The Generation Green (TGG) Mentee Team Building Program

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20 December: The Borderlands PDP organized a one-dayTeam Building Program for the participants of The Generation Green Project initiated by WWF Nepal. The program took place at the premises of Staff College, Lalitpur had 57 young participants from diverse education / social background. The program underlying theme was ‘Team Building &Bonding’ with reference to team communication, trust and creating a common platform for shared ideas and leadership practices.

The program was based on learning by doing approach also known as ‘Experiential Learning’. Personalized reflection of an experience and formulation of plans to apply the learning to other contexts are critical factors in effective experiential learning. This can also be viewed as a cycle consisting of five phases, all of which are necessary.

  • experiencing (an activity occurs)
  • sharing or publishing (reactions and observations are shared)
  • analyzing or processing (patterns and dynamics are determined)
  • inferring or generalizing (principles are derived)
  • applying (plans are made to use learning in new situations)

During the Team Building Program, participatory and interactive methods were used in the internal and outdoor sessions.Each activity required the participants to engage, communicate, thinking out of box, co-ordinate and overcome challenges. These activities pushed participants beyond their ‘comfort zone’ both emotionally and physically asking them to develop new strategies for interaction, take on the role of team member and approaches to lateral thinking.

Specifically, the following methods were used: icebreakers, setting the tone, role plays, group works, exercises and team initiatives. The participants shared their experiences and lessons drawn were discussed with honesty and respect for one another.

 

  1. Objectives

 

The objectives of the Team Building Program are:

  • Increase mutual support within the team, two way communication, leadership and boosting participant’s morale
  • Foster stronger relationship and cohesiveness in teams
  • Identifying the problems and generating the strategy to overcome those problem areas
  • Identifying good behaviors of individuals as well as areas of improvements
  • To have some fun, relax and enjoy each other’s company and to build a sense of togetherness.

 

  1. Program Proceeding

 

Session 1:

Borderlands PDP greeted the Generation Green Participants and their team program which was followed by introducing the facilitators and the days program. A team clap session to welcome them all followed by an ice breaker ‘Hand squeeze’ announced the beginning of the program. This task required the team members to focus on the set goal and perform accordingly. After a few trials, the completion time improved which led to a positive team celebration. This marked the beginning session and enabled the team members to create a team identity and the importance of team work and its value. Here after, a human spiral to applaud the youngest team member and T other side, the carpet flip were used as a metaphor to team achievement and positive discipline.

 

Session 2:

Before initiating the problem solving activities, the Borderlands PDP tested the level of trust among the individual through Trust activity.Trust pair and Willow tree were combined to increase the level of challenge for the team, test the level of trust and effectiveness of two way communication.

The sole purpose of this activity was to interconnect the concept of trust and mutual awareness, the fundamental elements of team effectiveness.

 

Session 3: Team Building Initiatives A

Following trust exercise the teams were given problem solving tasks that had be completed in a series of stations dispersed around the premises. The first half of the problem solving session had exercises like the Team parachute, magic carpet, giant skis and electric fence. All of these exercised some important elements of strategy, planning, time management and support, leadership and implementation of plans. Some specific learning that was drawn is:

  • Division of role is required
  • Proper instructions and safety issues should be considered to initiate any risky task.
  • Two way communications is required. Reassure everything before any action.
  • Proper allocation of human resource i.e. right person at right place at right time.
  • Better planning and strategy leads to quality result
  • Time management
  • Team support and efforts are required to achieve the goal
  • Active listening, clear instructions are needed for better implementation of plans and policies.
  • Improvisation of plans is required if the previous plans fail

 

 

Session 4: Team Building Initiatives B

Post lunch session had team activities that included Rope square, command task, don’t lose your marbles and clove hitch. By this time the participants had bonded well as a team and were beginning to understand the basics of ‘experiential learning’ cycle;Apprehend – Identify – Action – Review. Some key awareness that were brought out during this session is:

  • Focus and being committed to achieve the target
  • Knowledge management
  • Learning from mistakes and continuous improvement is required
  • Keeping it simple, no need to complicate and confuse with unnecessary and untimely instructions
  • Review and revisit, proper allocation of the resources as and when required and being aware of limitations are prerequisite for successful completion of tasks

 

Session 5:

After completion of the team building program there was an indoor session to recap the learning and share this with the team. The groups were given time to brain storm the learning experience and present them to the rest of the team members. This led to building a sense of relating the activities to daily learning and how this can be used for future improvements and advancements.

The final team act was the Giant step that required the team to take a step forward to a collective vision for days ahead. Connectivity among the members and appropriate leadership emerged as a result; at the same time building a deep rooted sense of camaraderie.