CTFN Conducts 2-Day Team Building & Strat Plan Workshop with Kadasig Parents Association, Inc. (KAPAI): "A True Team Moment"





It has been a year and a half since the pandemic started which greatly changed our lives. We shifted towards the new normal and gathering as a group has been a challenge due to protocols, however, the decrease of cases as well as the loosening up of restrictions on gatherings has allowed people to do the things they would usually do in the “old” normal. With that, CTFN was blessed to have another Team Building in the New Normal and this program was for Kadasig Parents Association, Inc. (KAPAI). The program was a 2-day Team Building and Strategic Planning Workshop. A private resthouse in Ronda, Cebu was chosen as the venue of the activity.

After an almost 3 hour drive to the venue, the facilitators together with the participants were welcomed by the staff of the venue. The Main facilitator, Clint, gave the instruction that the program will start at 10 am to give time for the participants to rest and prepare for the team building and activities prepared for them.

Getting to Know You Better

The activities started on the agreed time and the facilitators were greeted by the warm smiles of the participants showing their readiness. Opening of the program was done first and their Chairman also gave the opening remarks. And after the opening amenities, the first challenge for the participants was the activity called World Map wherein the participants had to locate their birthplace according to the imaginary map of the Philippines. This spread out the individuals to different places showing their place of origin, where they were brought up and what kind of culture they were surrounded with. Participants were energetic and eager to engage in the activities, they had fun locating their place of birth in the imaginary map and showed not only their geographical awareness but also their understanding of the differences of how they were brought up. This was also meant to show that the participants maintain physical distancing and follow safety protocols during the Team Building. Next activity was called Story of my name where participants were split into different groups and they had to tell their co-participants the story and meaning behind their name. Participants were open in sharing and, from their feedback,  even if they were already familiar with each other, they were still glad to get to know more about their peers and understand the meaning behind their names. A health break was given right after to prepare themselves for the next activity.


Mental Health Awareness

Next part was on the Mental Health Module where the participants had a quick check by answering the question how they are adjusting to the New Normal. Participants were very participative in sharing their experience since the pandemic started and how they are adjusting now. They would share their realizations and their appreciation that despite the pandemic they were able to discover new things about themselves and their family. After the sharing, the facilitator taught them breathing exercises and guided them in doing so. This exercise could be used anywhere and anytime if they want. As an effect, the participants let the facilitators know that they were a lot more relaxed with the exercise, helped them refocus, calm and would definitely apply it whenever they are stressed. After the short sharing session the Main Facilitator introduced Carl to give the discussion on "Why Awareness." He told the participants of a story which the participants intently listened to, it was later on revealed as the personal experience of Carl and his mother and how awareness has improved his understanding of their differences of perspective. Carl then discusses in detail what awareness is and how it would be of great help not only for the individual but also for their group as a whole. The end of the discussion marked the end of the morning session.


The Necessity of Genuine Contact in Communicating Effectively

The afternoon session started with an ice breaker, participants were divided into 3 groups where they will play the game Seven Seven. Participants were quick to understand the mechanics of the game and they had multiple long sequences where no one would make a mistake. They were focused on the task at hand and made sure that they were aware and fast in doing the activity. After the ice breaker, Clint called everyone to make the big group again since the next activity requires everyone to do it in one large group. Clint gave the instruction on Count Off which is the name of the activity, participants were task to do the following: in the first round, participants will do a normal count off; then the participants would do a random count off for the second round; in the third round, participants will do a random count off but they will clap instead of saying the numbers; lastly, for the fourth round, the participants will have to mentally count from 1 to 22 and clap simultaneously.

Participants were engaged and planned for the activity since it was instructed that there will be no verbal and nonverbal communication. They were given time to plan and used the time to find the best strategy to overcome the challenges. Participants would share ideas with each other and apply different kinds of strategy during the actual execution of the activity. They were able to finish the first round with ease. The second round proved to be quite challenging for them, however, after multiple restarts and almost completed sequence the participants were able to finally succeed in completing a sequence of random counts. Participants burst with happiness as they popped off their seats celebrating their accomplishment. Despite the facilitators asking if they would still be able to complete the round the participants choose to finish the round and persevere. Riding on the high emotion from their completion of the third round, the participants welcomed the third round and applied the strategy they used on the 2nd round, however, this didn’t produce the same result, they had multiple restarts and almost completed the sequence but still not quite enough to finish. After multiple tries, the facilitator asked if they still would attempt to complete the challenge and they would respond that they wouldn't give up. The facilitator allowed them to finish successfully but they were not able to close the deal. Due to the time allocation for the activity the facilitator asked the group how many tries would it take to finish the third round which they responded with 3 more tries, the task was rather challenging for them despite the multiple tries and they weren’t able to finish in 3 tries. This caused the participants to rethink their strategy and it was a bummer for them not to be able to finish the round successfully. Despite this, the participants were eager to take on the fourth challenge and apply their learnings from the previous rounds. The fourth challenge was difficult for them, they had multiple retries but their mental count was getting more and more in sync in just a short time, they were able to see that they could be successful this round. And indeed they are, they were able to complete the last round rather quickly. They still had the same reaction as the 2nd round completion they had, each time their times got more and more in sync the participants’ excitement grew more and more. This excitement reached its peak when they finally clapped in sync, they popped off their chairs cheering loudly, applauding with their peers. They didn’t wanna give up and they were able to finally succeed.

