As an actor turned corporate facilitator, language has always been important to me. I have always focused strongly on how my communication will be perceived/received by a recipient and this is particularly challenging in our technological world.
My writing is rarely frank or without some form of light-hearted wording to indicate to the recipient that I had a sunny disposition at the time of writing. There usually is no stress or massive urgency behind my words – and for the record, I do generally have a sunny disposition, so this piece is all about adding a vocal colour to my words.
Short of this, it does leave room for tone and emotion to be misinterpreted in our written word. Left unattended this can lead to growing tension and resentment potentially even unbeknownst to the author!
With this ever-growing tech-only communicative world in mind, it brings me to the importance of team building events and team bonding activities that bring corporate teams together, to build strong, true and trusted relationships.
I’m talking about a team-building event that focuses on communication, team cohesion and group dynamic.
Building Interpersonal Relationships
The last team-building event I worked on was for one of the largest Pharma companies in the world, specifically for their newly merged ANZPAC finance team.
When talking to the conference organisers I was told that much of their communication is done through emails and the dreaded phone-conference, and for this reason, when bringing everyone together for the annual cross-sector team conference, they decided to seize the opportunity and create an event that focused on building inter-personal team relationships through our team building event, called FilmFest.
Pitching an idea for a creative team bonding activity to a conference organiser, is always met with some apprehension and hesitation. This is hard when you know how amazing the outcome of a creative team building event will be.
If only it was that easy for the client to see it too! In the end the organiser went for it! That’s only half the battle done – our next hurdle is that initial delivery to the participants!
Not Your Average Team Building
The day comes round and I stand in front of the team and declare I am from a team building company (a slight look of terror crosses each face in the room with breaths held in anticipation). I introduce the title of the event (the terror grows) but I promise two things – everyone will be scared at first, but in the end every single person in the room will have belly laughed and I mean deep belly laughed several times – and I’ve never broken my promise.
To see a team of Accounts and Finance professionals throw themselves into a team challenge and revel in it, is the most rewarding part of my job. It quickly became clear that this type of team building challenge is embraced so freely, not for it’s team building foundations, but because we let them play, play and create something crazy but the most important part is, they did it together as a team. One Team. They came together and had fun. They communicated face-to-face using real language that didn’t have to be edited out of fear of misinterpretation.
Understanding The People Behind The Emails
And next time that guy sends an email to someone at work that sounds harsh or frank, they’ll know it came from that funny guy who’s really good at a Scottish accent and wasn’t afraid to make a bit of a fool of himself – he’s not harsh – I know him.