5 tips to better communication in the workplace

Team meeting in the office

We talk to our colleagues every day (hopefully), but how much are we really hearing one another? Here are 5 simple steps that can help your Tribe improve communication in the workplace.

 

1) Talk face-to-face

Email strings can get your team in a bit of a muddle because, let’s face it, it’s not the clearest method of communication. If something can be said face-to-face by simply leaving your desk/office, then what’s not to love? Putting in some time with people won’t just ensure that the message is delivered correctly, but it also gives the impression that your colleagues can come to you about other things as well. If it’s really important and you want a time stamped trail – why not follow up an important meeting with a wrap-up email?

 

2) Structured communication

Schedule a meeting every week to catch up with your team. This time with your team can be very proactive, but also very therapeutic. Give everyone an equal chance to talk through their projects, request feedback or ask for support where it’s necessary. Not only does it inspire group creativity and problem solving, but it also gives you a regular chance to assess the workloads and well-being of your team.

 

3) Confidence to talk

Not everybody is confident in their communication skills. For some people, making a comment in front of a group of people can be their idea of a nightmare – so when communicating with them, be sure to build up their confidence. Give them the floor without interrupting or talking over them, engage them instead of dismissing them, show appreciation for their comments, then give them constructive feedback should it be necessary. Once everyone in the team feels comfortable enough to voice their ideas, you’ll have one inspirational team.

 

4) Socialising outside of work

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a weekly catch up at the pub, but getting to know your colleagues on a more personal level can only improve communication. If socialising outside of work is out of the question, consider checking in with your colleagues every now and again. Simply showing an interest their lives outside of work shows you care about them and are open to talking should they need an ear.

 

5) Don’t talk at all

Communication is a two way street – and sometimes it’s your job to just listen. Stop whatever you’re doing, give your full time and attention, but most importantly, listen to what the other person is saying. Sometimes the most productive outcome is when someone feels they’ve really been heard. Let them talk, then come up with solutions as a team instead of dictating.

 

We think that team building is a great way to socialise outside of work as well as building confidence between colleagues. When was the last time your team got out of the office and spent a day together? If you or your Tribe are interested in some tree-time at Go Ape, request a quote here for your tailored team day out.

Meet Steve: the 67 year old adventurer

Meet Steve

Struggling to plan a team day out that suits all ages? How about a trip to Go Ape for your next team building day? “It’s only for the young and energetic” we hear you say. Well hear us out… there’s a new kid on the block, who’s proving you’re never too old for adventure.

If you’ve been to Go Ape Crawley in Tilgate Park recently, you may have been in the presence of Go Ape history. Our oldest (and wisest) instructor ever has returned for his second season – 67 year old Steve Allen! Steve is waving the flag for all adventurous sexagenarians (that’s a person who’s between 60 and 69 in case you’re wondering).

 

Where it all began

We were lucky enough to have Steve join our Tribe in 2016, but we’d like to think that a life in the trees was always calling for him. Steve started out in stage management – not very Go Ape we hear you say, but hear us out… his main duty was scenery building which included an awful lot of forests. We’d like to think he’s always had a penchant for trees.

 

From painting trees to swinging through them

Our Steve took to the outdoors like a fish to water (or a monkey to the trees). An outdoorsy man at heart, Steve always had the itch to be ‘in the wild’. It wasn’t long before Steve left the stage management business and jumped into the world of walking holidays – a job that took him all over the world, working alongside people from all walks of life (get it?). Steve has led the way on too many excursions to mention – he’s worked with the Duke of Edinburgh programme and has even walked from the UK to Cuba.

 

What made him swing our way?

A simple email from an outdoor jobs company set Steve on his track to the trees. He loved that fact that Go Ape didn’t ask for his age on the job application (we know you can’t put an age limit on an adventurous spirit)

The rest, as they say, is history. We’re happier than a chimp in woodchip to have someone like Steve monkeying around with us. We only hope that Steve can encourage other grown-ups (or Silverbacks) to get outside and experience Go Ape for themselves.

We’ll leave you with these words of inspiration from the man himself:

“Keep going. Keep living life adventurously, and most importantly, keep enjoying yourself!”

If you’re interested in experiencing a team day out to Go Ape, Crawley (and maybe catching a glimpse of the celebrity, Steve), you can request a quote here.

