Month: March 2020

Team Building Games for Energized Fun Learning

According to Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, simple words but with a lot of weight. Team building is the process of bringing together every team member and turning them in a cohesive group. This would help them to work cooperatively and collaboratively to meet self, team and organization’s goals.

Teamwork has always been the center attention as far as employee-focused initiatives are concerned and its ability to bring in workplace happiness has been non-debatable. Various benefits can be derived from corporate team building activities as it involves games and tasks designed to build behavioral competency.

Corporate Team Building events are more fun, as compared to instructor led sessions. In any team building session the facilitator poses a challenge to the team to achieve a goal, without explaining how to do that. Participants must work together and communicate effectively as a team to reach out to a solution.

The learning happens with experience succeeded by reflection, discussion, analysis and evaluation of experience. Team building activities help the participants to discover their inner strengths and how to relate that to their workplace. It also allows them to learn soft skills required and in turn brings out their natural leadership style.

Team-building benefits including the following:

  • Enables motivated and collaborative team members, as this is a move towards bringing individuals together
  • Helps in quick problem solving and decision-making process as large number of heads contribute in it
  • Assists in creativity and unconventional thinking as employees are moved away from their usual workplace, which refreshes them
  • Enhances productivity by discovering and eliminating hindrances and improving current ways of working
  • Boosts morale of employee, as they feel organization and co-workers are interested in knowing and developing them.

After completing team-building activities together, employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and interests.

Below are some interesting team-building activities for energized learning:

  1. Team building kits. This is an enticing game where you mix an escape room, a movie and team building together to bond fun with teamwork productivity. In a group of 3-5 members, teammates try to solve a case with the help of clues and documents. They need to work together and develop theories to solve the mystery. It eases coworker bonding while focusing on communication and trust.
  2. Scavenger hunt. This team-building activity never fall and motivates teams to connect creatively. Divide the group in two or three teams depending upon the number of participants. Make and provide them a list of items to find or do within a deadline. The first team which finishes it, wins. This activity can be made more fun by including riddles, twists, etc. to lead their way to final rounds. This activity is popular to promote teamwork and creativity.
  3. Who am I? Teamwork is often hindered by stereotypes. This activity will help to break groups’ preconceptions. Make name tags for different kinds of people like, “Go-Getter”, “Sincere”, “Cooperative”, etc. Place these tags on the back of the person so that they can’t see it, but others can. For a time, let the group mingle and ask each person to guess what their label is by the way other persons are behaving with them. As each team member figures out what they are, they can exit and let the rest continue with the game.
  4. Photo-shoot. This is a great activity to promote teamwork and task distribution, thereby mixing learning and fun together. Split the group into teams of 4-5 members, ensuring all the members have camera phones with them. Make up a list of objects/situations/ things/people that they need to capture as a team. Depending on the difficulty level, assign them different points for different things. Ask them to meet back after a specific time limit.

Try testing and find out the best activity that works out for you. The activity that you choose depends upon the number of participants, your purpose and preparation time. Combine fun-activity with learning to derive the best results.

Filed under: Team Building

Situational Mentoring: Right Help at Right Time

Situational mentoring is a short-term discussion between executives on issues which are highly impactful in nature. The main objective is to enhance the individual and organization performance. It is a quick-hitting, short-term collaborative learning relationship which leads to creating solutions which are creative in nature.

Situational mentoring involves mentors and experts for information, advice, and feedback. In situational mentoring, mentees look for collaborators who can guide them or give them specific advice on a single, targeted issue which needs to be solved quickly. These kinds of compact microlearning engagements are fast to set up and fast to shut down.

Situational mentors are considered as the right help at right time. They inspire, motivate, encourage, and share valuable lessons to the mentees. They provide support to a specific situation and guidance and help in overcoming it.