The group was once again divided into three groups for the small group processing. Participants shared their experiences during the activity and pointed out all the learnings they got. They went through the same activity but some had different learning from the others. This shows how different kinds of learning can be gained from the same experience. Finally, the participants were asked how they can apply all the learnings they had to their work. They cited actual examples of how these learnings are immediately used in their work to improve their efficiency. Despite having different tasks at work their learnings can help them individually to improve the association as a whole. A short health break was taken afterwards.

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Discussion of the Levels of communication was given by Mai, she discussed in depth the different levels of communication and the differences among each level. Participants were participative and were asking questions to clarify their confusion. After the discussion, the Main Faci asked the participants what they think is their level of communication in their association. Participants initially had the same answer which was ideas and judgement, however, a few participants assessed that they think the association is still in the gossiping stage. The facilitator encouraged the rest of the participants to give their opinion since every answer is welcome and acknowledged. This resulted in a healthy dialogue as different perspectives pointed out aspects of their association to support their stand on what level of communication they have as a whole. Exchange in ideas which also included actual experiences in their workplace led the discussion further with some of the participants emotional. This emotion, however, was instrumental in understanding each other’s perspective and seeing where the other person is coming from. Participants now able to listen to different perspectives of their team has led to an understanding and reflection on the level of their communication with some choosing to transfer their assessment of the level of communication of their association. A short health break was taken to prepare for the closing activity.


Getting in Touch With Organizational Values

The final part of the first day was an art activity, participants were asked what the values of their association are and what 3 values they resonate the most with. Each participant had chosen their value and they were asked to create a symbol that represents that value. The symbol will then be inscribed on the egg. The facilitator however informed the participants to stop thinking of it as an egg but instead it is now their physical manifestation of their values. Furthermore, they were instructed to keep the egg near to their persons at all times and make sure that the egg didn't break. Participants were given time to put on the symbols. Enough time was given by the facilitators for the participants to finish the art activity and it was then followed by a group discussion. Each participant shared their symbols and the values they picked. They also shared the meaning behind each symbol and how the value they picked reflects who they are. It was a beautiful moment to end the day, each one of them was able to share and everyone listened to whoever was sharing. By exchanging experiences and views, they were able to know more of each other since some of them shared more facts about them. Finally, the facilitator asked the participants what their 3 takeaways for the day were. Almost all participants pointed out the learnings they got about awareness, communication and values as their main takeaway. To some, their take away was the fun they had while doing the activity and to some their take away was they were able to know more about their team. The day ended with each participant holding their values in their hands and all the learnings they gained. 

Day 2 

The second day started with an exercise, Carl instructed the participants to follow him as he showed Tai Chi in front of the participants. They were all into the moment of doing tai chi as the sound of the waves crashed to the beach and rustling leaves due to the cold breeze blowing around. It was a solemn moment, unbeknownst them that the tai chi moves were actually the moves of a popular nursery rhyme. The participants were able to find humor as they were singing two little hands while doing tai chi moves. Then the main facilitator gave the first activity which was simply named equilateral triangle. They were tasked to create an equilateral triangle with two other people in the group but those persons shouldn’t know that they are part of their triangle. As they were arranging themselves to create their equilateral triangle they realized that if someone moves then they also have to move as well. During the processing the participants shared that each of them identified someone but since they are intertwined by the equilateral triangle they have to adjust according to the movement of that person. They realized that they will have to keep moving as long as there are changes and there will come a point that stability will be achieved. They added that when there are changes they would adapt in order to maintain the proper connection. The facilitator applauded their deep realizations and also pointed out that another purpose of the activity is to remind them of physical distancing.

In continuation of the activities the previous day, the facilitator asked the participants to gather again as one group and discuss what are group values and why are they important to the association?. Participants shared their opinion but everyone agreed that values give the foundation of the association and it also guides them. They said that even if one value is taken away it would greatly affect their association as these values keep them sturdy and strong as a group. It was great to see their  exchange of ideas which eventually led to them agreeing and giving this answer. A short health break was taken to refresh themselves.


