Top Tips on How to ‘Win’ at Team Building

So, you have a team day coming up and you want the inside scoop on how to be part of the winning team – well we have some tips for you!

Hand clutching a gold medal

Over the years we’ve hosted thousands of events and have come across a vast array of different teams. Typically, the teams that are the most successful in our activities have the following qualities:

COMMUNICATION & LISTENING

Good communication starts with LISTENING and something we’ve noticed about the teams who are the most successful in our activities is that from the very beginning of a challenge, they listen intently to our facilitator’s activity brief & instructions on what they need to do. This gives teams a clear picture on the rules & objectives of the challenge which enables them to act more efficiently & get the task completed in a much quicker time-frame than if they just went at it like a bull at a gate.

As we talked about in a previous blog post, Team Activities That Boost Communication, for a team to be successful, strong and effective communication is paramount. When problem solving, your team should encourage questions & curiosity. Your team members need to feel safe and comfortable that they can ask questions & communicate without feeling any kind of embarrassment or criticism.

Often, there’ll be one person in the team that has an ‘aha!’ moment or sees something the others don’t – if your team is great at communication & listening this breakthrough won’t get overlooked.

TRUST

Great communication & listening leads us into trust, and it’s not hard to see why ultimately the better your team trust each other the more effective they will be.

Another common trait in the most successful teams is that they are able to voice their opinions fearlessly & without ridicule or judgement. If you follow us on Facebook, you might have seen that we recently shared a TED talk by Derek Sivers on ‘How to Start a Movement’. Derek says, “first a leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed” and that’s why trust in a team is so important. But the real lesson Derek is trying to convey is that the person with the most crucial role is the first follower who shows the rest of the team how to follow. It is this first follower who turns the lone person with a seemingly simply idea into the person who leads the team to victory!

DESIRE TO WIN & A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

It may sound simple, however one of the single most common traits of a winning team is that they are hungry to succeed! The winning team is usually one of the most competitive; they’re keen & enthusiastic about the challenges and more than anything they are having a great time! Can your team win on a positive attitude alone? Probably not! But when people have a positive attitude, they are much more productive. Positivity is an energy source that can motivate and invigorate both yourself & your team – which is why people are so attracted to it! A positive attitude can be the tipping point, between mediocrity and excellence or losing & winning!

GET THE BOSS ON YOUR TEAM

Want to significantly increase your chances of being part of the winning team at your next team day? Then get the boss on your team, as seven times out of ten we find that the boss is a member of the winning team! For the majority of the events that we host we deal directly with the event organiser from the company – usually an event manager, executive assistant, office manager or someone from the HR team. At the end of an activity once we’ve announced the winning team, we are never shocked to learn that the boss is actually a member of the winning team! This is not because they’ve received any favourable treatment from our facilitators or the other teams. Generally, it’s that the boss has experience in creating a team that embodies all of the traits mentioned above – all the traits that go into a creating a winning team!

Venue Spotlight – The William Inglis Hotel

Each month for our Conference Venue Spotlight we will be giving venues the opportunity to detail an event held at their hotel or resort. This will help showcase the variety of ways their conference venue can be utilised for corporate events including spacing for conferencing, indoor & outdoor dinner options and of course, team building! This month we hear from the events team at The William Inglis Hotel

Come join the celebrations at The William Inglis Hotel on Tuesday 5th November 2019.  We will be hosting a buffet lunch in The Sales Arena whilst screening live coverage of the race that stops the nation.

The Event will be hosted by the one and only Will Mason from Pinnacle Events.

The William Inglis Hotel is the perfect venue to celebrate the Spring Racing Carnival as the venue accredits beautiful equine history throughout its facilities and function spaces.

Guests will be welcomed into the venue with a glass of bubbles served on arrival. Lunch will then take place in the renowned Sales Arena, the largest event space onsite at the property – where all the action happens during the Inglis Horse Sales.

The Sales Arena has three large inbuilt LED Screens that will show live coverage of the races. There will also be TAB facilities onsite to make sure you can place that winning bet!!

Along with the races the Melbourne Cup Lunch will also have a range of activities and entertainment for guests to get involved with.

With the cup fast approaching it is essential you have a winner outfit ready as Pinnacle events will be running a fashion on the field’s competition with plenty of great prizes to be won.

