Keepin’ Up the Kindness

Last month, in honor of Valentine’s, this space was dedicated to promoting workplace acts of kindness. But nurturing an atmosphere of goodwill, doesn’t have to limited to one month a year. Kindness is not difficult. It doesn’t require any money, any training, any real effort, and you can start right away, either individually or as a team.

Here are some more tips to encourage those good habits:

Spread the Word. Let others know of your commitment to being kind to everyone you encounter, from vendors to clients to clients. It’s OK to keep it simple; remembering to say please and thank you, or make an effort to offer help.

Make it competitive. Remember those games your mom used to play, making you give five complements for every criticism or putting a quarter in a jar every time you say something mean? Why not implement some of those same practices?

Start at the beginning. In these days of understaffing, new employees are often thrown into the fire with minimal welcome. Reverse the trend by taking a genuine interest in new employees, and an interest in helping them become successful.

You’ll soon find the benefits of a more benevolent workplace are worth the investment. Sign up for our newsletter for exercises that can be used to promote kindness. Return to the One Day Adventures home page

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Random Acts of Kindness

Let’s face it; Valentine’s Day can be awkward at the office. We want to make a good impression and acknowledge our coworkers on holidays but the romantic nature of Valentine’s makes it tricky to do so without getting HR involved.

Why not use the thoughtfulness of Valentine’s Day to encourage random acts of kindness and caring. Given we spend around 2000 hours a year with our colleagues and they can affect our well-being. There are plenty of ways to use the positive feelings generated in February to improve the wellbeing of your team.  Here are some (HR approved) ways to get started.

Commit to Kindness

Try one kindness initiative at a time—for example, regularly saying thank you or offering to help a co-worker at least once a day—and see if you can get the kindness bug to spread.

Nix the negativity

It’s easy to get slip into negativity as a default behavior at work. We hear others being negative so we join in to stay out of the crossfire. We all need to remind ourselves to stay out of that negativity and instead be kind, nice, and thoughtful.

See Everyone’s Strengths

Seek to find value in what each of your teammates brings to the table – remember that there is a reason each of them was hired.

Call off the clique

Believe that everybody works hard—even if they are separated by building, business function or geography. Try a little kindness with the people who work in other divisions and you might be surprised how it actually makes things better for you.

Find Some Fun

Previous posts have discussed the positive effects of playing games and laughing together as a team. Subscribe to our newsletter for some games to do on your own, or contact ODA at sales@onedayadventures.com to plan an event.

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Lessons from the Field

The next time someone tells you that you watch too much football—tell them you’re working! Effective leadership and high performing teams possess many similarities, whether the goal is a trophy or revenue. There are plenty of business lessons to be learned from the sport of football.

A good coach, just like a good manager, promotes cooperation and teamwork. They regularly reassess their game plan, and make adjustments if necessary. They have to know the competition and how to best deploy team members and strategy to come out ahead. They have to communicate that strategy and motivate the team to effectively follow through.

There are examples within the organization as well, particularly in production-related organizations and factories that function similar to a football team. For example, they have an offensive line—production, maintenance, planning and scheduling, and marketing groups—and a defensive line–human resources, health and safety, and environmental protection groups.

Just like there are many skill positions on a football team, your business team needs people with a variety of talents to be able to compete. You need:

  • visionaries, who see the long term;
  • leaders, who define the mission and motivate others;
  • implementers, who make things happen; and
  • infrastructure builders and supporters, who keep the operation running.

Even in a team sport like football has many individual challenges. Take the goal-kicker. That is all he does, but the team relies upon him for points. In order to compete, there must be players to fill every role. Team members are more that just “team players,” they are talented individuals whose inputs feed into the team’s success.

Watching for leadership and team lessons in a football game can provide some great learning. And encouraging your business team to do the same, can be a great way to encourage conversation and team building. Subscribe to our newsletter for some tips on facilitating an activity.

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Total Team Transformation

Recovering from setbacks takes fortitude, perseverance and strong leadership. Author Joe Frontiera has written a book about team turnarounds, which outlines his five principals successful teams use to not only forge through tough times but come out even stronger.  As an illustration he uses the example of the work Jeffrey Lurie has done as owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.

When Lurie took over in 1994, the football franchise had made the playoffs just 14 times in a 62-year span (23%). Since then, the Eagles have been a perennial contender earning playoff berths in 11 of his 18 years as owner (61%). Doing so made also made Lurie’s $195 million initial investment into a billion-dollar brand.

Then the team fell from Super Bowl contender to underdog. Quotes from Lurie in response to this challenging time help illustrate the qualities Fronteira has found to be the impetus behind team turnaround.

1. Lead past losing: accept the reason for failures and identify root causes of problems.

“When you start to reach for short-term solutions that are not consistent with your culture and your football program, that’s when you end up 4-12.”

2. Commit to Growth: Communicate the vision and values of a better future.

“(we have) an obsession not just to be good but to be great.” 

3. Change Behaviors: introduce and reinforce new behaviors and best practices.

 “I think we lost some of the exact nature of the method we have all shared that created the success, which was discipline, strategic thinking, don’t do what’s popular, but do what’s right.”

4. Embrace Adversity: fend off obstacles to test your team and become stronger.

“So when we have a season like this year, it’s embarrassing to me, it’s personally crushing, really, it’s terrible. Our fans, they’re the best fans in the country. We say that a lot. These fans deserve the very best, and this year, they got a team that was not very good at all, and I feel terrible about that”.

5. Achieve Success: achieve your team’s goals and decide what’s next?

“(this is) an organization that’s used to winning, that’s used to winning big, and is part of the mantra and that culture, that’s huge.”