Time-Limited Reality-Focused Strategic Planning Workshop

As everyone had already gathered for the next part of the activity which was the Strat Plan Workshop, the chairman asked for a quick meeting of the staff members, only the BOT members were left but after the quick meeting, the staff were also given the same instruction. They were tasked to write 3 of each of the following: Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of their Association. They then posted on the SWOT board their identified SWOT. Each participant had their inputs and this was discussed to give clarification on their input since they will be using this for the next part of their activity. They clarified the questions about their inputs and gave context as to how they came up with their entry in the SWOT, overall they had similar entries. They were then divided into 4 groups and they were tasked to identify critical areas and then create an objective. Each group was focused on a particular cross pollination of the SWOT, these are the following SWOT cross pollination: Strength-Opportunities, Strength-Threats, Weaknesses-Opportunities, and Weaknesses-Threats. They were given time to come up with an objective. Participants analyzed the SWOT board in order to come up with an objective. They were focused and whenever they needed clarification, they would call the facilitator to give them examples. They were eager to know more about the process and this was a reflection of their engagement. After the given time for the creation of objectives, the facilitator gave them a 10 mins health break but participants were focused on finishing their tasks and used the break time to continue their work. It was great to see this tenacity in order to finish their tasks. After the break all participants were gathered back to the big group to present the objective that they came up with. Each group had a representative to explain how they came up with the objectives, there was a discussion among participants about the created objectives and ideas were improved because of this. The facilitator then tasked them to vote which objective they find as more important or priority over the others. The top 4 objectives will be distributed to each group and they are tasks to create SMART goals and Action Plans. Surprisingly each group had an objective that was in the top 4 in votes, this means that the top 4 objective could be used by the group that created them for the next part of the activity, however, no group was given their created objective but instead was given an objective created by another group. This was to promote collaboration among groups since these objectives are the association’s objectives and no one group owns an objective but all of them are the owner of the objectives presented. They were encouraged to ask the other groups to get more understanding and work together in coming up with the SMART goals and Action Plans. They were asked to be with their group again and during their discussion among their group members they were able to come up with their SMART goals and Action Plans. Participants were meticulously assessing if the goals they created be considered as SMART goals, they showed critical thinking and analysis in coming up with their output. They were eager to ask the facilitators and asked questions to know more about creating SMART goals and Action Plans. Participants also asked for more time to polish their output. After the given time for creating their tasks, they were gathered back with their groups. Each group had a representative to explain and discuss their output. They were given time for their explanation, some groups came up with a lot of content in their output while another group were unfortunately unable to write all their inputs because they ran out of time due to the discussions they had with their group. It was apparent, however, that the participants were focused on coming up with their outputs and they were knowledgeable of their SMART goals and Action Plans that they created. Participants now know how to further advance their SWOT analysis and strategize from the result of the SWOT by cross-pollination of its parts. They were able to create objectives out of the critical areas they found in their cross-pollination and identify SMART goals and Action Plans out of it. The participants were appreciative of the new knowledge they gained. The facilitators added that there are still parts of their SWOT analysis that they can make more Objectives, SMART goals and Action Plans and they can meet again to apply their learning and strategize more out from the output they had during the day. The facilitator commended them for being participative throughout the workshop. They were given a short health break before the start of the closing activity.


Climactic Activity: The Art of Commitment

For the closing activity, Carl invited the participants to imprint the palms of their hands to the cloth in front but before they do this they must say their commitment to everyone while raising their right hand. They were given time to give their speech and everyone was invited to this. One by one the participants stand from their seats to place paint or color their hands using pens. And whenever someone pledges their commitment in front of everyone the others listen and give them a round of applause afterwards. It was a beautiful moment for the team, some of them have been with the association for a long time and still are active members of the association. Some participants got emotional because of the moment and also because they are committing themselves and their love for the association. They were sharing this moment with smiles on their faces and heads held up high as they said their individual speeches. The output they created has all their hand prints on it and in the center is the name KAPAI. From the start of the team building until the end they were participative and engaged in the discussion and activities. The facilitators thanked the participants and commended them for working together as they finished all the tasks and challenges that were asked of them. As the final part of the activity, the facilitators asked the participants to make a line while facing the sea and they had to close their eyes the whole time. The facilitator instructed them to be aware of how they feel and think about the things that transpired during the 2 day training. While the facilitator was giving instructions the rest of the members of the team were slowly gathered except for the mothers. This activity was to give appreciation to them and celebrate the occasion during that day which was Mother's Day. Everyone else was preparing to give the flowers as a surprise gift to them. The facilitator asked the mother’s in the team to face the discussion area and at the same time instructed the rest of the participants to arrange themselves accordingly so that they can easily give the flowers. After some time the facilitator instructed the mothers to open their eyes and greeted them together with everyone a Happy Mother's Day. Participants were filled with joy during the moment, even participants that got emotional during the first day had a moment of reconciliation with one another. Some participants grabbed the opportunity to thank their peers and appreciate everyone’s contribution. It was a true team moment.  

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The facilitator thanked everyone for participating in the 2-day team building and challenged them to apply all the learnings they had back to their workplace and stay true to their commitment.


This blog article was contributed by Clint Eduard Fuentes, a team development consultant from Cebu Teambuilding Facilitators Network


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