In addition to best dressed there will also be lucky door prizes and a sweep to get in on all of the racing action. Team these festivities with delicious food and you already have a winning afternoon.

Our customised menu has been designed by our executive chef. The menu features a hot and cold buffet, tasty grazing tables and live food stations where guests can interact with our chefs and learn about the unique cuisines.

For any sweet tooths out there a delightful dessert bar will also be ready for you to devour with freshly bakes cakes, fruits, petite fours and treats that are all decorated to impress.

The event will also feature pop up bars for guests to purchase refreshing beverages.

Whether you’re in it to back the winning horse, ready to show off the perfect outfit, interested in the Equine history or if you are just keen on having a fun afternoon with friends, The William Inglis Hotel is the place to be for Melbourne Cup Lunch 2019.

To purchase tickets please contact:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9058 0312.

Further information can also be found online at: https://www.williaminglis.com.au/whats-happening/melbourne-cup-lunch/

We hope to see you there!!

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Joseph

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Meeting new people

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
A little over a year I think.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
I haven’t had a chance to help run all of the events pinnacle offers, but at the moment I’ve been enjoying Survivor.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Nothing embarrassing yet. Give it some time though. 

My favourite hobbies are:
Cooking, hiking, napping.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Music: Clipping.  /  Podcast: Critical Role

What was the last book you read?:
The god of small things – Arundhati Roy

Favourite holiday?:
What are holidays??

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Nope. Sorry. Not a very exciting answer. 

I am frightened by _____ :
Roku’s basilisk and unregulated capitalism. 

Favourite movie of all time:
Grease 2

First concert I went to:
Peter Combe

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Kepler-452b

What makes you angry:
Roku’s basilisk and unregulated capitalism.

What makes you laugh the most:
A well timed Simpsons quote will always get me.

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush

Top Team Building Ideas for Summer

October is almost over and the air-conditioning wars have well & truly commenced throughout offices around Australia! Christmas holidays aren’t too far away which means the end of year deadlines are even closer – including the office Christmas party!

It is at this time of year when we become inundated with enquiries from corporate groups organising either an end of year event OR an activity to kick start the New Year. With some dates in November & December already sold out for events, if you’re interested in booking a team activity this Summer then now is the time to get busy organising!

Summer is a great time for team building, with the longer, warm, generally rain-free days great for outdoor activities & the buzz in the air for night activities. And of course, if being out in the sun isn’t your thing you can always opt for staying inside in the comfort of the A/C!

See below for our top team building ideas for Summer:

Beach Olympics

Is there anywhere you’d rather be in Summer than on one of our beautiful stretches of coastline along the East coast? And did we mention you’re benefiting your team culture at the same time? We are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to Australian beaches & they are the perfect location for a team activity. Our Beach Olympics is fun & competitive without being too overly physical. Great for groups wanting to escape the indoors & enjoy the spoils of Summer weather.

Water Taxi Treasure Hunt

Want to REALLY spoil your team this Summer? Picture this… spending your next team outing cruising the beautiful Sydney Harbour on your very own water taxi! The best part, this activity can be easily justified to the boss as your team will be competing in a series of fun, mildly physical, lateral thinking/problem solving team challenges all whilst enjoying the sights of Australia’s most famous Harbour.

Amazing Race

One of the great things about the Amazing Race is that it is an activity that can be hosted almost anywhere! Whether you’re at a conference venue or you’d like to explore somewhere totally new – the Amazing Race can be tailored to suit your requirements. Some of our most popular Amazing Race locations include the Royal Botanic Gardens & the Rocks, Bondi Beach, Coogee & Manly.

Survivor

One of our less physically active outdoor activities, the Survivor is great for groups who aren’t wanting to overly exert themselves in the Summer heat. Survivor is great for groups wanting to get down on the beach or who would prefer to stay on solid ground in a shady park with plenty of grassed areas.

Escape

Too hot to leave the cooling breeze of the A/C? Our Escape is perfect for groups wanting to stay indoors yet still partake in a fun, challenging & friendly-competition style activity. We’ve specially designed a mobile version of the famous Escape the Room challenge to suit almost any office or conference venue. All we require is one room per team of 8-12 people.

Cocktail Master Class

Do you like Pina Colada’s? Or simply enjoying a cocktail after a hard day’s conferencing? Then we have the activity for you! Cool down with a delicious cocktail & enjoy a master class in the art of mixing drinks. Your group will make four delicious cocktails throughout the duration of the class, with the first three cocktails being preselected from our list of 13 cocktails.