Team building that doesn’t break the bank

Unilever

Our aim, here at Go Ape, is to encourage everyone to live life adventurously. The key word here being ‘everyone.’ We want people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to clamber up into the treetops and release their inner Tarzans. The Go Ape members club isn’t an exclusive one – it’s open to all! Even Sharon from accounts.

 

Company days out at Go Ape

 

Well, we want to make sure every company has the chance to come hang with us, regardless of size, turnover or number of employees. And that means offering mid-week team building trips that don’t bust the bank. It means plenty of Tarzan-inspired fun, without the giant price tag!

 

Go Ape trips are tree-mendously fun, yet affordable. And the great thing is, your team adventure will be tailor-made to suit your needs and budget. You tell us what you want and how much you have to spend, and our dedicated events team will get to work crafting the ultimate out-of-office adventure!

 

What does a team day look like?

To help you get an idea of costs, around £50* per head will get you:

 

– Around three hours of trailblazing and canopy exploring on one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses, OR a trip into the depths of the enchanting forest aboard our self-balancing, all-terrain Segways.

 

– Parking at reduced rates

 

– Use of our forest shelter, where you can kick back with your tribe post-adventure

 

– Picnic lunch

 

– Group photo (smile!)

 

*Based on a group of 10 people

 

Fancy a little more?

If you can afford to spend a little more, there are some jungle add-ons you may want to consider including in your day. You can combine Forest Segways, African drumming or, depending on location, you could add activities such as bike hire, or a hearty Forest BBQ, rustled up in front of your very eyes by our super-talented chef.

 

Oh, and if you need to do some serious stuff after monkeying around, we can arrange the hire of a nearby conference facility for team meetings. It comes pre-stocked with all the equipment you need – so just bring yourselves!

 

Team building trips are all about building bonds and getting to know one another better – and in our opinion, there’s no better place to do that than in the treetops!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Give your tribe the best surprise of 2017 so far by booking a Go Ape adventure. Request a quote here. See you in the trees soon!

Look away from the clock!

Office Clock

You’ve heard of the phrase, ‘a watched pot never boils,’ right? The meaning behind this age-old proverb is that time drags endlessly if you’re waiting for something to happen – like the end of your working day.

 

You check the time, write an email, check the time, catch up with a colleague, check the time, finish a proposal, check the time, make a tea round. You get the gist. But if your eyes are firmly fixed to that clock on the wall, you’re unlikely to be working your hardest!

 

And here’s the thing: the more intensely you monitor the hours until home time, the longer it will take for those hours to pass. Remember how Christmas Eve felt like the longest night of the year, because you were eager to see what Santa brought you?! It’s the same principle.

 

Time flies when you’re having fun

Learn to love the joys of the workplace, and you’ll no longer feel compelled to clock-watch all day long. While there’s no harm in looking forward to getting home, you can’t make 5pm arrive any sooner – so accept the fact, and embrace the here and now!

 

Hard work is a pleasant distraction from passing time. Engross yourself in a task, challenge yourself, or round-up some colleagues for a brainstorming sesh for a new project. You’ll be surprised at how quickly time ticks by – “Woah, it’s 4.30pm already?!”

 

Other ways to stay distracted from that clock include…

 

– Listening to uplifting music when tackling your least-favourite tasks.

 

– Regularly stepping outside for some fresh air, which helps to revitalise your body and mind.

 

– Planning your days in advance so you don’t end up twiddling thumbs (boredom leads to clock-watching).

 

– Giving yourself tight deadlines for each task to keep you focused, but not so tight that it causes unnecessary stress!

 

– Identify the times when you’re least productive, and break during those times.

 

– Speaking to someone about taking on some new, challenging tasks.

 

Escape the office environment 

If you’re not the only serial clock-watcher in the office, then it might be time for you all to take a well-earned break. Time to round-up the tribe and head somewhere where there are no clocks – or walls to mount them on, in fact! Time for a Go Ape adventure!

 

No walls or desks or clocks or computers; just miles upon miles of leafy trees and a sky-high obstacle course for you and your tribe to take on! After heading up high, you’ll work as a group to figure out the best way to tackle each crossing – from bridges and tunnels to tightropes and stirrups!

 

Time will fly in the treetops – and so will you, as you all take it in turns to whizz through the air via zip wire! Want to find out more about booking a Tree Top Adventure? Simply request a quote from our hairy tribe to get your team day off the ground (literally)!

 

 

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