Team building can be looked at in a number of ways, but we like to focus on a few specific aspects :
Any team building activities will perform each of these to a greater or lesser degree. To a large extent, this will depend on how much the activity will focus on team or individual competition.
A competitive team activity such as paintball, where one team is pitted against another, will have a different learning outcome to one such as learning circus skills, where the group focus on their own and each others personal development.
Whilst we would state that each type of team activity has it's place, In a competitive team activity, the goal, such as capturing a flag, or for that matter, scoring a goal can become more important than creating a cohesive unit.
In overly competitive activities members who are not deemed necessary for the specific outcome may be left behind. Those that can't throw or kick straight won't be passed to. Those who don't shout may be ignored.
Whilst there may be some truth to this metaphor in real life, there is no place for it in a team building activity.
In a circus workshop environment, respect is crucial. We make it clear that some people will come into this with more aptitude than others. Be it nature or nurture, the course of each of our lives has led us to where we are now. The point of the workshop is not to see who is the best at any given activity (although we always enjoy seeing people demonstrate their abilities) but how we can help all of the members, and the group as a whole progress to the maximum extent.
Competition is a natural part of life. We embrace it, and respect it. We may show off our skills, and we may play games. But within a team, it has to be kept in perspective. Each member of a team has to be given adequate opportunity to progress. This does not always occur within team sports where winning rather than developing is the focus.
In a circus workshop, everyone is doing something new and interesting, so it gives a focus for conversation and interaction
Circus workshops help learning because each member is learning a wide variety of the same things. This means they can help each other do so, but also forms a bond where people have learned the same things together.
It is normal within circus workshops to approach problems from a number of a different angles in order to achieve a set outcome. Each person is encouraged to bring a new angle. The person who doesn't get something straight away is often the one who comes up with the new way of looking at a problem that makes it easier for the next people.
There are few things in life as funny as trying to teach something
you can only just do, to someone who has even less idea how to do
it than you do. We get participants teaching each other what they've
just learned, and there tends to be a lot of laughter involved.
It immediately gets people talking. More importantly, it gets people to practice sharing what they know, it makes them more comfortable communicating about things that they only almost understand, which means people become happier working out solutions together as groups.
On a really basic level, it gets people talking.
While learning together, we have to learn to respect each others abilities and to build on those. However, we understand that both self respect, and respect for other people is something that is earned, so we provide an atmosphere where people can learn to respect their own and each others abilities.
Getting a person to contribute in a team environment is as much about self respect as it is about their abilities. The two are of course linked and learning new things that you never thought you were capable of promotes belief in yourself, and a sense of well being that makes people want to contribute.
It just is
We've worked with many groups, from global corporations to small private companies, government departments, councils, and teachers inset days, and in every case, we will come up with a solution that suits you.