6. Nurture a Culture of Excellence: turn attention to keeping your team’s success sustainable with continual learning, innovation, and maintenance of your culture.

“I don’t speak a lot, but I care deeply, no one wants to win more than I do.”

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The Nature of Collaboration

 

This interesting TED Talk explains how a team building exercise reveals the nature of collaboration. When asked to build a structure, teams of kids generally perform better than adults.

Why? Adults spend too much of their time orienting themselves to the task, determining team roles, creating a plan of attack. Kids aren’t worried about who is in charge and they are not afraid of failing– they jump right in to building prototypes until they get it right.

A day of play can release the creativity in your team. Contact us to schedule an event. 480-788-5093 or sales@onedayadventures.com

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Team Building Lessons from Video Games


This interesting TED presentation talks about how data from video games support the effectiveness of games as team building tools. Some of the findings discussed include:

  1. Games play releases dopamine, which creates engagement and enjoyment and makes players are more likely to remember lessons learned.
  2. Game players learn to be more confident and more likely to take on difficult tasks. 
  3. Players consider the best reward to be not monetary but collaboration with peers.
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School’s Out!

Arizona corporate team buildingAround the country, kids are looking forward to a long relaxing summer – playing and relaxing.

Their parents, on the other hand, get to continue the same daily, commute-work-commute routine.  Why not mix it up a little this summer and commute up to the cottonwood lined banks of a serene pond backed by Sedona’s red cliffs? Spend a day cheering on your colleagues as they race around the water, tackle a tricky suspension bridge, or zipline over the surface.

Or maybe travel with your team to Prescott, where the cool pines create the perfect backdrop for adventure. Teams bond while sharing laughs and helping each other succeed at physically and mentally challenging obstacles.

Just like school kids, we can benefit from a little play time. Play encourages a team to relax around each other. Playing a game gets people to let their guard down. Fun times help break down walls and create camaraderie. That solidarity will manifest in the work place as improved collaboration, and groups who identify and tackle problem solving together.

To see video clips of One Day Adventures’ games in action, check us out on Facebook. For ideas on games you can play in the office to help your team bond, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Send an e-mail with the subject “Newsletter” tosales@onedayadventures.com.

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Just Do It

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always now. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”  Author Nora Roberts

It’s the final push. You eagerly planned your SMART goal, committed, got off to a great start and now you just.want.to.quit. Seriously, why is the final stretch so painful?

This phase isn’t about organizing or prioritizing, you’ve got that down. There may not even be any positive thinking left to dredge up. Right now, you just need to suck it up and get er’ done. Pick up that phone one more time and ask for another sale. Set your clock early again because that’s the only time you can focus on your task.

At this point, you have to keep a picture of the end result squarely in the center of you vision. This dogged focus will help you pick up and keep going despite temporary lapses. It is the only way you will be able to commit to doing the hard stuff, because you know the biggest challenges will produce the biggest results.

Athletes, such as endurance runners, use a variety of mental tricks to push through the pain of a long, challenging race. Here are a few examples:

Repeat a Mantra

If you connect pain with a negative emotion, you’ll feel more pain, so connect it with a positive thought, and you’ll feel less. Create a positive affirmation for yourself, like “Go!” or “Do this now!” to call upon during tough times.

Know It Will Pass

When you are working hard, you may feel tired, deprived, frustrated or many other unpleasant emotions. Remember that the pain comes and goes, and as you learn what to expect, you learn how to cope with it. During difficult moments, remind yourself that the discomfort is temporary, and each step forward is one closer to the finish.

Think of the Payoff

Don’t get too emotionally involved or upset with the discomfort of your challenge. Acknowledge the feelings but keep yourself detached. Recognize how what you’re doing is helping you reach your goal, that by pushing yourself, you’re getting better.

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When the going gets tough

“One way to keep your momentum going is to constantly have great goals” Michael Korda, author of Another Life: a Memoir of Other People

Now that it’s February, do you actually remember those goals and resolutions you set back in January?

“Well,” you think, “it’s flu season and tax season, who has the time or energy?”

If goal setting takes some though, goal accomplishment requires steely resolve. There is always an excuse for not piling more cares on your already heaping plate.

All the enthusiasm and energy you had at the onset, has waned. The momentum is no longer flowing, meaning now you have to create it. Take a good look at your ultimate goal and break it down into baby steps – tasks that take varying amounts of time from 60 minutes to 15 minutes. Now, you can always fit in time to work towards your goal. Take one step, then another, then another. Just keep making progress.

At any point in time you have two choices, walk backward, further away from your goal, or take positive steps closer to achievement.

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Great Goal Setting

With happy holidays in the rearview mirror, January is all about a fresh starts and, sadly, failed New Year’s resolutions. Surveys show that about two thirds of Americans make resolutions, at least occasionally, but less than 10 percent consider themselves successful in achieving their resolutions.

We can help ourselves succeed in our goals by ensuring our goals are S.M.A.R.T

Specific. Who, what, when, where, why

Measurable. How much or how many?

Achievable. Is the desired result realistic? (it’s OK if it’s a little challenging)

Relevant. Why does it matter? 

Timely. What is the deadline(s)?

You can help your team be successful in any professional goals they have. Sign up for our newsletter for a goal-setting activity that you can do with your team.

There are several other ways One Day Adventures can help your team achieve their goals. One of the most popular resolutions made by adults is to “enjoy life to the fullest.” We’ve never seen anyone on our zipline who doesn’t look like they are enjoying life. Another top goal is to get in shape, which you’ll enjoy doing by walking our GPS course. Adults also want to “learn something exciting,” so come out and let us teach you how to rappel or rock climb.

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