Meeting new people can be intimidating. Even for folks who have committed their careers to working directly with people every day as Human Resource professionals.
So how do you help 40+ strangers get acquainted with each other and become comfortable working together?
You bus them out to the woods and facilitate as they solve a series of challenges and push themselves out of their comfort zones. That’s right…
We did a ROPES COURSE!!
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of a good ropes courses. I was part of a scholarship program in undergrad and we did one every year to welcome in the new scholarship recipients while reestablishing communication and teamwork amongst the older members. It was something I looked forward to every year!
Likewise, this time around with Fisher did not disappoint. Not only did the ropes course help us get to know a few things about each other (from our names to a sneak peek at our leadership styles), it also gave us the chance to begin creating bonds based on a shared experience that was both mentality and physically challenging.
We also had the opportunity to debrief with the course facilitators to gain their “behind the scenes” perspective on the course and how it can be utilized to mitigate some of the difficult issues that arise in a workplace environment. From an HR perspective, it was exciting to see how something as unconventional as a ropes course could be the key to solving problems such as a lack of effective communication and conflict within a team.
I won’t spoil the all of the lessons for you should you end up completing a course yourself, but I will say that I left this experience with an even greater respect for—and trust in—my MHRM cohort.
It also reminded me how important it is to accept assistance from each other, be vulnerable, and lean into feeling uncomfortable at times. We are in this together and I can not wait to see what the future holds!