Imagine entering work in the early ’90s. It is a time when office computers, mobile phones, email etc. were not part of our working environment.  We talked on landline phones, and wrote memos on paper.  We clocked in and started work and clocked out before leaving at the end of the day.  In the following years, email, personal mobile phones and a host of new technologies entered the workplace.  Everything would be much easier and faster and now that we could send out 1,000+ CC’s by email without needing a mailman, we wondered what would we do with all of our spare time.



Fast forward 20+ years and mobile technology has resulted in people working from home while having breakfast and in their cars while driving to and from work. It does not end there as many work in the evenings and are still checking their phone while in bed.  Children complain that their parents are in the same room but “not there” when they want interaction.  Today we live in a world of ‘infobesity’ where we may have unlimited information but only a little of it has true nutritional value.


Too many people start their workday by playing a game called “find my work” which is to identify important tasks carefully camouflaged among hundreds of irrelevant emails and messages. To deal with this we respond by attempting to multi task.  Interestingly research into multi tasking has revealed firstly that people who swap between tasks are less productive when measured in terms of speed and quality. It also requires more energy to change focus so burnout is a constant threat.  In the coaching world, the theme of work life balance and emotional health has climbed the rankings and is now one of the dominant areas of discussion. Clearly the world has not evolved as we expected.

Our Working Simply Smarter program  will explore the latest thinking on stress and time management and equip participants with practical tools to increase their effectiveness.


“Andrew is an exceptional consultant who is energetic, resilient and intelligent, always upbeat and motivated. He is an asset for any Learning and Development Projects”. VODAFONE TURKEY

“I have worked closely with Andrew recently. I have seen , at first hand, how he is always focused on the customer and in helping them to achieve their goals. He brings a wealth of MNC and SME experiences, to his role, which are invaluable and very educational. Andrew has, at all times, helped align my business strategy towards achieving my growth plans. He has been an excellent source of advice and guidance to my business unit. CARBON GROUP
If you wish to discuss more about how your team can work Simply Smarter email ME or call 023 8843998Happy New Year.

Corporations are currently faced with a challenging question that has long affected education: what is the best way build a collaborative environment, with measurable values and effects of engagement? In education, this pertains to learning, progress and qualifications  — while in business, this translates specifically to productivity, morale and business output.

The big difference between the two sectors is that in education, costs are ‘built in’ to salaries and interventions which directly aim for those same progression outcomes — whereas businesses are required to specifically invest capital and/or profit into team-building activities and events, with hope that the investment will be returned.

Though both sectors can qualify the success of team-building efforts in anecdotal ways (“remember the time when…?”), businesses are fast moving into the realm where, like educators, it’s essential to quantify the success of team building efforts in a way that translates into key business performance metrics. This not only enables business managers to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but also reveals opportunities for more effective management in the future.

Measuring tools

Measuring the ROI of team building tactics

Translating team-building endeavors into quantifiable measures can include a plethora of possibilities and methods, but all need a starting point: a baseline prior to implementing a calendar or schedule of team-building activities. For yours, consider looking at:

  • Absentee rates
  • Productivity rates
  • Rates of overtime take-up
  • Daily/weekly/monthly profit
  • Time-and-motion studies can also help identify exactly how time is used by management and a team. This is particularly useful when putting together an overview of the frequency, productivity and purpose of meetings, along with punctuality in relation to staff breaks, pace of work, number of customer complaints, and even staff grievances.

As no two companies will be influenced by the exact same factors and actions, there will be different baseline areas for various types of companies. These examples prove that there are plenty of options to be identified and used, depending on a team, business focus and need.

Building in the bonding

The next action is to introduce newly selected team-building activities. When choosing an exercise, remember that the key aim of team-building activities is to increase productivity — and the main vehicle by which team building events aim to do this is by bonding disparate teams.

It’s worth remembering that such events are about collaboration and not competition, which can often be detrimental to overarching business goals. Be thoughtful in offering creative exercises and activities which include ‘lone’ workers, invite collaboration, and help to define team members’ roles.

Activities should also bring out individuals’ strengths, before empowering staff to take these qualities back into the workplace. Using the services of a team events company to facilitate this can seem expensive depending on the number of people and type of activities involved, but once measuring tools have been defined, measuring and managing the outcome can only be beneficial. It’s reasonable to expect an increase in company knowledge about a team, performance, productivity, and prospects.

