By Elise Colcord, Client Advocate
Team Building. Most people would think of some sort of weekend retreat, cramped in a room with all your coworkers, and a motivational speaker heading up the podium, attempting to amp up the crowd for hours.
Our Google calendars alert us at 1:50 with a simple message: “Improv Team Building with Dad’s Garage. Don’t worry it’ll be fun!”
That’s an intimidating prospect, especially for those who do their best to dodge on-the-spot public speaking in their lives, or think they have to be funny to participate.
Ten minutes later, the customer experience, product, and development teams are wandering toward the back of the office and trickling in to the oversized training room.
There, we see a bucket o’ beer to ease the nerves many of us have about this event.
Matt and Dan from Dad’s Garage quickly introduced themselves and explained how we’d be using improve to work on team building, beginning with a foundation of effective communication, and saying ‘yes’ to ideas.
Then, the laughing, face-making, shenanigans begin as we’re instructed to circle up and synchronize clap with each other. Which evolved into impressive impersonations of a bear and a chicken clucking.
Yep, we ‘performed’ shamelessly all in the name of open communication.
After our goofy warm up, we were tasked to walk around the room and on three, find people to ‘build’ whatever object or animal Matt and Dan called out.
In a panic, we formed: the Eiffel Tower, a fire truck, an elephant, and a camel. All I can say is, we’ve got absolutely creative minds here at Patientco. Who knew an elephant could take on so many different forms!
Matt and Dan paused us, showing how it’s important to work as a team, while having designated leaders or a solid communication outline in order to form a ‘proper’ human semblance of an elephant.
We then started a game equivalent to having word-vomit syndrome.
Circling up once more, clearly our favorite shape that day, one person begins with any random word, and the next person can either piggy back or blurt the first word in their brain.
Well, you get the picture. We’re a creative/hungry bunch!
We did a few more one-word exercises, telling stories as a whole group, then on a two-by-two basis, later reconvening to relay the ridiculousness we had created.
The stories were absurd and hysterical. Matt stops us once again to show, though we may not ‘like’ our word or idea, who knows if the next person will use that as a trigger to jump to a successful idea.
To wind down the afternoon, we rejoined the other group to recap what we had learned, tell the strange stories we had concocted when we quieted our internal chatterbox, and opened our minds to any and all ideas.
Improv is what you make of it. Here at Patientco, we definitely made it our own and got to have a great, goofy afternoon as a Patientco-ian family.