One of the best ways to establish trust amongst a new team of people is a shared activity together. The most effective are off-site, in a location removed from the normal working environment. Often these activities can provide some sort of physical challenge – for both individuals and teams.
The Ropes Course we used included both low elements and high elements.
In the Trust Fall everyone gets to experience truly trusting each other. From a platform or ladder about 6ft off the ground, a team member falls backwards into the arms of their teammates. It sounds simple, but the is quite challenging to truly let go, fall back and trust that your people will catch you.
The objective of the Web event is for each person to get through to the other side without coming into contact with any part of the web. This requires strategic planning and cooperation in order for all team members to move, dive, or be lifted through successfully.
Some ropes courses, may also include high elements, such as the Walenda. In this activity, the goal is for each participant to successfully cross a wobbly, unsteady bridge with only a rope reference for balance. Team members are responsible to hold each person on belay and cheer them on.
Another high element is the Pole, where each person climbs to the top of a xx ft pole. The journey is an individual one – of overcoming fear of heights, trusting others to have secured our safety as we climb – as well as a team one – to support the climber by holding them on belay, and shouting encouragement.
How to capture this content as a Graphic Facilitator? Head to the ropes course too – with a few flip charts in tow!
After a long day on the ropes course, we encourage participants to relax together and reflect on their experiences, such as around a bonfire as seen in this little vignette.
Have you ever experienced the power of participating in a ropes course event? Or led an off-site retreat including ropes course activities? Would love to hear all about it so do share your experience in a blog comment on this topic!