Giving teammates a voice

ROI on teambuilding

A great team-building activity that often costs less but can still give valuable, measured outcomes is to gather and directly ask the team about various aspects of the company. A session like this can include (but certainly isn’t restricted to) Q&A with teammates on a broad range of topics. Here are a few ideas:

  • Work environment: consider asking about desired improvements, problem areas, or even health and safety concerns
  • Office hierarchy or management systems: is everyone comfortable where they are? Are there line-management clashes which result in some staff feeling de-valued? Are some staff feeling ‘stuck’ and overlooked?
  • Wages and working conditions: although this should come into appraisal or performance management procedures, this is by no means a given with some companies, so staff really should be offered the chance to have their say. This can be a relatively easy fix if the funds are there and will be invaluable in returned loyalty and productivity.
  • Schedules: is the company struggling with poor scheduling which means death-by-meeting Thursdays for some staff, or no time for creative thinking for others? Those that are subject to the schedules will know exactly what’s working, or not, so ask them! After, factor their responses into the development of new processes and systems – and measure those outcomes.

How to manage the measuring

Finally, it’s time to re-measure your outcomes. It’s important to recognize that investing in your team in this way, particularly if it’s something your company hasn’t done before, can take time to get right. While improvements may be seen quickly (and that’s great!), there’s no guarantee that there will be an immediately or obvious return on any investment of time or money spent –- in reality, efforts may be something which gradually drip-feed over a span of months or years after action.

The important thing is to retain the focus, as this will also encourage staff engagement – don’t let them think your efforts were a one-off attempt, as that doesn’t encourage loyalty!

The best is yet to come; the ROI of teambuilding

If the measures show no improvement, try switching tactics with different team events or activities which closely complement your business goals. Be sure to reflect on both the managing side of measurement as well as acknowledging to your staff that they, as well as your company, are worth your investment.

Having worked to develop teams for 17 years, I thought I’d share a few key ideas that will help facilitators or managers that need to get a group of people working more cohesively. It is particularly effective to do some of these with a new team or group that about to embark on a project together for example an IT system change implementation team. It can really pay dividends in the smooth running of the project.

1. Help them build trust

As Patrick Lencioni explains in his book on the five dysfunctions of a team, it is really important for a team to develop ‘vulnerability-based’ trust. This means that they need to share things and understand more about each other. Sometimes using a personality profile together can help with this. My favourite activity is to get them to tell stories about when they were younger. Here is a format that I got from my friend Larry Reynolds, which I have used many times to great effect. These questions enable to fashion a story out of a life incident to share with the team:

  1. Think of a time when you faced some kind of challenge. It can be a challenge big or small, and it can be something that happened recently or many years ago. Challenges you faced as a child or young adult can make especially powerful stories. The only proviso is that things worked out alright in the end, and that you are happy to share this experience with others.
  2. How did you feel when you encountered this challenge? It’s probably something on the spectrum between concerned and terrified.
  3. What unexpected help came your way? Maybe you drew on some inner resources, or maybe someone else helped you.
  4. How did things work out in the end?
  5. What did you learn from this experience?
  6. What does that say about your values and beliefs as a person now

2. Help them get comfortable disagreeing

It’s really important, if a team are to make great decisions that they are comfortable with a level of conflict and disagreement in the team. Give them some tasks to do that involve disagreement and negotiation like Ecopoly or better still, take some real work, a decision that they need to make and carefully facilitate a discussion where when a person states a point of view or puts forward an idea, at least two people must say specifically what they like or agree with and then at least two people must point out potential issues, flaws or reasons that they disagree. When a team can get comfortable separating the ideas and concepts from the person, they will be able to make better decisions. Also if issues are discussed properly, teams are able to commit to decisions that they don’t necessarily fully agree with if they can understand the rationale behind the decision and they feel that they have been fully heard.

3. Help them get comfortable giving and receiving feedback

Giving and receiving feedback effectively will enable the team to grow and develop faster and will also enable them to hold each other accountable for behaviours and results. Enable them to practise giving real face-to-face feedback by doing an activity such as ‘warm seat’, which I learnt, from Dr. Roger Greenaway many years ago:

A ‘warm seat’ is a little bit like a hot seat but cooler! Group members prepare questions to ask the rest of the group about themselves. These questions can be positive e.g. what is great about working with me? Neutral e.g. what is it like working with me? Or negative e.g. in what ways do I sometimes annoy you? Group members take it in turns to sit in the warm seat for a pre-arranged amount of time e.g. five minutes and ask their questions. Group members answer the questions (which can be general or specific) as specifically as possible with examples. They can only answer questions posed and at any time the person is free to vacate the warm seat if they’ve had enough. (See my article on giving difficult feedback if the group may need to do some learning about how to give feedback well.)

