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October 30, 2018

Corporate Campfires: Team Building Through Storytelling

Let’s turn back time and go back to the days when campfires were the key meeting point of social gatherings. It was the place where meaningful teachings, family histories and natural events were shared in the form of fables, myths and narratives. This way, stories were passed on to the next generations. Today, these traditions are picked up once again and are being used for special team building activities called “corporate campfires”. Storytelling can be integrated on many levels of management and in the ways of working together. Stories about daily office activities, outstanding success stories of employees, the lessons learned from failure, or shared values – all of these aspects are part of successful leadership moments.

Lagerfeuer am Strand

Defining Corporate Culture and Establishing Values

A few months ago, we took one of our clients and their staff on this journey. During one of our corporate storytelling workshops, we manifested shared values of the team and fomented identification. By collecting experiences, obstacles, achievements, wishes and vision of each person’s individual journey, we were able to illustrate the values they have in common. Through sharing and reliving these situations and feelings, the employees felt a much stronger connection with each other and thus made a big step towards a sense of community.

Together, we acquired the awareness that from consultant, to IT, to front office, everybody shares certain values and is equally important to the company. This way, we can reach a whole new feeling of togetherness. Values should not just be communicated within the company, but also to the outside world. By using a corporate blog or existing social media channels to tell personal stories, everyone will be an accomplice on the route of finding new talents and clients.

Cherishing Diversity and Employee Motivation

In most companies, you will find teams with all different kinds of personalities. In our private life, we can generally choose with whom we want to be friends and spent our time with. In the office however, we mostly aren’t in the position to choose. An easy way for the team to grow together as one and act in concert are team building activities, which can be a fun and exciting way for everyone to get to know each other.

 

Three years ago, a lot of new employees started at Mashup. For our own team building, we left the office and went to the Spree Forest for a paddle boat trip. Who shared the same boat, was randomly selected beforehand. I myself sat with two of the new team members and, during the whole paddle tour, we got to know a lot about one another. We laughed and cheered together to race first through the finish line. During lunch, we also played a little game to learn more about the others. Nora gave us two seemingly contrasting words. It was up to us to decide, if the word was meant to describe our character or personality. Then, we had to move to either one end of the lawn area in front of the restaurant. Early bird or night owl, couch potato or party-goer, a true Berliner or a newbie in the city: Countless of these categories gave us new insights about everyone’s personalities and what we have in common.  By the end of the day, all of us had the feeling that we came closer as a team.

Corporate Campfires Don’t Need a Fire Alarm

When companies realize that their employees and their stories are at the center, it will influence and strengthen the whole organization. Each individual brings a story to the company and should have their own stage for it. To define shared values and to live those will strengthen the team solidarity and “We” feeling. Every company has its very own chronic to write, internally as well as externally. Fellow colleagues can manifest these stories the very best.

Teambuilding_Storytelling
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Stefanie Möser
Senior-Beraterin bei Mashup Communications
Ein Prise Gelassenheit, eine große Ladung Humor und viel Herz und Verstand: Das ist Steffis Geheimrezept für die perfekte Team-Power. Ihre Top-Tools sind immer griffbereit: Stift und Papier, denn die besten Geschichten finden sich nicht am Büro-Schreibtisch.