For the fourth and final cocktail the competition begins! Your delegates will get shaking and stirring to design their very own unique cocktail. All ingredients and equipment will be readily available to get the creative juices mixing & flowing! Teams will be judged by our Cocktail Master on taste, the enticing name of their cocktail and a sales pitch which they must present in front of the group.

Trivia Night

If you’re after some good, old-fashioned competitive fun after a day of hard work – our Trivia Night is for you! With a mix of general knowledge, music & movies trivia along with some fun challenges thrown in between there is something in our Trivia Night for everyone!

Casino Night

Add a touch of glitz & glamour to your team dinner with our Casino Night activity! Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Horse Racing, Race of the Aces & more! This activity is not just for seasoned gamblers as even novices can walk away with a big win. Our Casino Night is great for end of year celebrations or kicking off the start of the year with a bang!

The Amazing Race is Back!

After a five-year hiatus the Amazing Race Australia will be back on Australian TV screens in October 2019! If you’re a fan of the TV show, you’ll know that the television version of the Amazing Race follows teams of two as they race around the world, following clues, navigating themselves in foreign areas, interacting with locals, performing physical and mental challenges, and travel by air, boat, car, taxi, and other modes of transport. Teams are progressively eliminated at the end of most legs for being the last to arrive at designated Pit Stops. The first team to arrive at the Finish Line wins a grand prize of $250,000.

The Pinnacle Team Events Amazing Race

Although our version of the Amazing Race is quite different to the TV version, we are just a little excited to see the show back on the telly! Each year our Amazing Race activity continues to be our most popular outdoor team building event, and we are not surprised! The Amazing Race team building activity has so much to offer groups who are wanting to get together for a day of teamwork & fun.

More Inclusive

Our version of the Amazing Race differs in several ways to make the activity more inclusive & less physically demanding on your participants. Instead of racing around the world, teams navigate their way around the local area (whether that be in an urban area or your conference venue). And instead of racing & running themselves ragged, the winning team is determined by the number of points they accumulate at each of the roadblock challenge sites along the way – not the first team that reaches the finish line. This way, teams having sufficient time to make their way between each of the roadblock challenge sites without the fear of being eliminated from the competition altogether.

Larger Teams with Challenges to Suit Everyone!

Rather than teams of two people, we’ve found that teams of 6-8 people is the ideal team size. By keeping team sizes within this range, we find this provides the best environment for all members of the team to be successful as well as have their creativity, ideas, energy & experience flourish. The roadblock challenges within our Amazing Race are also varied to suit a range of strengths and abilities. From lateral thinking/problem solving style challenges such as Number Triangle (a giant mathematical Sudoku style challenge) to mild physical challenges such as Catapults (firing tennis balls via replicated catapults towards their team members in the targeted catching zone). There is something for everyone in the Amazing Race & we will often see different leaders emerge at each of the roadblock activity sites.

We have many versions of our Amazing Race on offer, see below for details:

 

The Amazing Race – classic version as described above!

Teams navigate their way around the local area undertaking team-based challenges on foot. The team with the most points at the end of the activity wins!

Water Taxi Treasure Hunt

Sydney Harbour is ranked the best harbour in the world and is the perfect backdrop for this unique team building event. The Water Taxi Treasure Hunt is a 3-hour adventure that explores the best sights of this world-famous location. Teams will be competing against each other to race to the final location and uncover their team’s treasure.

Explorer

An Amazing Race / Treasure Hunt style of program that sees teams driven around the local area undertaking experiential team challenges that range from Laser Clay Shooting & Archery to Cheese Tasting & Blind Wine Tasting. Our Explorer is available in the following areas: Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands, South Coast & Blue Mountains.

Scramble

 

A modified version of the Amazing Race suited to groups that are tight on time or budget. Similar to The Amazing Race, teams will race around the local area collecting scavenger items, completing photo missions and answering location-based questions. We will even throw in a road block activity challenge! The team with the most points at the end of the specified time will win.

To get your Amazing Race fix, the latest season will be shown on channel ten from Monday 28 October 2019 at 7:30pm OR better yet, book an Amazing Race activity for your team & experience the thrill & excitement firsthand.

