The team building activities that we specialise in, such as drumming, singing and dancing – are obviously interactive by nature. I’d like to think that we take the word ‘interactive’ to another level, so that we create the most intense, entertaining and surprising interactive team building activities for all participants.
Our head facilitators are trained to be able to recognise willing candidates from within the group they are working with, and then (within the structure of the activity) use those people to add a whole new dimension to the event. By including selected members to perform specific roles, the gap between the facilitator and the participants becomes smaller. Furthermore, the expectation, sense of excitement and general spontaneity rises immediately.
We do not want to embarrass any participant or want to force people to do something they don’t want to do. We avoid this through our use of intuitive facilitators, who can quickly scan the group and understand who will be willing, reactive and ready to jump at the opportunity to shine in front of their colleagues. This is no easy feat and only comes with a sensitive understanding of people and an innate feeling of what will work in that context.
The art is to select the right people. Our facilitators never pressure, cajole or trick anyone into one of these interactive roles. Every company has a wide mixture of personalities, with extroverts who crave the spot light on one side, and introverts keeping their heads down on the other. We find that magic often happens with people in the middle of these extremes, who feel safe and supported enough to go out on a limb and try something totally new.
Let me give you some examples:
- Early on in our drumming events, we invite a participant to demonstrate to the group how you might play your drum part with a whole new physical intention to it, using ridiculous exaggerated body movements. This hilarious display brings the house down and always gets a huge round of applause for the brave volunteer.
- In our team building singing activity, we give a willing client a solo vocal line to perform. The pats on the back and general respect they get from fellow participants demonstrate team building in action.
- In the middle of our Junk Funk session, we get clients to create a junk percussion drum kit surrounding a specially chosen client soloist to play on.
- In our boomwhacker events we often select some members from each colour to be on stage alongside the head facilitator.
These almost-theatrical moments do two things that are vitally important. Firstly, they show to participants that anything might happen, to keep them fully engaged and guessing. Secondly, they show colleagues off in a totally new light.
In the feedback that we receive from events, many describe the amazement and disbelief they feel when seeing colleagues stepping out of their normal behaviours. These can be very powerful moments – ones that are not forgotten. I believe that trying something new in the safe confines of a team building session with us will make it easier to try something new in the ‘real world’. We believe in the old adage, “same input equals same output”, so we want our events to highlight to teams how being brave, spontaneous and open can dramatically change normal outcomes.
I leave you with a fantastic example of a master facilitator creating a unique interactive closeness with his audience. In the video clip below, singer Bobby McFerrin asks for the audience’s help to produce a perfect moment in time where everyone was involved and had a combined experience they never will forget.
Perfect creative teambuilding.