Adventure activities for team building remain highly effective. Part of what I love about using adventure based or experiential activities is that they get staff out of their typical environment. Suddenly we are talking about group dynamics in a novel environment. The playing field is level. Experiential adventure based activities for teams helps to identify the group dynamics quickly for the facilitator. The communication styles of participants quickly emerge. The natural leaders step forward. The over bearing employee stands out. The quiet and shy individual that has great ideas that are rarely heard appears.
As the group moves through different activities, they start to recognize the strengths and challenges that exist within the group. Most are related to communication and the interaction dynamics between people. The insights that are gained are valuable, but the big challenge for all team building is taking the lessons learned back to the workplace.
How does real change take place? Learning is inspiring and exciting immediately following the team building event. As time goes on old behavior re-emerges and the lessons learned are forgotten or put on the shelf. It takes a committed leader to keep the team focused on their new commitment to different team dynamics.
This comes back to the team building event itself. If the facilitator does not help team members to truly identify new behaviors and outline them in a concrete and usable way they will quickly fade away. Creating a plan for sustained growth and development with ongoing follow up with an outside facilitator really ensures team change. Change takes time to happen and long lasting change has ups and downs. The outside facilitator helps the team to recognize when they are slipping back into old paradigms and old patterns of behavior.
Holding people accountable to change is important and it is not always effective within the team, although the team plays a major role in making change.
Adventure based team building is a tool for effective skill development.
It is most effective with ongoing follow up with the original facilitator to ensure that new behaviors and strategies are implemented long term. Team building as a one shot event has benefits but they are short term and do not endure over time.