4. Set up a team charter

Another practical thing that a team can do is to set up a team charter, which includes agreements about ways of working. Get clarity first on the team’s vision, purpose and values. Then get clear about people’s different roles within the team by defining individual responsibilities and goals. Once this is done, I often use an exercise like Culturallye, which looks at written, and unwritten rules that naturally establish themselves in a team as part of the culture. We can then get into identifying appropriate behaviours for team members, communication and decision-making processes and agreements about the use of resources. Encourage the team to put forward ‘rules’ that they can all sign up to, for example, ‘we get back to e-mails from each other within 24 hours’ or ‘when we disagree, we express this calmly and openly’ etc. Once this charter is established, team members can be encouraged to hold each other accountable for both behaving in line with what has been agreed and for their responsibility areas. This should happen as part of every team meeting.

5. Give them chance to practise being a real team (and to feel what it is like) by giving them challenges to complete together

If you have a well thought through problem-solving challenge where the objective is really clear and truly shared and the problem necessitates the team working together, they will have an opportunity to feel what it is like to work as a team (hopefully successfully). This physical or ‘muscle’ memory will hopefully stay with them and also make them want to achieve that feeling of working in harmony and being jointly accountable again! Great team problem-solving challenges include Tower of Power, EasySpider, Leonardo’s Bridge, MarbleRun, Scoop, StringBall, Maze and Team2. Once people feel what it’s like to truly work as a team and achieve positive results, they usually want to do it again! The review of the activity also enables the team to practise disagreeing, giving and receiving feedback and holding each other accountable.

by Shirley Gaston

Hello All,
We’ve just posted an up to date (well mostly up to date) brochure for fun games, puzzles and inflatable castles.  The brochure is designed for anyone planning

  • Family Fun Days
  • Corporate sports events
  • Venue launch
  • “It’s a Knockout”
  • Team barbecues
  • “Just for fun”  light team building


We have items for small kids such a play pits, face painting and carousels  up to laser tag and archery for adults.

DOWNLOAD games brochure low res (5 meg)


We have teamed up with the HARBOUR HOTEL Galway  to give you the chance to win  our  DA VINCI CODE CHALLENGE, a tough yet rewarding  outdoor team building game designed by Our Da Vinci Code Challenge is based  on the best-selling novel and hit film, your team must track down the ultimate prize, the Holy Grail. Your search will take you to historical and religious sites, and armed only with the clues you find, you must solve the mystery. You have some tough challenges ahead as not everyone you meet is your friend! Are you ready to step back in time, embrace the challenge and seek immortality? We then relax back at the Harbour Hotel  where the winner is revealed.




  • Answer this simple  question:  Which city are we offering this FREE team  event in?

A) Galway B) Istanbul C) Cork

  • Send your entry to
  • Entitle your email Harbour Competition 
  • You must include your name, company email address, company name, position  and phone number.
  • We will accept multiple entries from a company, but only one entry per email address. So get your colleagues to enter for a greater  chance of winning.

Da Vinci Code Challenge


  • All participants must work for the winning  company. Any company putting forward participants who are not from the winning company, will be disqualified from particpating.
  • All participants must be over 18.
  • Only 1 answer per individual email address. Entries will be shared with the Habour Hotel and
  • Multiple answers will be accepted from any company.
  • Correct answers will be put into a hat and the winner will be drawn at the end of APRIL.
  • Winner will be notified by telephone  with a follow up email. If we cannot speak with the winner after 24 hours of the draw, a 2nd draw will be made.
  • Prize is for up to 20 people & includes refreshments (before or after the team building event) , room hire and our Da Vinci Code Challenge.
  • Habour  reserve the right to change ANY aspect of the prize. The winner will be notified of any changes.
  • Event will be videoed and/ photographed and used for marketing (your company will not be named).
  • Event will run for approx. 3.5 hours (excluding refreshments)
  • Prize must be booked before the before the end of May (excluding a Friday or Saturday)
  • Da Vinci Challenge  must take place between 9am & 6pm.


