TeamBuilding Unlimited, guest blogs today about Flexibility in Team Building. His ideas and thoughts can be applied to many different kinds of special events--and life.
Flexibility is a key component of Team Building Facilitation. One of the greatest boxers of all time, Mohamed Ali, used to say he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” Taking this metaphor to a different level, a team builder must be "relaxed and fly effortlessly and deliver the results with precision and accuracy.”
Flexibility in attitude, deliverables, process, and location are basic requirements. The location of the team building event may change at the last moment. The configuration of the room can be greatly modified before your arrival, and you may have to make serious adjustments in how the event will be developed.
Numbers may be in flux, and the best facilitators must deal in change, often at the last minute. Be prepared for more or fewer participants. There is always the possibility that one of your key assistants may turn up as a no show do to illness or traffic.
Weather, of course, can dictate the traffic, which prevents the arrival of a key helper, and it can also change an outside event into a potential conundrum. Sometimes there are no alternative locations. That is, however. a discussion for a different article.
It is essential to always plan on traffic problems and leave early for the destination. If there are no traffic problems well, at worst, you arrive early. Think about alternative routes when the weather is known to be contentious.
Attitude is a major factor in any event. Attitude is critical regardless of the source. Often times, the provider of each portion of the event begins to believe that his/her/their portion is what drives the event and that all others must follow. This can be most difficult. Machiavelli would have probably played one against the other for the best results, but team builders must take a different outlook. Consensus building is best, but not always achievable. As the song goes, and as experience is gained, “you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them.” You always want your best, and you have to make your case known and not just acquiesce to another component. It is not unusual for your client to not understand the implications of any last minute changes.
The supplies that you bring must be flexible enough so that you can adapt to these and other last minute changes. The activities you have planned need to have some flexibility to any changes in location, size of the group, technology and time. Back-up possibilities need to be considered. What you will deliver to your client may “float like a butterfly.”