Escape Room Teambuilding
Working together. In order to be successful in an escape game teams absolutely must work together, communicate with each other and implement many of the same leadership and management roles needed in the workplace. The outcome is not unclear. The team either escapes or not. Working together is a difficult skill to master. We are individuals afterall, and we cannot read each other's minds. We think individual thoughts and we are all different, from our DNA to our life experiences. So, it's almost natural to function as an individual within a group. No matter what the type of activity, if you can get the "superstars" to work as a team, or get the shy or inhibited member to open up, share and interact, you improve efficiency many times over. This becomes clear in escape rooms. No one person can conquer the room by him/herself. At the end of an escape room session the team usually gets a debriefing. The debriefing is not just about how the room works - in fact, many escape room establishments will not discuss the solution unless the team actually escaped. Instead the team sees first hand how they interacted, how they were organized, and how well they communicated and how well they worked together.
Communication. To be successful in escaping, a group of people must be able to say what they think, identify seemingly insignificant details, and ask for help, and feel unimpeded to risk being wrong. Teams must focus on solutions, accept everyone's inputs without judgement, and cooperate with each other. A cordial and positive atmosphere keeps communication lines open between players. This is a vital group dynamic to have in any business or work environment. If co-workers have interpersonal issues affecting open communication between them, the effect on the "bottom line" may not be seen immediately, or may not be noticed by the boss right away. However, in an escape room environment it becomes apparent right away. It is a great tool to pry open communication between individuals or within groups.
Cooperation. From sports to business, government, within families, to scientific discovery. Without cooperation we cannot be successful. It's the very reason humans have become the dominate species on earth... But just watch the world news and anyone will agree we could do better.
Creative thinking. If a team is working together, communicating and cooperating, a spirit of innovation can develop. In an environment where mistakes are not punished or judged, creative thinking and creative solutions can flourish. Sometimes in life, business, or any organizational setting, a solution to a problem might not be possible if you're going about things "the way it's always been done". A new and "out of the box" view might be just what is necessary. A group that has the ability to examine and re-examine problems from different points of view will be more successful as a business or organization. Escape rooms not only foster and encourage this type of thinking, the very nature of escape rooms use hidden meanings, faux, and creativity to solve the puzzles and escape.
Conflict. It's a part of life. We will never be without it. Again, whether it is sports, business, government or families, or anything else, there will be conflict. It is inevitable, two or more people will have different ideas about how to proceed and each will feel strongly about it. Conflict. The problem is not that people have different ideas. The problem is we haven't developed the skills to manage conflict effectively. Escape rooms provide a fun environment where there could be as many good ideas as there are players. People are having fun, it's exciting, and everyone knows success depends on the team coalescing around a group consensus, it's not the end of the world if you fail but everyone wants to succeed. Escape room games provide the perfect venue to exercise this important life skill in a fun and entertaining way.
Roles and Organization. All teams have need to have individual members who take on differing roles. Some people are better than others at various functions. Sometimes roles can overlap and be shared, but for the most part a team won't function well if everyone tries to lead, or if no one takes on a necessary task. Teams work well when roles are defined and everyone knows what to do, and just as important - that everyone knows what everyone else is doing.
Adaptable. Effective teams need to adjust to changing conditions. From the overarching strategy, to the basic outcome, to individual tasks, to inter-office procedures and workflow. If a team can adapt to the situation it has a significant advantage over its competitors. Sometimes individuals resist change. Either they don't agree, or simply don't have the will to put in the effort to break old habits. When this happens they will form clicks and band together is sub-groups or form secret pacts. Change is not just a reality in business, but in all of life. Effective teams can adapt whatever is necessary without creating unnecessary additional conflict. Successfully completing an escape room will require the players to organize, make adjustments to their organization as the theme develops, and work through the clues and puzzles in an adaptable and fluid manner. Escape rooms provide an excellent way to exercise this important team dynamic.
Summary. Escape rooms are fast-paced, fun and dynamic team environment. They offer an excellent way for groups to improve their teamplay and/ or identify team functionallity issues in a fun, gentle, yet meaningful way. Commercial team leadership coaching solutions and boot camps can cost thousands of dollars and typically run over several days, often out of town driving the cost even higher. An in-town escape room evening for the office or team can potentially help groups and teams to trust, work together, adapt in a fluid and natural way, improve communication and working relationships; all while having fun together.
If you are looking for a good teambuilding experience, try an escape room.