Things that will help in situational mentoring:

Create a clear context

To get actionable results, it’s important for both mentor and mentee to have a clear understanding of the issue or situation. This will help in judging the situation well and making better decisions to solve the problem. A clear context will also work as a good starting point for the initial meeting between mentor and mentee. This will also help in setting the timeline and make the action plan. The action plan should include understanding the situation, gather additional information and select and test solution

Focusing on people

To transfer tacit knowledge, it requires interaction. Tacit knowledge is the judgement and wisdom which is acquired through experience i.e. it can’t be gained through by looking at the database. Tacit knowledge has a relational context which creates an atmosphere for dialogue, good and analytical understanding of the situation. This leads to building commitment from both the parties involved to find a solution to the issue.

Attributes of a situational mentor

  • Commitment oriented – Situational mentors are committed to solve the specific problem in an efficient manner. The focus is not how much time will be offered from mentor to the mentee but how efficiently the problem is solved.
  • Situational mentor encourages others – Mentors believe that everyone comes with a unique skill set and they should use that to solve problems personally and professionally.
  • Situational mentors believe that each person has a unique potential and it is exciting– They believe each individual can stretch the limits to achieve the goals. Mentors are usually positive in their approach and promote mentee’s potential in every way possible. This will help the mentees to achieve the next level of their aspirations.
  • Situational mentors can be of any age – Situational mentors don’t necessarily have to be in the management position. They can be of any age. A lot of times junior professional have a lot to offer and can help mentees to achieve their aspirations. Young mentors can provide technical guidance or can give their generation’s perspective on various issues. Young mentors know their niche area and they can offer good advice in that.
Filed under: Mentoring

What is Stress Coaching?

Being stressed is something that we experience in our day to day life. For some it’s a recurring problem and can affect their health and well-being. Stress can affect people in different ways and the cause of stress can widely vary. Change in job, going to a new place, arguments with friends and families, etc can cause stress. A circumstance can be stressful for one but not for others. It all depends on the individual and his/her coping mechanism.

Symptoms of stress

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling anxious
  • Sense of overwhelm
  • Shallow breathing
  • Snapping at people
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache

There are a lot of ways to deal with stress. It can include changing lifestyle, using self-help techniques, seeking help from mental health professional, life coaching etc.

How can coaching help with stress?

The aim of the coach is to offer clarity about the circumstance in order to help the individual to understand it properly. This helps the individual to understand the root cause of the situation. Coach engages the individual in a series of conversation to make him/her understand the situation properly. Coach helps in gaining insights or reflection that the individual might not have considered earlier.

Stress coaching helps the individual to come up with strategies and techniques to reduce the stress and to cope in an effective manner whenever any stressful situation arises. There are a lot of stress relaxation techniques, journaling techniques, meditation, etc which help the individual during stressful conditions.

Understanding the root cause may lead to a change in habits of the individual which ultimately help in dealing with stress in an effective manner. Coach will help the individual to adopt the new habits in an effective manner. For example, setting some boundaries, saying “no” to some things, etc will help the individual to cope better.

During coaching, individual can set goals for himself/herself and can decide on the areas to focus upon during each session. Each session will help in uncovering the root cause of the situation and help the individual to feel better and manage it in an effective manner.

After all the sessions are done, individual should create an action plan for oneself regarding the way he/she will move forward and deal in a stressful condition.

Some self-help tips to deal with stress

  1. Ask for help whenever required, delegate the tasks. This will help in lifting off the pressure. It can be done at work or in personal life.
  2. Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, etc.
  3. Avoid too much caffeine or sugar as this lead to physical symptoms which are similar to anxiety-like feeling dizzy, heart palpitations and may lead to stress.
  4. Be active as physical activity helps to reduce stress and improve the overall well-being of the individual.
  5. Build a support network and turn up to them when you need them. Talking to other people helps in relieving stress and help to cope better.

Stress coaching and self-help techniques help the individual to understand the situation better and come up with strategies to cope in an effective manner.

Filed under: Coaching