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April 23, 2016 by
Jay Medley
You can learn a lot about your team members by how they approach rock climbing. When faced with a climbing wall, do they jump on the wall or stand back to survey the route? Can they trust in their teammates and their own abilities?

Will they make a leap of faith, leaving a sure hold to jump for one that is slightly out of reach? Business has a lot of parallels to rock climbing, and climbing as a team can help your staff to learn things about themselves and each other that they can use at work. Rock climbing makes a great activity for corporate staff members because it can teach a lot of lessons that are applicable to the corporate environment.

On a personal level, rock climbing will force you to problem solve (sometimes you really need to plan out your next move,) to trust in your abilities, push through fear, and to follow your intuition. You can gain confidence as you successfully navigate walls and accomplish goals like reaching the top or beating a certain time.

It also teaches focus: you have to block out the distractions within your own head and focus on the present task at hand, which is scaling that wall. That sort of focus can be used for work-related tasks. You climb a wall one hold at a time, just like you accomplish a large goal by completing one smaller step at a time.

Your staff members can take these newly-developed skills and apply them in the workplace. That new confidence could turn into assertiveness as staff members learn to trust in their skills and themselves.

As a team, your group will have to communicate with and place their trust in each other. Participants are taught to belay each other, so they climber has to put their faith in their belayer and trust that they will pick up the rope’s slack.

Both the climber and belayer have to communicate with each other to ensure they each know when the ascent and descent are beginning. A belayer and others on the ground may shout words of encouragement or tips to the climber to help them find the next hold.

This builds a sense of teamwork and cooperation. Coworkers will also see each other in a new light and may develop a new appreciation for their fellow staff members.

All of the things described above happen in any climbing situation, but a specially planned corporate event can include exercises that will bring out and build certain skills. Activities like a blindfolded climb, where the belayer has to give verbal directions to a blindfolded climber, can really boost communication skills.

If a corporate event isn’t quite right for your entire company or you’ve had one and your staff wants more, consider founding a company climbing team. Coworkers can meet at a local climbing gym after work to climb together, which will help them to socialize and build a stronger team while they’re having fun and exercising.

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