Hey, another week and we are in for another exciting session. This time it is Avinash’s turn and he has a proven track record of bringing in some awesome activities to the team’s continuous learning sessions. We have had so many of these sessions in the past that it seems we have exhausted almost all the team games and activities out there (we are always trying to find new activities to take up in the team’s continuous learning sessions).
For those who are new to our work culture blog, let me tell you about our amazing continuous learning sessions. Every week we have these activity sessions that is led by a team member. It is a fun way to learning. We started off with a “how easy it is to paint” session from the arts and crafts theme. We have progressed through sports and fitness, teamwork sessions and now we are game for anything as far as continuous learning is concerned. The key is that we should be learning loads of stuff that would help develop our skills and personalities. Once the activity is over, we huddle around to share our learning from the activity. We share and imbibe as well. Yeah, don’t even ask – we love these sessions!
As I said before, we have had so many of these sessions that we have almost exhausted our bag of continuous learning goodies. We are always on the lookout for new activities that will help us replenish this goodies bag. In our quest to bring in a variety of activities, we are constantly evolving the activities and finding newer ways and means to learning new things. That is what exactly prompted Avinash to go for this week’s activity.
The activity that he chose for this week’s session was seemingly easy. He chose to go for an activity that needed a good amount of strategizing. In fact, as always, he had given it a thought as to what he needed from the activity. An easy activity but one that needed some in-depth strategizing to meet the goal. Sure enough, as he told us about what we had to do, we all realized that the game was not difficult but the strategy needed was a tad difficult.
The activity was simple. A rope would be tied to two posts, and we had to make a human chain and cross over the rope. Easy, right? There was a catch — in fact two of them. Avinash told us about the “no touching policy” with the rope — we couldn’t touch it in any way — not even the clothes we wore were to touch the rope, a hand or a nail or leg was a BIG NO. The other catch was that at no point could we break the human chain.
Avinash’s motive behind taking up this activity was interesting. He wanted everyone to keep in mind their current situation and challenges in mind before taking up the new ones. The example he gave was regarding the work– when taking on new responsibilities, one also had to keep in mind that existing tasks didn’t break or were left incomplete. True, in the activity, we had to maintain the chain — see that we do not let go off our team mate’s hand behind us as we proceeded to cross the rope in front of us.
As soon as he announced the rules of the game, we knew it needed some in-depth strategizing to meet the target or goal with all the rules intact. The goal could be met, but it was the playing that was going to be difficult. But yes, we decided to start the game, and divided ourselves into two teams. Oh! By the way, did I tell you about the penalty part? No? There was a penalty for each time we touched the rope — we had to do it all over again.
The game was fun. We worked out a few permutation and combination with the strategies. It was not easy to cross over the rope. Height was an issue — some of us were short, others tall. The taller ones among us could easily cross over the rope and the shorter ones found it difficult. Then Vivek’s team decided to use the human chair approach. A few of them sat down or bent down so that others could step over on their backs to cross the rope (yeah, we had to do this while making sure that we did not break the chain).
We faced a lot of things — the height issue was the smallest. For example, Astha had a fear of heights (even the height at which we had to cross the rope), mindset — the righteousness of stepping on a person even if in a game, etc. But we all did it. We pushed each other with encouraging words and did it. Actually, the motivation was what made us do it and that fact that we were doing this as a team to reach a particular goal.
All of us played well. As a game well played, the lessons were also great as we knew from the learning recap after the activity. Let me recount them to you one by one.
Bhushan learning was never to give up no matter. He felt that Astha’s team was great at motivation (that was also a learning). The other lesson was to overcome obstacles via strategizing.
Shubham knew that in his team, there were people with difference in height and they worked well at the activity. So similarly, in a team, different skill sets come together to achieve the team goal.
Abhilash learned to not just make the strategies but also how to make it work.
Vivek noticed the tortoise principle in the activity. There were mistakes, but as they did the activity, again and again, they became confident of it doing it. He felt that the reason why they took time was because of silly mistakes that they made. The second learning that he shared was that when you are alone, it is easier to do a task than when you do it with friends, colleagues or as a team. It starts to become tad difficult.
Another aspect or rather the benefit of a team game that Vivek pointed out through Blessy’s example is that had it not been a team game, Blessy would never have gathered the courage to cross over the rope. Because of the team, she gathered herself and muster the courage to cross over.
Rajlaxmi liked the activity and she pointed out that whenever we work as a team, some people have limitations. Hers was height problem. She was not sure how to cross over the rope. In a team, limitations of some people can be converted as strengths with the help of other people. In her case, with the team’s support it was converted to success and she could cross over the rope.
Yogita had a life lesson — when you hold on to your past you cannot move on to the forward. When we leave that behind (of course, you need to hold on to some things, but not take those forward in a way that pulls you down).
Blessy learned that team work and motivation was important to achieve team goals.
Heena said that in a teamwork if one strategy doesn’t work we should try another. Plus, team coordination was important.
Monali learned that teamwork helps a lot
Prajakta also felt that as per team’s skill sets strategy and implementation should be planned
Sakshi who had done a similar activity earlier too felt that limitation is not always a weakness, sometimes, it can be a strength too.
Astha who has acrophobia felt that everyone one motivated. She agreed with Vivek that as a team she could do it.
Pritam learned that thinking through as meeting the goal as a team such as having the weakest link cross over the rope first. Also, when you are in s hurry, you cannot take proper decisions.
Bhanu talked about the different strategies they tried out.
Amit loved the activity and felt that one should not assume as the reality might be different (like he felt that the activity would be easy but was difficult).
Hamza actually discussed the change that has come over him after the continuous learning sessions he had attended — the self assessment of his feelings.
Vivek highlighted something else that hit the nail on the head. When we as team didn’t worry too much about failing. When we are hung up on our strategies as a team, our dormant needs brings up our ego. When we are comfortable about making mistakes , we enjoyed working together – we enjoy teamwork, don’t find faults and that brings up our productivity automatically.
As usual, Avinash, your activities are unique and give us great insights. Thank you for another great session!