Best of luck everyone!

Regards the Harbour Hotel & teams


If you are a manager, it is so important that you make time for regular one-to-ones. Even if your desks are 4 metres apart and you think you are totally in touch with where someone is, you still need to have regular one-to-ones. It’s a space you create where they know that it is about them as an individual and you will really listen to their hopes, dreams, fears and concerns. The depth of conversation that you need to have just won’t happen as you discuss mundane operational issues. So get those one-to-one’s scheduled in and follow the simple steps below to make it a worthwhile use of time for you both.

Step One – Focus on preparation

Get out your notes from the last one-to-one with the relevant person. See whether or not each of you have followed through on the commitments you made. Ask yourself some really good questions…

  • What do I need to tell him / her? (About behaviour, projects, news, meetings, workload, plans)
  • What positive feedback can I give?
  • What developmental / adjusting feedback do I need to give?
  • Is there something I can delegate or involve him / her in to help their development?

Book a place and time that you can focus and speak freely without being disturbed and if something comes up and you have to reschedule, always reschedule it right there and then rather than for some unspecified time in the future.

Step Two – Focus on them

This is their time. They should be doing most of the talking (at least 70% as a rule of theumb) and it should all be about them. Ask them some great questions like…

  • How are things in general?
  • How well does your job description describe what you are doing currently?
  • What is currently giving you most satisfaction at work?
  • What are your key accomplishments since our last one-to-one?
  • What has not gone so well since our last one-to-one?
  • What has got in the way of success?
  • What have you learned from this?
  • What do you need to develop to ensure success?
  • What do I do that helps / hinders?

Step Three – Focus on updates and news

What can you share with them that will help them to feel that this has been a great use of their time? What can you let them know about, what can you give them specific feedback on?

  • What else do we need to follow up on from last time?
  • What do I need to update you on?
  • What feedback do I need to give you?
  • What ideas have I had for helping you in your role?
  • What else can I tell you about project x?
  • What are your thoughts on these changes?
  • What do you think about y?
  • How do you think we can do this better?
  • What can I delegate to you that will help you develop in areas that interest you?

Step Four – Focus on the future

Keeping your team members happy, productive and staying with your organisation is a lot about matching their needs with the right job. Maybe there are ways they can develop to be more effective in their role. Maybe their role can be adjusted to better suit them and enable them to bring new skills to work? Maybe there is a new role that can be created or that they can move on to. Ask them some questions about this…

  • Tell me about what you’ve learned on this project.
  • What are your career ambitions for the future?
  • How might that fit in with the organisation’s plans?
  • What training and development do you think would help you?
  • What would you like us to focus on between now and next time

Step Five – Focus on closing

Thank them for their time and openness. Ask them what you could have done differently to make this an even more useful one-to-one for them.

  • When should we next meet to review progress?
  • Which of us is going to do what by when?

Read through the notes you have made and transfer things that need transferring to task lists, project plans, diaries and calendars. Follow through on commitments you’ve made and development actions you’ve decided on schedule the next one-to-one!

Shirley Gaston




Getting the whole team on board with a new initiative at work can be a mixed adventure… some will be up for it and enthusiastic to get started, others will be cautious and want more information, whilst a tiny few would rather stick to the usual routine and maintain their comfort zone.

The trouble is, this mixed response is likely to be what you face if you’ve got the task of getting your team involved in a team-building activity… and is possibly the whole reason why team-building is on the agenda in the first place! So how can you garner enthusiasm for participating in team activities from your most reluctant team players? It’s an important question that we at Team Tactics address in the following ways:

Anticipate the “do we have to?” element

As an opportunity to do fun and exciting things with your colleagues, team building activities can be fun for everyone, but presenting such activities as mandatory smacks of a “done to”, rather than “done with” management agenda. Savvy managers will understand this and pre-empt such problems by:

• Inviting suggestions as to what type of team activities individuals prefer.
• Identifying who are the most hard-to-reach members of the team and making an effort to find out what makes them tick (not so that you can pander to their preferences at the cost of those of other team members, but to enable you to make sure all personalities are taken into consideration).
• Exchanging a “same-old” working day for the activities rather than expecting your team to give up their own time to participate. Being on-the clock for an activity which is slightly more fun than the day job is a good way of getting everyone on board and, in terms of team morale and productivity, can be more cost-effective than a normal workday.

