Treetop Adventure is very passionate about providing the best team building activities in Grand Rapids, MI. For corporate events or staff outing activities, call us to ask about some of our incredible team bonding ideas & exercises that lead to building great teamwork.
If you’ve ever done low ropes team building or any other group development exercises, take that and imagine being 10-35 feet in the air. It is fun, effective, and totally unique. For this, we will send you a questionnaire to help us gauge the type of group you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are as a group, and develop a program based on team dynamics. We can also accommodate any schedules starting at three hours to an entire day-long team building excursion.
What do we view as Team Building?
Team building means different things to different groups and varies depending on the background of the group, the group dynamics, leadership, etc. Different groups are looking for different pieces to create their team bonding experience.
Some groups prefer to come up with these together as a part of the activity, while other groups prefer to have preset goals laid out before coming in. Based on the needs of the group, we set the stage for a facilitated group experience based on where the strengths and weaknesses of the group lies in these skills so that the best group bonding experience can take place.
In most team building experiences, a core piece of what we are looking to do is have the group start thinking about problems that arise, and teach skills that will allow you to systematically think through these problems as a team & coming up with the most ideal group decisions. At the end of every team building we will conduct a debrief. The debrief is key to connecting these problems that came up on the course to your everyday life in a way that is applicable. In short, this is where the magic happens.
In all of these activities will reduce stress in some way by reducing the stress involved with working with an ineffective team. By breaking down barriers, working with people you don’t normally work with and making a connection with them, many aspects of working with your group with become less stressful.
When putting a group under pressure, holes in communication become very apparent. During a team building experience, we take these holes in communication and focus on those.
This enables the group to, under directed pressure and stress, use different methods of communicating to work through some of these scenarios. Without the pressure, the groups would not feel the need to work through these issues. This type of pressure will allow the group to find different ways to communicate to be more effectively.
Through our techniques, we will simulate leadership under pressure, the place where all the issues and short-comings will come forward.
Some skills we like to focus on include bringing out latent leadership qualities, helping overly assertive leaders gain better balance, and helping leaders see where their shortfalls are as well as their groups’ shortfalls are to be able to better guide the group to success.
We do this by creating unpredictable scenarios leading to outcomes that in the day-to-day environment wouldn’t be possible to accomplish. This will bring out those leadership skills that leaders do not usually use, but need to be effective.
Strategic Planning and Change Management
For upper-level management, it is essential that leaders are able to overcome larger corporation deficiencies cross-departmentally. We will focus more on foresight and preparing for unexpected outcomes through planning and managing chaos.
By encouraging leaders to plan for all the unexpected we strategically put in stressors that they wouldn’t be able to plan for. Many leaders in these roles are over- or under-planners. We take both of those types and bring them more into balance
This is also a great focus for groups that are going through changing management or who have experienced frequent or recent changes in management. We encourage independence and reading the skills of others in these exercises to quickly adapt to change.
Our main goal with these groups in particular, is that they are operating as an efficient machine, independent of and not needing to be hand-held by their managers or supervisors.
Many times, conflict management training is what groups think they need when there are issues arising among teammates. By empowering your groups to more effectively manage conflict among themselves, managers/leaders will not need to be constantly solving conflicts.
This is a combination of our communication exercises and stress management. Many conflicts arise from miscommunication or a lack of communication in stressful situations.
We also take a focus in these exercises on trust building. In order for a group to effectively manage their own conflicts, there needs to be some basis of trust established on neutral ground, which we create in our environment here.
Another thing we keep in mind is owning responsibility. This comes in the form of choosing to take responsibility for pieces of the puzzle and owning when your piece is lacking without the fear of blame.
Time and Resource Management
While all of our exercises involve a focus in this, some groups need more of a focus in this than others. For this, we have some specific exercises developed to encourage this mentality.
We all know how common it is to have that one person in a group who takes the brunt amount of work for a project. By effectively doing this, everyone will take on a more equal share of the work based on their own skills and experiences. However, in these exercises we start to walk these groups through this process on their own based on the group dynamics.
These exercises take a large focus on adding stressors and time challenges to different parts of the experience. These groups are encouraged to think out of the box to be able to accomplish these tasks. Through this, we teach how to use all available resources in order to not limit performance.
With this comes a piece on seeing even the hidden talents of teammates that might have not been known prior, through bonding and icebreaker activities.
Many times groups may have lots of grand ideas and no way to implement them. Through these exercises aimed at systematic thinking, we begin to streamline those efforts.
By being aware of net results and changes in a grand system, and what different stressors on a system do to the system, we begin to develop our systematic thinking.
Similar to process improvement, these exercises remove bottlenecks and constraints to production, and encourage the development of quicker ways to make decisions with more effective results.
Usually groups that struggle with this, have too much excess. These exercises begin to open the groups’ mind to how to effectively eliminate waste in a way that is serving to the system and group.
Other times, groups want larger results than are attainable, which leads to an inability for the group to see the end result in a way that allows for change. We address this by showing the group how to develop more attainable goals.
Idea Creation and Innovation Training
Many times groups get stuck in a lull, where innovation comes less frequently because we get stuck in our same routines.
When this happens, we have to step out of our box to be able to see a problem or product from a different angle. Seems obvious? In practice, it may be very difficult to accomplish in our daily, routine environment.
In this exercise (or many exercises), we ask those same questions you are asking daily, but in unconventional ways in order to develop an environment for innovation. We do this by mixing up groups, and asking them to think differently about how they interact within their environment. We begin to identify the inhibitors to creation that a group might be facing within the status quo, and assist in working through those stoppers.
Want more logistical information on how exactly a Team Building Program is run?
We have a few different options for our Team Building programs, but more generally we start with planning for three hours, but can do a longer experience if you desire. However, we do not recommend ever planning for less than three hours. You will not get the full experience without giving us enough time to make magic happen for your group. For more general group questions, please visit our Group FAQs page.