Venue Spotlight – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Each month for our Conference Venue Spotlight we will be giving venues the opportunity to detail a recent event held at their hotel or resort. This will help showcase the variety of ways their conference venue can be utilised for corporate events including spacing for conferencing, indoor & outdoor dinner options and of course, team building! This month we hear from the events team at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. 

overhead shot of crowne plaza hunter valley

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, regional NSW largest conference and events venue, regularly hosting new and repeating clients. One of the more recent clients (that has already booked for next year) hosted an event with over 400 delegates staying on-site for a total of four nights and three days for what was to be the first annual all employees learning event for the client.

After arriving throughout the afternoon on a Wednesday, the delegates proceeded to explore the property before being hosted at one of the signature events here at the Crowne Plaza, a Hunter Harvest. Showcasing the local produce in an outdoor setting started the stay beautifully with many of the delegates mentioning that this was one of the highlights of their stay.

During the day, delegates were assigned to various courses, classes, seminars, and activities throughout the resort including the conference and events centre, indoor classrooms, golf course, and tennis courts. A wide range of learning and team building activities were used during the three days to achieve the management’s goal of increasing overall team morale and knowledge, which had been set prior to the commencement of the conference.

A post-event meeting was held between members of the client’s management, organisers, operations, and planning teams, with great reviews and comments passed on for many of the staff. Leaders of the operations team at the time, Alex and Jarod, were complemented on the way they handled any short-term requests, whilst our sales and planning team were praised for the smooth handling of the booking, confirmation and organisation of the event.

To book your next conference at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley contact:

02 4991 0900

[email protected]

Tips for Effective Communication

People have unique ways to communicate with each other. When you understand people are uniquely different based on their communication styles then you can better relate to your customers, peers and in your personal relationships. The key is to understand yourself first.

COMMUNICATION STYLES

These are not right or wrong just different and understanding this ensures a team can work with varied styles. See below for the 4 key Communication Styles:

DISC communication styles

To learn more about DISC click here.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Use clear, concise sentences

Your goal, whether speaking aloud or composing an email, should be to make yourself instantly and completely understood. To that end, you should avoid using big words, steer clear of run-on sentences, and avoid any unclear phrasing.

Avoid long sentences with multiple clauses and herds of commas. The longer a sentence is, the more confusing it becomes. Always keep that in mind when writing directions or project details for a colleague.

If you aren’t sure that an email is clearly worded, step away from your computer for five minutes, and then look it over with a fresh perspective.

Keep a written record

Sometimes communicating effectively involves reminding people of what they’ve already told you, and when. Having a written record of all conversations related to a current or past account can be very helpful.

This is easy with email: just make sure never to delete old emails, and use filters for effortless organisation. For meetings/calls, make sure you keep clean, easy to read notes that also include the time and date. Audio recording is also an option.

Make every comment actionable

Inevitably, there is a time in every person’s career where they get together with a group of colleagues to discuss a project or proposal, and give feedback as a group. It’s important that when you give feedback on a project, you give actionable directions…particularly you are at the top of the food chain. Otherwise, the project can stagnate and people on your team can lose momentum.

It’s the difference between:

“Someone needs to speak with our design team about using a new font.”
and

“Marcy, could you touch base with Jim in Design about our font preferences?”

Make all criticism constructive

“Constructive criticism” is one of those feel-good buzzwords. Nevertheless, learning to give helpful feedback to a colleague will not only improve your interpersonal relations, but also will help to improve the quality of your work.

Constructive criticism is more than just a nicer way of talking to people. By giving clear, focused feedback instead of vague, general notes, people you speak with can really learn to improve their methods and practices in the future.

It’s the difference between:

“This website is a disgrace.”
and

“I see a number of issues here, including the dark green background that makes the text hard to read, and punctuation issues in the first two paragraphs.”

The Benefits of Servant Leadership

Sometimes we can confuse leadership with dictatorship. A leader with a dictator style makes orders & demands without taking into account the wants and needs of others. Perhaps this style of leadership can come in handy in some special circumstances. However, staff do not tend to respond well to being constantly treated this way. Depending on the situation, a leader should adopt different styles to suit. For the most part, adopting a servant leadership style will help you get the most out of your team.

If we look at leadership from a ‘servant leadership’ point of view, the job of a leader is to help their team succeed & give them what they need. This could be guidance, motivation, training or even chocolate cake in the break-room!

Two teams climbing a mountain. One where the team is doing all the work for the manager and the other where the manager is assisting in the work.

Servant leadership is the paradoxical balance between leader and servant. The term was first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf who said to be a servant leader, you’re a “servant first” i.e. you focus on the needs of others before you consider your own. You involve your team members in the decision-making process, you create a culture of caring & a sense of community, and you work to support & enhance the growth of your workers so they can meet their goals both at work and in their personal lives. This approach to leadership leads to higher staff engagement, productivity, trust & stronger relationships within your team.

Some tips on establishing a culture of servant leadership in your workplace include:

MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE

Servant leaders have a strong awareness of what’s going on around them. They care deeply about the welfare of their team members and don’t view them as cogs in a machine. You can show your team how much you care by taking a genuine interest in their lives. This means both inside & outside of work. You can also reward your team by taking them out for a team outing OR why not go all out and organise a team building activity.

DEVELOP NEW LEADERS NOT FOLLOWERS

The biggest investment you can make in your people is your time. By mentoring your staff and taking a genuine interest in their professional development you will help them learn vital skills for the future and improve their performance both inside and outside of work. And by teaching others to lead and providing opportunities for growth, your staff will give thanks with their loyalty & trust in return.

SHIFT FROM “YOU” TO “US”

We’ve all heard the saying “lead by example”, and this is very true when it comes to a servant leader. No task is beneath their pay grade and they’re never afraid to roll up their sleeves to get a job done. A common mistake of leaders is feeling that they are above certain tasks. This kind of thinking will only distance you from your team. A true servant leader says, “let’s go do it,” not, “you go do it”. To go even further in your endeavour to create a sense of community, a team building activity can help bring your team together in an environment external to the usual office day-to-day. Contact us to chat more about our team building options.

VALUE EVERYONE’S CONTRIBUTIONS

A servant leader values everyone’s contributions and regularly seeks out opinions. Someone who knows their opinion is not necessarily the right one, or indeed the ONLY one, has the quality of a servant leader. Servant leaders establish a culture of empathy and openness, creating a safe space for employees to come forward with any questions or pitch new, creative ideas that benefit the company.

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Kyla

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about working for Pinnacle:
The Team…they are a lovely crew to work with.

My favourite Pinnacle team event:
The Amazing Race!

My favourite hobbies are:
Attending live music events.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Fav band…Cut Copy

What was the last book you read?:
The barefoot investor ~ for families 

Favourite holiday?:
Spain 2009! 

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Ky 

I am frightened by…
Scary movies!

Favourite movie of all time:
Empire Records 

First concert I went to:
Kylie Minogue ~ Enjoy Yourself Tour 1990!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Barcelona 

What makes you angry:
A bad coffee…

What makes you laugh the most:
My 2 gorgeous girls.

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Definitely a Kylie song! 

Venue Spotlight – Pullman Magenta Shores

Each month for our Conference Venue Spotlight we will be giving venues the opportunity to detail a recent event held at their hotel or resort. This will help showcase the variety of ways their conference venue can be utilised for corporate events including spacing for conferencing, indoor & outdoor dinner options and of course, team building! This month we hear from the events team at Pullman Magenta Shores.

From Trivia Nights to the Amazing Race, Pullman Magenta Shores can cater for a multitude of different event & team building styles. With indoor meeting rooms showcasing floor to ceiling windows & golf course views, to large outdoor grassed areas & an 18 hole golf course, the opportunities are endless.

A memorable event that took place in early 2019, with a client from the surveying industry, consisted of 70 delegates. The aim for their event was to kick start 2019, get the teams together from interstate & have some fun to reward everyone after 2018.

The Conference was run over 2 & a half days in our Magenta 2 room & was a fair split between meetings & activities. The group enjoyed a fresh & healthy outdoor lunch at our BBQ Recreation area on their arrival followed by some casual rounds of tennis & a friendly game of soccer.

They then held a trivia night run by Mitch from Pinnacle Team Events after their buffet dinner on our lakeside lawn for the final evening of their event. 70 delegates attended the evening with the focus being a bit of friendly competition & fun.

Feedback received from the client was a huge thank you to Team Magenta & Pinnacle:

“A personal thank you to you and all the staff at Magenta as everyone was so friendly and helpful that it made my job a lot easier.”

To book your next conference at Pullman Magenta Shores contact:

02 4352 8100

[email protected]