Address the “what’s the point?” question

A team always has a resident cynic and anticipating the “what’s the point?” question when announcing a team event can be the quickest way to shut down negative vibes which could undermine the whole event. Be careful to:

• Communicate the value of the event, being careful not only to highlight how it might help the company as a whole (improved communication, productivity etc) but also support individuals both professionally and personally.
• Asking yourself the “what’s in it for me?” question from the viewpoint of members of your team – and presenting this to them before they even get to ask the question demonstrates that their needs, as well as the company’s, are being considered.

Anticipate alternatives

If your usual work methods require your team to work in a certain way, consider team activities which allow individuals to explore and develop other skills, as a way to get everyone doing something a little different:

• If your team usually has to be highly analytical, try team building activities which require them to think and work creatively for a change. This will add to the depth of their thinking later on and increase the chances of some creative thinking once normal work resumes.
• If promotion opportunities are coming up, run an activity day which allows team members to develop and demonstrate their leadership skills in an informal way.

Make it about others

Although ultimately your company will benefit from running employee and team activities through increased morale, productivity and even reducing absenteeism, you could also make sure the day is recognised as being for someone else’s benefit.

Finally, don’t forget to record the event with photographs and video and gain feedback from your team and any other participants as soon as possible afterwards, to help stimulate those “next time…” rather than “never again…” reflections on team building activities!

Alex Murray, Teamtactics

world game 33


We now have a greater range of APP based events for 2015. We’ve upgraded from smart phones to tablets with larger screens more functionality.
City Treasure Hunts

Indoor Events

Conference voting

Training Events for assessment and leadership

DOWNLOAD our APP Brochure for an overview or call our offices.




Team Of 8 Blue People Holding Up Connected Pieces To A Colorful Puzzle That Spells Out "Team," Symbolizing Excellent Teamwork, Success And Link Exchanging Clipart Illustration Graphic

One excellent way of better tailoring experiential exercises to the particular context, situation and objectives within which you are working, is to use roles within an experiential exercise. There is something really nice (and memorable!) about the surprise factor of opening an envelope as a participant and seeing what is inside and I would really recommend doing that at least once within a facilitated day. So onto some of the options for using roles…

1. Leadership styles and models

You might be using Situational Leadership on your programme or Action Centred Leadership or Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s Leadership Continuum or a model of your own. Whatever model you want to include, using roles within an experiential task is a great way to introduce it. Give participants sealed envelopes before the task begins, each with a clear description within it of one of the styles within in your model and ask them to try during the task to behave in that way. After the task, you can then introduce the model as part of the review and use examples from throughout the exercise to illustrate and bring to life the model. You can also do fun things like guessing which role each individual had been given etc. It makes the model far more memorable than if you had simply presented it.

2. Blindfold and non-blindfold

Any time you introduce blindfolds into an experiential activity, you dramatically up the quality of communication needed for the group to be successful. I’m particularly partial to blindfolding half of the group to enable each blindfolded participant to have their own communicator. If the blindfolded person is not communicated with well, it brings into sharp focus how people feel when they are disengaged in a task or in a company! This provides rich material for review.

3. Team roles

In a similar way to with leadership styles, you could use roles to introduce a team model such as Belbin or Team Management Systems or outside of that you may just wish to assign people roles according to responsibilities you would like them to take on within the exercise. For example, lets say that a team, through the use of team diagnostic of some sort or through previous experience in experiential exercises have identified that they need to be better at time keeping and at celebrating successes, you could assign somebody to these roles to make them more likely to come to the fore. The review could then encompass how useful (or not) it was having people assigned to cover this and whether or not that could help in the workplace and in what circumstances.

Other roles that you might consider include…

  • Summariser / clarifier – clarifies objectives, summarises discussions
  • Ideas person – suggests new ideas
  • Evaluator – helps the group to avoid coming to agreement too easily, encourages people to reflect
  • Observer – watches group and takes notes on what is happening
  • Recorder – ensures agreements are written visibly
  • Data Collector – collects and records data
  • Elaborator – connects discussions with prior material and activities
  • Encourager – praises and affirms, records positive comments and actions
  • Materials Manager – gets and returns supplies and materials

4. Managers and workers

A classic use of roles in experiential learning exercises is to divide the group into ‘managers’ and ‘workers’. Often the groups will be separated in different rooms, but not always. The ‘managers’ are typically given more information than the ‘worker’s about how to solve the problem and the ‘workers’ are typically the only ones allowed to actually touch the equipment and solve the problem. Sometimes communication between the two groups is limited to certain times or people, to text message or mobile phone. This environment provides for a review rich in understanding the impact on relationship and engagement of the managers’ communication and usually leads in to a great discussion and action plan.

