Sing When You’re Winning
Building a raft, climbing a wall, capsizing a canoe – I (Ben) love all that kind of stuff, and for some people they make the basis of a great team building or leadership training day.
But though they can be a joy for the sportsmen and women among us, they’re not always everyone’s cup of tea. One of the comments we often hear during our Know the Score® programme or Conference days is how refreshing it is to use music for team-building and leadership training. And of course we would agree with them and say that music is a powerful metaphor, a universal language that all members of your team can engage with.
We’re not a lone voice. A recent article in Newsweek, highlighted the rise in choirs and other musical activities in offices and businesses all over the Capital and the UK. Some of this could be credited to Gareth Malone’s workplace choir programme, The Choir, but the truth is workplace music-making has a longstanding history in the UK, from choirs to brass bands.
From the colliery bands of the north east, to Welsh men’s choirs to the band practise rooms in Google HQ, music makes workplaces more coherent and energetic places to be. Research has found that making music together in the workplace improves staff interaction, employee’s self-confidence, and has distinct health benefits for people’s hearts, lungs, and even has a positive impact on the hormones that help wounds to heal.
In large businesses it’s easy for individuals to only ever engage with the people immediately in their team. Team-building in these cases happen on a daily basis as people work with one another. But pan-organisational initiatives like choirs and workplace orchestras re-categorise people into new teams – altos or sopranos, for example, or strings and brass. People from accounts meet people from client acquisition, and the resultant conversation leads to new perspectives, fresh inspiration, and better still, a greater sense of loyalty and vision for the goals you are collectively working towards.
Worth considering next time there’s an option to abseil off a building together – perhaps regular opportunities to sing together might be both more inclusive, and more effective.