’s important that you learn to trust the people you work with–especially if you work within a team that needs to meet constant deadlines. Every person on your team plays their own important part. Thus, everyone on your teams needs to feel comfortable and confident that each person can live up to their role and complete their own tasks.
These trust activities also force individuals who don’t work or speak often in the office to come together and learn more about each other. The ability for coworkers to trust and learn more about one another creates a more cohesive and friendlier work environment, which making days more enjoyable.
Looking Forward to Our Next Event
We’re fortunate to have a team who gets along very well in and outside of the office. We laugh together, we bounce ideas of one another, we poke fun of each other (in a healthy way, of course) and we can work together easily in a teamwork setting. The challenge is found in businesses who are struggling to find that cohesive environment, and these corporate team building events can play a huge beneficial role in helping find that happy medium. These were just a few of the benefits we noticed during and after our event. Our goal is to do this on a quarterly basis to remind ourselves of these core fundamentals and not only build each other up, but reach an even greater level of success–together.
Thank You Body4Yoga
If you are in the South Florida area and are looking to learn more about Body4Yoga’s corporate team building event, call 305-705-7020.