By Liz Kentish
This article originally appeared in firstwomen.co.uk.
Who hasn’t felt bored, frustrated and disengaged while sitting in a stuffy training room watching one PowerPoint presentation after another? With this type of theory-based training, people go back to their day job and immediately forget what they’ve learned. The same can be said about team building activities.
If we’re forced to take part in the problem solving workshops, clichéd trust exercises or even sent out into a wood to collect logs and build fires, we won’t really learn anything except how to create an outdoor BBQ.
Avoid death by PowerPoint at all costs. Instead, utilise new training and team building approaches, from stand-up, storytelling and song writing, to meditation and massage, to make positive new behaviours and habits stick.
At Kentish and Co, we often work with artists and performers during client team building, training and coaching days – we believe learning is about taking small steps outside the comfort zone. With our work and social lives becoming more and more blended, it’s crucial to enjoy our work and build strong relationships with the people we see everyday.
Storytelling exercises helps with sales, networking and leadership – the old adage ‘facts tell, stories sell’ is so true in this regard. If we have a strong story about our team or our organisation, for example, then we can all buy into it. This gives us a purpose and a sense of belonging.
Acting out a story can help share the history and heritage of a business with those in the organisation who haven’t been around as long, so in effect it transfers knowledge and understanding. Acting and vocal exercises also break down barriers in terms of hierarchy and can result in a stronger, more collaborative workforce.
People learn best when they’re having fun – that’s a fact. If we’re miserable about doing a task, or trying to get our heads around something, we won’t learn. Many skills used in entertainment are relevant in the workplace. Improvisation, for example, enhances communication skills. This, in turn, can help build effective conversations, as well as give people the ability to think on their feet.