We’ve all been there. Maybe its just an average office work day. Maybe it’s your first day at a new job or your first day on a new team.
Annoying Manager: “O.K. people, today we are going to be doing a Team Building exercise- LETS GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER! We’re going to go around the conference table and I want you to stand up, introduce yourself, tell us why you came to work here at Vandalay Industries and then give one cRaZy fact about yourself!”
Please kill me now. I’ve been victim to this scenario hundreds of times in my career. It’s totally ineffective. All this exercise does is humiliate the shy, embolden the show offs and waste valuable time that I could be using to make money.
Then there are our beloved so- called “Millennial offices.” These are your Google or Facebook type companies. Open office atmospheres where there are PS4’s, pool tables, nerf darts and beer fridges on every floor. God bless these types of companies, they really do try. I actually worked for a company like this for years and it was awesome. These companies really go out of their way, reaching far outside the preverbal box to keep their employees engaged and to raise office morale.
I remember one specific Team Building Exercise that I participated in at this company. I had never played the game before, it was called “Flip Cup”. (I’m told this is a variation of a popular college drinking game.) My team of twelve stood around a table, 6 of us on each side. In front of us lie 12 red solo cups each with about 2oz of some god awful energy drink.
You start at one end of the table, Bro #1 slams the drink and then puts the cup back on the table. The object is to then”flip” the cup back upright. Then Bro#2 is allowed to go.
It was a really fun exercise. Everybody is hootin’ and hollerin’, cheering each other on, all the while getting all jacked up on energy drinks. Then when the game is over we’d hear “Way to go team! Now lets go murder those phones! CLOSE, CLOSE, CLOSE!
IMO, this is also a fairly ineffective Team Building exercise as well. For employee morale it’s great… for precisely the time it takes to finish the game. Once it’s over, the exercise is forgotten. (even if highly publicized on Social Media. “Look at all the fun we have here?!”)
Moreover… what have we learned about our team? That they we’re probably in a Frat in college? That they excel in the fine art of cup flipping?
HOW DOES THIS HELP ME?
Furthermore, what have we learned about our craft? What do we take away from this game that can be applied to our job?
Unfortunately the answer is, nothing.
Well folks, I can’t say that the geniuses behind Team Building With Taste have raised the bar because the truth is;
They’ve reinvented the whole damn game, and they’ve totally nailed it.
Check out all this lovely fun we had!
If you’re like me… you like food A LOT! Perhaps, also like me, you love watching cooking contests like Top Chef, Master Chef and Chopped. If this is the case… it’s time to start begging your bosses to set your team up with a Culinary Cooking Class with Team Building For Taste.
Ya’ll. It’s just like being on Chopped, the only difference is none of the chefs will tell you your dish is CRAP and throw it in the trash. At TBWT it’s all about learning how to work together, learning how to overcome obstacles and receiving constant encouragement from not only your team, but all of the other teams and the chefs.
I was honored to be invited to a special Dallas Blogger showcase of the program last week and the Culinary Cooking Class goes a lil something like this:
All of us crazy foodies were split up into groups of approximately 5 people, and 4 groups, each making separate dishes. We were each given a protein, some spices, vegetables, oils etc. and a basic outline of what we would be making.
Each team has an assigned Chef to help encourage and guide us (and make sure I kept my damn gloves on before I touched the food.) We were given about an hour to have a pow wow about how we would execute the recipe, who would handle what elements and then we were off to the races. Time to get cookin’.
Now here are just a few of the things that make this a TRULY WORTHWHILE Team Building Exercise:
At one point in the middle of cooking, our lead Chef came over and took one of our ingredients. “Sorry you wanted to use this cumin but unfortunately there’s been an (imaginary) cumin shortage and that spice is no longer available.
When was the last time you had a client on the phone and they are READY TO BUY a product or service that you have been trying to close them on for months. Every time the product was on sale, you’d call the client, and they’d give you a “meh…”
Then on a Monday you’re told that this amazing product is on indefinite back order because it was so great (Like you told your client OVER AND OVER). So OF COURSE now is THE DAY that Mr. Meh decides to call with credit card in hand ready to purchase that handy dandy product.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Well, you improvise. You get creative. You try to find a similar product or service that will meet their needs. And most certainly you would go for an upsell to a very similar product that would be even better than product A.
Do you see where I’m going here?
When Chef took the cumin from us we had to quickly regroup. Look at what other spices we were using and switch things up a bit. We had to rearrange our plan quickly and improvise.
This is the culinary version of Overcoming Objections. THIS is fully applicable in almost any business situation. THIS skill is valuable.
Another kink they threw our way was when we had about 20 minutes left on the clock: Chef Joey Allette announces to all of the teams that for the next 3 minutes we cannot communicate with each other in any way. We had already laid out our plans, lost one ingredient, replaced it with another and now we were tasked to just go for it with NO communication.
Let me ask you this:
How many times have you been at a meeting or on the phone with a client and you are asked a question that you don’t know the exact answer to. You can just say “Oh, hold on one sec and let me reach out to someone more knowledgeable that myself to answer your question.” YOU are the one trying to close the deal. YOU are the one that has spent weeks, if not months building report with this client. They want answers that come from you.
So again, you have to do some quick thinking. “How can I answer this question without sounding unknowledgeable?”
You work around the question, maybe buy some time and then you figure it out on your own because that is really your only option. (no texting the boss under the conference table!)
You give them all of the information that you have and assure them that you will have all requested details in their inbox ASAP. You find a way to get the question answered to the clients satisfaction.
This glitch in the exercise taught us to shift into high gear when under pressure to get the job DONE. Sometimes YOU have to be the one to make the tough decisions.
Now, I’ve saved the best for last! After you have all the fun cooking and the winning team has been selected… THEN YOU GET TO EAT ALL THE FOOD!!!!
In one hour I learned all kinds of new kitchen and culinary tricks but I also learned real life business lessons that will help me through out my career. I cannot recommend this service enough.
Here are some other groups that would enjoy all these fun and games:
-Girls Nights out
-High School reunions
The options really are endless because Team Building With Taste tailors each event to your specific wants and needs.
Check out this great promotional video starring one of Dallas’ Hottest Celebrity Chefs, the one and only Chef Joey Allette.
18101 Preston Road Suite 302
Dallas Texas 75252
Contact the above number or visit their website to get your party started. I promise you will have the best time and best food ever! Be sure and let me know how much you liked it!
Tell em South Dallas Foodie sent cha! 😉