5. The saboteur

If one of the objectives of your workshop is to develop giving and receiving feedback or to help people understand the difference between their intentions and the impact of the things they say and do then this a great one though it does need handling with care (or excellent facilitation). Basically you tell the group that you are giving them an envelope in which they will find a note telling them whether or not they have been selected to act as a saboteur. If during the exercise, a participant suspects that they have identified a saboteur then they must stop the action and explain why they suspect this. Then, when it is established that they are wrong, the exercise continues. Nobody’s envelope says that they are to be a saboteur so this leads to a brilliant review focused on different people’s perceptions about a situation, the power of expectation or feedback confidence and expertise.

Hope this gets your creative juices flowing.

Shirley Gaston



Hello All,

Just to let you know that our Christmas opening hours for Bandon and Dublin offices are as follows.

ClOSED from  5pm Tuesday 23rd December

OPEN at 9am  Monday 5th January


If you request is urgent please email and someone will get back to you ASAP.

The team wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a happy new year and we look forward to working with you in 2015


We have adventure sport  Christmas vouchers available from €30 for Airsoft, Target Archery, Laser Clay Shooting, Laser Combat, Field Archery and target Shooting to be used at our Bandon and Kilkenny sites.   Perfect for kids, stag and hen parties or just a get together with friends and family.

Call 023 8843998 to purchase.




Many of us love a good, well organised company  Christmas party. A chance for the company to say “thank you” to it’s staff and a chance for the staff to unwind.  It’s worth remembering though companies and staff still have a responsibility even if it’s off site.  Here’s a few tips.

Advise for companies

Policies & Procedures Once the arrangements for the Office Christmas Party have been organised, take the opportunity to remind staff of company policies and procedures. Stress that any incidents which breach company policy will be dealt with in the same manner, as if it happened on company premises during normal working hours. Emphasise that serious incidents of misconduct will be dealt with in line with the company’s disciplinary procedure, which could result in dismissal in some cases.

Importantly, if a disciplinary incident occurs during a Christmas Party, ensure that you deal with it swiftly and fairly, in-line with stated company policy.

Alcohol. Staff should also be reminded that alcohol must be consumed responsibly at Office Parties. To help avoid the misuse of alcohol, ensure there is plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and food readily available. Don’t pressurise any staff members into drinking alcohol. More tips around the use of alcohol are available from

Duty of Care. As an employer, remember that you have a duty of care towards your staff and therefore have a responsibility to ensure that they get home safely. Encourage employees to pre book taxis.

Give a choice If an employee does not want to attend the Christmas Office Party, due to personal or religious beliefs, this choice should be respected by the employer.




Advise for staff

Try to  attend.  Even if you despise the thought of spending a whole evening with the people you work with every day, it’s a good idea to make an appearance. It shows that you are part of the team.
Don’t dress inappropriately. And do dress professionally. The venue will determine the dress code so make sure you know what it is. “Women are advised to stay away from slinky dresses, low-plunging necklines, short-short skirts or tight-fitting trousers”, according to workplace etiquette expert Pamela Holland. And, men “should refrain from unbuttoning more than two buttons on their shirts and wearing overly fitted shirts that show off their muscles”.
Do some schmoozing. This is a good time to talk to people you wouldn’t normally come across and, of course, the boss. This could help you in the long term in terms of forging alliances, helping to get things done or just raising your profile. But…
… Don’t talk shop. Do you want to be seen as the office bore? The office party gives you the chance to get to know people as people not just ‘Julie from accounts’.
Do drink in moderation. Excessive drinking is the number one cause of office party ‘incidents’. Remember, it is a marathon not a sprint and it is likely that you will have a long evening ahead of you. But, by the time you realise this you may have already consumed enough alcohol to sink a battleship and not quite be with it. Stick to your limit, drink slowly or alternate between alcohol and water and, if it’s too late for that, then switch to soft drinks and mince pies. And resist the temptation to indulge in tequila shots or flaming drambuie or you may end up losing more than your inhibitions!
Don’t make a move on a colleague. After a few hours and a few beers even Barbara from credit control can look like a goddess. But, before you make a bee-line for the person you’ve had your eye on all year, do yourself a favour, stay put and think, ‘Is this a good idea?’ ‘Probably not’, is the likely answer.
Do watch your language. Remember the reason why you are at the Christmas party in the first place is because you have a job. Avoid saying things you wouldn’t say on a normal office day.
Don’t leave too soon. Tequila slammers with the girls from HR may be more appealing than your department’s party, but, unless you have made a holy show of yourself, stay for at least a couple of hours even if it is the most boring party ever. After all, it’s your boss that you need to impress when it comes to getting a promotion.
Above all, enjoy the party. Strive to be remembered for the right reasons and not for your lustful antics or David Brent dancing. In the words of the great man himself from “The Office”, when asked how he would like to be remembered, he replied: “Simply, as, the man who put a smile on the face of all who he met.”
Have a great AND safe time.



