Team Away Day-February 2009

February 16, 2009
By Rang De Team

The Team Away day served the dual purpose of having fun and learning together and made for a day that was relaxing and enjoyable. There were activities planned that aimed at strengthening the communication skills, morale, trust, and cohesiveness of the team.

Rang De has virtual teams. A few of us are at Bangalore and the rest of us at Chennai. Even at Chennai, a few of us work virtually. The team seldom has face-to-face exchanges, but talk to each other by way of e-mails, phone calls and teleconferences. So a virtual organization like Rang De used the Away day as a great way to teamwork on new challenging and fun situations that required us to interact and brainstorm with each other. We learnt to be supportive, appreciative, and creative when solving nonstandard problems!

The Rang De team away day was a hit from the word go! We decided to spend a day as a team at the Guindy National Park on a warm day in the first week of February. We left in small groups to the destination. We found a perfect spot to park ourselves for the day.

Sowmya, our Senior Consultant — Corporate Partnerships, volunteered to be the event manager for the day. Right from introducing ourselves to the group, every activity was planned and aimed at achieving a “team” quality.

Sowmya sang to tell us how she began work at Rang De. Gnan made good use of some paper tissues to talk about his work, Archana mimed, Sarita spoke (She was the youngest and newest) Smita, Nikhil, Shirley and I (Arthi) chose the safest option- we drew! By the time we got done, the ice was broken and we were at ease with each other.

Bull Ring. The team had to hold ends of eight strings attached to a metal ring and lift a rubber ball off the top of a hollow makeshift stalk. Seemed easy but proved difficult! Sowmya banned a few of us from talking while the game was on to make the challenge even more nerve wrecking! Precious time was ticking away- we borrowed more time! With the help of frantic gestures, telepathy and a strong synergy of individual contributions, we successfully lifted the ball off the hollow stalk with the strung ring and also placed it back on the hollow stalk that had been moved a few yards.

Later we were told that all the discussions, gesturing, listening and nodding pointed to a great team spirit!As Robert Yates rightly said, “It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.” People at Rang De found this to be true on the Team Away day that was organized at Chennai recently.

Brain teaser. We were given a wooden piece in the shape of a question mark and asked to balance it without support, on the tip of our forefingers. Though it seemed like an impossible task, it was proved that it could be done. We realized that nothing was impossible if we had the perseverance and ability to think out of the box

Drawing geometrical figures. To prove how perceptions differ, we were asked to draw geometrical figures while listening to instructions being read out. The activity turned out to be so hilarious! After the first few instructions were read out, we compared notes and couldn’t help laughing when we realized that each one of us had a different version of the diagram. We asked questions to clarify and were denied additional information. Later of course the instructions were read out again and this time, clearly with specifics and we could replicate the original without looking at it.

The Spider Web tested our planning skills, leadership skills and integrity and trust! A spider’s web was woven between two tree trunks with the help of strings and we were given the simple task to cross the web from one side to the other. The challenge was to go through the web without touching the strings. We carried, nudged, lifted and squeezed people through! Some of us who were bigger had to hold our breaths and tuck every ounce of flab to cross over! But cross over we did! Team Rang De agreed that the critical element of team work success is that all the team efforts are directed towards the same clear goals — The team goals.

Before we knew it was time to wind up and leave. The gardener at the National park organized some tea for us and promised not to turn the sprinklers on till we vacated! It was a good day away from work and we promised to earn ourselves another break with the team soon.

When we arrived at the venue we were group of people. When we were done , we left as a team!