Talking to your Team

June 13th, 2014

I was weeding my garden at the weekend and notice that there was a lot of bee activity around an old dovecote. The bees have taken a fancy to it, and just before it was going to be replaced! There is a lot of activity with the bees coming in and out of it all the time. Based on this we are pretty sure they are using it as their new hive. And we’re more than happy to leave them bee (get it?) in there.

But how did the bees come to find themselves there? Well it is likely that some scouts went looking for a new location for the hive, they found our dovecote, quite liked it and the queen bee moved there. But what about the rest of the hive members? Well they got told the information. They were told where they were going – the team shared the information. If they hadn’t shared this information they would have struggled to take all of the hive with them.

And that is an important lesson which we can learn from the bees. People are not mind readers, they cannot know something just because you do and you think they should. You must remember to tell your team members the information and share it with them. All to often team members can forget to do this –we see it a lot in our team building activities. The power of talk is an amazing thing for bringing the team, or hive, together.


Team Building Event of the Month

June 6th, 2014

Ah May. Weather: unpredictable. We can hope for sun of course – especially when a client books a venue with beautiful grounds that you’d just love to get out and about in – but can we guarantee it? No. So it is nice when it all works out as we’d like.

A hotel with beautiful grounds was indeed the venue for a brilliant Vision Idol event that charmed its way into our affections such that it wins our event of the month this time. To add to a nice venue and good weather, we had six teams each with more than its fair share of competitive spirit and our usually array of brilliant props that help make this event something special.  Vision Idol is one of our naturally tailored activities, so it is always different and always relevant to the client. It’s also always a hoot – for us as much as our participants, but this one had that little bit extra – thanks to a great group of participants.

We’ll not forget may things about it in a hurry – not least a couple of team entries that were real action shots, one of which was crowned the overall winner on the day. And a worthy winner it was too!  As was the event as a whole for us – the event of the month indeed!


Birds in the Garden

May 30th, 2014

Like many gardens across the nation mine has a multi-station bird feeder on it.  I am lucky in that it attracts many different species of UK garden birds.  Or am I lucky?  Or, instead, do I offer a variety of different seeds and feeds for the different birds that the mixture attracts a mixture of bird species?  If I only put one type of food out, it would not attract such a variety as mot all birds like the same feed.  So the variety of feed ensures I get a variety of birds in the garden.

The same logic applies to team building.  If you chose an activity which has only one type of task in it, the people who enjoy that style will love it.  But for those who do not enjoy that style they won’t want to be there, or to come back again.  Instead if you offer an activity which has a variety of different style tasks that require different skills sets then you are opening your team building activity up to your whole team, rather than just a portion of it.  By offering the variety, you are offering something for everyone and isn’t that part of what a team day is about?


Differences between Team Building Suppliers

May 23rd, 2014

With different providers for team building, how do you know which is the right one for you?  It may seem that just because everyone offers team building that we all offer the same products.  But that is not the case.  There are differences between each and every one of us.  For some suppliers it may be subtle differences, for example where they are willing to deliver an activity or the time periods activities are available.  Or it can be much bigger differences, such as with ourselves.  You can only get our unique and exciting team building activities directly through us or one of our specially appointed International Partners.  No one else in the UK offers our activities.  So if you are looking for a change, and not just a subtle difference contact us and see what we can offer you.


Your Team Building Shopping List

May 16th, 2014

When it comes time to do the weekly shop, I tend to write out a shopping list.  For me, this helps ensure that I remember all the key groceries for that week and anything extra that I wouldn’t normally buy.  It is, in essence, a tick list.  So if I can do this for my weekly food shopping, why can’t you do it for your team building shopping?

When you are looking to arrange team building for your organisation it is key to know a few vital components (your groceries if you wish).  This can include, but not be limited to:

  • Who it is for
  • How long you have for it
  • Why you want to do it
  • What you are hoping to achieve
  • Your budget for the event

If you know some, or all of the above, you should write them down as a shopping list for the team building activity.  That way when you talk to us about your event you can ensure you don’t miss anything key from your event.


Learning to Adapt

May 9th, 2014

Recently research was published which highlighted that African elephants can identify different humans.  They use vocal sounds for this.  For example, they are wary of the Masai men.  So if they hear male Masai voices they maybe avoid that area or be more cautious than around non Masai men.  What this shows, is that elephants have the ability to learn and adapt their behaviours based on their personal experiences.

Elephants are not the only creatures capable of doing this.  We humans are also highly capable of adapting – sometimes though we just need a little nudge in the right direction.  Other times, we may not realise that we can benefit from adapting our behaviour.

What we look to do in the debriefing sessions during our team building activities is to help highlight to your team members what it is they currently do and to help them see how they can adapt and learn and improve.  So their new behaviours more closely match what is required in their working lives.


Understanding the Benefits of Planning Ahead

May 2nd, 2014

Whilst being spontaneous can a very good, and sometimes invigorating, thing at times, it is not always the best approach.  Sometimes planning ahead and not leaving everything to the last minute is actually the right approach.  I am sure we all know people who struggle to plan ahead and they find it easier to be reactive.  However, as often is the case, spending a bit of time trying to help people understand the benefits for planning ahead can make the world of difference.

It is not that everyone wants to be always be reactive, rather they struggle to fit in the time plan.  By highlighting to them, and helping them to understand how planning ahead can benefit them both in their personal and professional lives can make all the difference.

We use our team building activities to help with that.  Our option Liberation is a very popular one to help understand the importance and benefits for planning head.  Whilst it is a very popular one, it is not the only one.  So, if your team members need some assistance in this area then contact us and see which of our unique team building activities will be the best for them.


Congratulations to Nikki and Iain

April 25th, 2014

A very heartfelt and huge congratulations to our Client Services Manager Nikki and her new husband Iain.  They are getting married today.  And we are sure you will join us in wishing them a wonderful day and a very happy life together.

From all of us at Sandstone

Understanding the Differences

April 18th, 2014

I had the pleasure of taking part in a wine tasting session not too long ago.  We got to try two sparkling, four white and four red wines.  Granted that is a lot of different types of wine to try but they were small glasses and we had plenty of water too!

Our fabulous wine connoisseur took us through how to identify the different flavours and make the most from your wine.  He treated us to wines of varying price levels to showcase the differences.  And boy were their differences!  You could tell the different qualities from each wine, and whilst not everyone picked the same wine as their favourite, everyone did agree that they liked having the choice on the day.

So what does this have to do with team building?  Well, like with wine tasting not all team building activities are created equal.  You have varying prices and for those prices you get different products.  Like wines, not all team building activities are made equal.

Likewise, our connoisseur told us it doesn’t matter which one, or ones, are your favourite, if it’s what you like and what works for you then that is the right one to go for.  And variety can also be the spice of life, so it might be nice to offer your team something which offers a mix on their team day to ensure everyone gets the most out of it.

Give us a call on 01158 715690 and see how our team building connoisseur can help you identify the right activity for you and your team.


Share and Share Alike

April 11th, 2014

We are big believers in every team being the best they can be, but not to the detriment of other teams or departments around them.  So how can they achieve this?  It is important for everyone to remember they are one team working towards the same end goal.  Holding team building events remind the departments of this can be beneficial.  But it is not just about reminding them.  It is also about showing them.  If you use the team building activities as an opportunity to help the team understand not only the benefits of working together and sharing information, knowledge and approaches, but also the downside of what happens when they don’t.  They can help the team members realise for themselves why they should share and share alike.