You will never find scheduled courses on our web site as we don’t do “standard”  out of the box training. Yes we have programmes listed,  but these are only a guide and only ever run for a client after a lengthy discussion .  We will always talk with a client and base training around your needs.  Let’s be honest, if you’re taking 3 days of out your schedule you want the content to be relevant to your company, your team and YOU.

So if you have a problem, a skills gaps or need a little help in the right direction, call us and our Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development members will discuss a programme that’s right for you.

change it


If things in your team are not quite right, be it relationships, direction, sales… whatever it is, help us manage the change.

If often helps to have an outsiders view, someone who can come in, with a wealth of experience and guide you through the process.

Where are you now? , where do you want to be?  What’s the problem?  Who has the problem? How to stop it? Do you need a skilled person to manage the change or at least give your team the skills to manage it yourselves?


We help companies  big and small with all manner of changes.

If you’re not happy, change something!



1) What is the threat or demand that seems too great? Is someone else making demands, or is it your own perfectionism? List the causes of your stress response.

2) Mark the things that you can change. You may not be able to change your employment, but you may be able to change the way you plan your work. You can reduce stress greatly simply by planning out your day.

3) Just say “No” with sincerity and firmness. When it is not necessary to make a commitment, and you cannot handle it, politely refuse. Be prepared to say why.

4) Learn to recognise your individual stress signals. Your body will tell you when stress is building. Do you get a headache? Do your neck and shoulders begin to ache? Do you feel nervous? Stress signals are not the same for everyone. Learn your signals and reduce stress with brief exercise or by changing activity.

5) A well-rested, exercised, healthy body is better prepared to reduce stress. Take care of your body and it will be in better shape to handle the chemical changes brought about by stress. Increasingly, studies are showing that a fifteen to twenty minute nap in the afternoon will reduce stress and boost productivity.

You may have seen this advert on British TV, all very humorous but sadly sometimes teams fail to book the right event for their team or don’t do sufficient planning. There’s nothing wrong with paintball at all, but you’ve got to know your team and your objective.


This example is mild compared to two cases that hit the headlines in the last few years.

An extreme case was in Greece, when attempting  for a more memorable team building exercise, Ericsson decided to stage a hijacking. Two men with masks and weapons seized a coach full of  their sales team.

The goal was to see how staff kept their cool under stress.


Sadly the event was cut short when a  passerby called the police. A spokesperson for Ericsson described how “unfortunate” this was. “The mistake was not giving notice to the police”.



You may also  remember a case 6 years ago, when an American telemarketing company, put their hand to  water boarding one of its employees as a team building exercise. Waterboarding as you may know is a torture technique used by the CIA for example.

The manager who ran the ‘motivational’ exercise told staff that he wanted them to work as hard at selling as the waterboarded employee did at breathing!

To be sure of a successful event follow a few rules


  • Know your objective
  • Know your team
  • Set a budget
  • Set realistic time frames
  • Allow rest periods
  • Review
  • Talk to a reputable team building and training company

Looking for something a little scary for your team this Hallowe’en, try our event  The Woods, including all the challenges of finding food and shelter with the added danger of zombies ( dah dah DAHH!)

Hello, thanks for visiting the new site. Our Rebel site was looking a little shabby, so we’ve had a bit of a redesign over the summer.  This new site is easier to navigate and we’ve added a few more events.

We welcome any feedback so do get in touch:

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