Ropes Courses

Written by Michael Federico
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Ropes courses are one of the oldest, most popular destinations for groups hoping to develop trust and chemistry. The question behind ropes courses is a fairly simple one--how will a team react when it is faced with a series of mental and physical challenges? Furthermore, ropes courses force a team to ponder on whether a leader will emerge. Will some be willing to give things up for the benefit of the others?

It is almost certain that the group will have to work its way across a tightrope with only a guide rope to cling to. There will also, most likely, be a moment when one has to whip down a zip line, overcoming a bit of fear in the process. Ropes courses are at their most effective when a single task requires the work of everyone involved.

Ropes Courses for Corporate Retreats

A corporate retreat can be a great time for coworkers to learn a little more about each other. While physical activities such as ropes courses can be beneficial, there are also elements that focus on the mental state of a group, giving an overview of the team's dynamic.

Most successful teams include members who want to dominate and use their influence. They are usually also members who are more interested in being reliable, compliant members of the group. Assessments like the DISC Profile and 360 degree feedback can be used to determine who fits into these particular personality types. The profile can also expose a person's weakness(es) in the workplace while simultaneously proposing methods of overcoming them. For instance, if someone is a highly intelligent motivator who often holds sway over the rest of the team, she may not think she has any weaknesses (a "high D" in terms of the DISC Profile). However, what if she is consistently late or unreliable with deadlines? A profile report may suggest that this person be teamed directly with someone who thrives on consistency, or it may suggest that she will function best in a creative atmosphere with frequent brainstorming situations. When you discover the personality types in your group, the ropes course is a perfect place for each person to try to assume different roles and expand their knowledge of the other behavioral types.

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