While it’s wonderful to hear client feedback days or weeks after an event, receiving instant feedback from those in the actual room creates such goodwill and gives us, as facilitators, the opportunity to understand what really worked. We are very lucky to be in a position where every day groups of all sizes smile, applaud and shake our hands goodbye. We never take this for granted.
One of the very first events I led this week was an early morning boomwhacker energiser. Within our boomwhacker events, we have as much interactive fun as possible. I normally have many people on stage with me taking on a variety of musical or leadership roles. I don’t know each participant personally, so people are picked at random by me or ‘volunteered’ by quick-thinking colleagues!
My client was taken aback by the level of engagement shown of one such stage participant. Taking me aside afterwards, I was told that they never would have believed in a million years that that particular person would have been the life and soul of the party. This is one of the best types of feedback we can possibly receive. We simply love hearing that unassuming individuals have let their defenses down and have been seen in a brand new light by colleagues.
Towards the end of our drumming events, we often have a very powerful listening experience. With some participants left playing, others get to just listen with their eyes closed.
The feedback and remarks afterwards as to what was experienced can be startling. It is not uncommon for our listeners to ask if a sneaky CD had been put on instead!
This feedback is hugely empowering for the rest of the group and always a special moment.
One occasion stands out for me for unpredicted feedback. We provided a series of three conference finales, in London, Strasbourg and Moscow. After the first two events, the management of the company took our team aside to prepare us to expect a very different reaction when we next went to Russia.
The first two events had been fantastic and audience reactions were really positive. We were warned, because team building in general was still quite a new concept in Russia, not to expect the same response in Moscow. We prepared for a more mute, pensive and perhaps suspicious reaction. How wrong we all were!
On the day everyone simply went wild. The same doubting management team stood mouths wide open as we faced queues of participants waiting to thank us for allowing them, for once, to react, explore and experience working creatively together.
When we went down to join our comrades for dinner (within an ex-KGB palace), we walked into a standing ovation and the customary slowly accelerating hand clap. What a humbling visit!
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