Combine Soft Skills Training and Charity Team Building

Doug Staneart  |  July 11, 2011
last updated

Want to get a really big bang for your training dollar? Combine Soft Skills Training and Charity Team Building for a great solution. For years, companies have realized the value of combining fun team building activities with a charitable donation to underprivileged kids or families. In fact, after we invented the Build-A-Bike® Team Building Activity, a whole new industry called philanthropic team building was created. These charity team activities fit really well into conventions or annual meetings because they add a lot of energy and camaraderie to these annual events. But what happens when you have a smaller group, and you want to achieve some real team-oriented behavior change such as conflict resolution, communication skills, or even supervisory skills or management training? Well, we’ve gotten some really good results in combining classroom skill-building sessions with charity team building.

Classroom Skill-Building Team Activities

A group overcoming public speaking fear at a public speaking class. Classroom training will generate better skill development and retention than the game-type training that usually makes up the bulk of the high energy team activities. However, the classroom doesn’t have to be boring. Typically, classroom teachers have a habit of lecturing audiences, so although the material might be instructional or informative, retention is low because the audience is bored. A better way to deliver classroom training is to give a little bit of information, and then reinforce it with an activity that improves retention and makes the training fun. In fact, one of the techniques that we use is to add some type of “Wow!” activity as well. For instance, in creating a team culture, we show participants how to improve their memory so much that they can remember, pretty much word-for-word, 28 Leadership Principles. Most participants are shocked at how easy it is to remember a huge list of items when they learn this secret.

Add Charity Team Building

A team after they have completed a team event for charity. So once the group is having fun and surprising themselves with how much they have learned and how easy it was to retain and use the information, then you add in one of our CSR team building activities. You can add in a high-energy team event in the afternoon to add real emotion to the day. These charity team building events are compelling because they often reinforce skills from the earlier session. For instance, a Personality Temperament session in the morning might poke fun at the temperaments a little and show how each will react in a stressful situation. Then, if you add an outdoor scavenger hunt in the afternoon and set a time limit, the reactions of each temperament really take over. The “drivers” just want to go while the “analytical” want to form a plan first. The practical application of the classroom session really comes alive in the charity team building session.

When you combine soft-skills training with charity team building, you get a valuable combination of fun activities and real skill development, so you achieve a big bang for your investment.

author Doug Staneart
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Doug Staneart is president of The Leader's Institute ®. He is based in the Dallas, Texas Region. He is a specialist in corporate team building activities and custom presentation skills seminars.
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