One Access to Success: Team Building with Access E-Talk Plus

Hello August! The team of Cebu Teambuilding Facilitators Network goes to Hidden Valley Wave Pool Resort on August 12, 2017. They were to facilitate a training program for Access E-Talk. Access E-Talk is an Online English School. They teach English lessons to Asian and European students.

It was a rainy day for a team building seminar. So we stayed indoors for the duration of the training. The wet and humid weather did not dampen our spirits. The participants of Access E-Talk were brimming with energy to start a day of learning, relationship enhancement and team development.

Hidden Valley Training Center
Hidden Valley Training Center

The team traveled from their office at the Keppel Building to the quiet mountain resort of Hidden Valley in Pinamungajan. We started the day with team kinship using different handshakes. They were taught how to do some unique handshakes and partner up with another person in the team that they are not close with. In a team, most of the time, not all members are close with the other members. But in the case of Access E-Talk they were comfortable with each other. They expressed genuine delight when doing the handshakes. There were no awkward moments or shyness. Later, the team partnered up and asked three questions to get to know each other more deeply: (1) Where do you live?; (2) What is unique about you?; (3) What made you stay in this company? These questions were asked in order to also find a common trait with other members in the team and discover something new. To do the introductions uniquely, Partner A will share to the group about what Partner B answered and vice versa. Since the participants are also teachers, they showed the same enthusiasm that you would see in students. They were eager to participate not only in the activities but also in discussions.
In the afternoon, the facilitators discussed about Johari’s Window for self-awareness. They were taught about the public, private, blind spot, and potential self. As an application of what they learned from the lecture, they did the Helium Ring. The participants learned how to appreciate everyone’s ideas in providing solutions to the task at hand.

Helium ring
Helium ring

After the activity, the facilitators shared to them a story called “The Crocodile Story”. The story is about four people: Ana, Hans, Kristof, and Ritchie Rich. They’re not characters of some movie. It's completely coincidence if their names are familiar. Ana and Kristoff are lovers who live in different islands. There is a bridge that connects the two islands so that they can visit each other. However, in a big storm, the bridge was destroyed. And so there is no way for them to visit each other anymore. People cannot swim to go to the other island. That's because the waters are swarmed with hungry and vicious crocodiles. One fateful day, Ana received a telegram from Kristof saying that he has a terrible illness. Worried and terrified by the news, she sought to find Hans. Hans is her best friend. She asked him to let her borrow his boat so that she can cross the island. But he refused Ana’s request. The only other person who has a boat is Ritchie Rich. Ritchie was madly in love with Ana. When Ana asked her to borrow his boat, he agreed under one condition: Ana will give her virginity to him. Ana was in a dilemma. She promised to give it only to Kristof when the right time comes. But she was so worried of Kristof’s illness that she complied in order to see him. After what happened, Ana was finally able to cross the island. She immediately went to where Kristof was living. There she saw him doing some exercise and looking pretty healthy. Ana was confused so she asked him about the telegram. Kristof explained that his so called illness was an ingrown. Devastated by what she heard and guilty of what happened between her and Ritchie, Ana told Kristof everything. About how she was able to cross the island. Kristof was horrified and broke up with Ana. He couldn’t take the news lightly. Ana became depressed and didn’t eat. She starved herself because of the break up. When her brother Louie learned about what happened to his sister and how Kristof broke up with her, he went to find Kristof and shot him with a gun out of anger. That’s the end of the story. The facilitator gave the participants a question to discuss amongst themselves “Aside from Louie, who killed a person, who is the most sinful character in the story?”
The team members of Access E-Talk were divided in their decision of who is the most sinful. A few of them chose Ana, majority of the group chose Hans, and the rest chose Kristof. The team had a heated argument and no one backed down in their ideas. Later on they learned how to respect each other’s ideas. That despite having different opinions and values, they are able to work efficiently and harmoniously as a team.
The final activity of the day was Trust Fall. The Access E-Talk team was challenged to trust their team members in catching them when they fall. It takes a lot of time and effort to trust another person. The participants reassured each other during the activity. Some participants were able to free fall to their partners but some were still having difficulty, feeling scared that no one might catch them when they fall. We ended the day by giving each other a big and warm hug.

Happy hugging!
Happy hugging!

Developing a group of people into a cohesive team is something the facilitators of CTFN dream of seeing. We don’t just facilitate for the heck of it. But we facilitate to see people grow.

Edelyn with Access e-Talk
Edelyn with Access e-Talk

Note: This piece was written by Edelyn Codera. She was the main facilitator for the Access e-Talk Plus team building program.

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