Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Team Building for All Female Groups

From a team building perspective, nothing offers a greater challenge that when the group you are charged with delivering a great day for is, in some way, homogeneous. It might be that they are all accountants, or all fire fighters, or all trainers (one of the most critical groups as you can imagine!), but the most interesting and most demanding of all, in my experience, is when the homogeneity comes from the gender. And I'm not talking all male groups, here. By comparison, they are much easier to satisfy.

Without doubt, my experience is that the female of the species tend to be better at most types of team building. They are more naturally able to cope with multi-tasking and most of the best team activities demand that particular skill in abundance. They are often far more practical too when it comes to anything involving design and construction.

Yet, more often than not, the males always think they can build things better. So a team may have to wait until the males give up (something they are certainly better at!) for a female to take the reigns of that kind of task before real progress is made. and I am speaking as a fully paid up member of the male gender here, folks!

So when the group is one hundred percent female, we usually find that we have a very capable group indeed. And, given the increased level of multitasking capability in such a group, if it suits the activity and the type of day they wanted, we expect the laughter and the sheer level of involvement to be a step increase of a mixed group as well.

But that doesn't mean that every kind of activity is of equal interest and value to a single gender, all female group by any means. Activities that are mostly about construction tend to be of less interest. That might not always be the case, but in general bridge building or raft building just holds less fascination for women than it does for men.

Activities that include construction as one element among many are fine. Again in my experience, activities that appeal to a large variety of interests go down well as do ones that have a musical theme. Themes that you might think wouldn't appeal, such as an activity that we have that is set in the American wild west, go down extremely well indeed.

Even in mixed groups, the women are often the better builders of wigwams and their dexterity level easily matches the men when it comes to learning and showing off their gunslinging skills. Tasks such as gold panning, that require great patience to do well at, are again a female forte and a huge number of women are themselves surprised at how much enjoyment they get out of something like that.

When it comes to the full-blown fun activities, the level of competition and sheer noise that an all female group usually makes turns an event into a fabulous experience, even (perhaps especially?) for us as facilitators.

So my advice to anyone organising an all female team away day or similar is this. Pass on any team building activities that are dominated by some kind of construction and instead look to those with great variety within them.

By : Alan_Hunt

No comments: