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Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Berkshire Outdoor Center


"You've probably been involved in a team-building exercise at some point. But, whether or not you and your colleagues enjoyed the experience, what happened when your team members returned to the office? Did they go back to their usual behavior? Team-building exercises can be a powerful way to unite a group, develop strengths, and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically."


Through our corporate teambuilding programs, we can help you break into a new realm, where you not only have the basics of strong leadership and communication skills, but have established a trust-based relationship platform between team members, based on mutual respect and experience. Learning the building blocks of working together, in your group, involves taking risks in a safe environment, being exposed to challenges in front of peers, and focusing on another in a new setting, outside of the workplace. It also takes dedicated, exceptional facilitators who can tailor their repertoire of skills to match your group's specific needs.

A high-functioning team is the difference between a high functioning company and a mediocre one. High-functioning teams are collaborative, have buy-in from all members, communicate effectively and trust one another. Our activities can help establish these relationships, or refine them, within your team.


Encouraging Collaboration

When we know each other, we tend to respect each other more, hold each other to a higher level of accountability, tolerate one another and support one another. By developing bonds between team members, we develop interdependency - making our workplace more efficient. Spending time together, away from the office at Berkshire Outdoor Center, helps cement new relationships, but also helps old relationships change in new ways. The shared experience helps each team member pull together.


Developing Buy-In

When we escape on a retreat and work collaboratively on a project or idea, or a new way of operating, we give other team members the opportunity to make suggestions, to hear feedback and to be part of the projects' development. This enhances buy-in, and on the return to the office, all team members feel responsible for seeing the projects' success.


Communicating Effectively

We all employ people with strong leadership skills, but when you get all those leaders together on one team, you can end up with a group of people that won't listen to one another. Effective communication - not limited to being a good speaker and a good listener - requires practice. The workshops we will run for your group will draw attention to many of the communication faux pas that even strong teams make. Then during debriefing we can strategize better ways to communicate. Sometimes those new ways of communicating are very simple and basic. For example, the executive leadership of Godiva Chocolatier were so impressed by the idea of a "talking stick - a stick you need to be holding in order to have your turn at talking", that they took this talking stick back to their NYC headquarters for use in the conference room.


Building Interdependence and Trust

According to John Castro, the CEO of Merrill Corporation, "Trust is critical in business because it can make or break a team, and business can no longer survive without teams." Establishing trust within your group - not physical trust alone, but trust in that all members can confidently share and participate - is the quickest way to enhance collaboration or to break dysfunction. When team members trust one another, they are comfortable to share bigger ideas and take bigger risks, resulting in greater innovation and a better functioning team. Trust is essential, and our activities can help build trust, and teach members how to trust and how to be trustworthy.


Easing Conflict

Any team with strong members is going to go through the stages of conflict. We each have different personalities, so conflict is inevitable. But there are different ways to manage conflict, and the best way to highlight these is through our experiential programs. We will introduce activities designed to lead to conflict, and then facilitate the team's debrief, in order to teach members how to process conflict. Through our activities and the retreat itself, team members will get to know one another on a deeper level, and this will also lead to less conflict in the workplace.


Retreat to the Berkshires

Leave the office. Come out to the Berkshires and have your staff focus on one another, without the distractions of regular life. Spend time on nothing but one another and the task at hand. Use our state-of-the-art challenge course, facilitated by our exceptional instructors. Enjoy five star meals in a gorgeous rustic setting. Spend the night in our basic accommodation, or the luxury accommodation of Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club. A new setting may be all it takes.

Conference and Retreat space, delicious meals, complex initiatives, focused on interpersonal skills - using tasks that require effective communication, sharing, discussion and organization, and intrapersonal skills - self-confidence, self-esteem, strength within, self-trust and safe risk-taking. Usually, groups groups participating in our programs find that peer-support and encouragement of one another are some positive side-benefits.



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© 2018 Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA. All Rights Reserved.


748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223
Tel: (413) 623-8991 | Fax: (413) 623-5890