Bear Grylls, with his extensive military background, is a fountain of wisdom on teamwork. But on a recent episode of his show, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, it was a celebrity co-star who had the insightful words. While sitting around the campfire roasting freshly caught pigeon, Actress Kate Hudson found herself opening up personally to the outdoor survival expert about her childhood and divorces. She comments on the experience saying:
“It’s funny, cause when you’re out in the wilderness, when you start to sit and talk to Bear, you end up talking about things you wouldn’t normally share. But you know, you get people in environments where they’re exposed and it allows for more open conversation.”
In team building, this concept is referred to as the novel setting. The novel setting is a critical concept in team building events. When we’re in the office, going through the same routine day after day, our communication and interactions also tend to become routine. The leaders keep leading, the socializers keep talking, the complainers keep grumbling, the analyzers keep questioning. And that means we may get annoyed by the repetitiveness, or disengaged by the predictability. Shaking things by moving out of the office space, gives us a refreshing new perspective.
Getting out of our comfort zones is a great way to unclog lines of communication. When in a fresh setting, perhaps one that is a bit uncomfortable, we feel vulnerable. We respond to vulnerability by expressing ourselves. Will that expression always be happy and sunny? No, but it will be a guaranteed conversation starter and will probably generate a pretty memorable experience. Good or bad, new experiences generate fresh communication.
Don’t worry, camp fires are not required. What can make the experience as productive as possible is involving a third party. An outside facilitator recognizes those preconceived roles that the team is no longer in tune with, and will help encourage that openness that is so valuable. Click here for a great story about a woman who came out of her comfort zone during a team building event and contact us for some fun event ideas.