When people hear the words “challenge course” and “goals,” you might have these initial thoughts: Teamwork, Communication, and Leadership. While all of those are important skills to work on, they are just a few that participants may learn while participating in a Challenge Discovery program. In fact, there are some skills participants may not even realize they are taking back to the “real world” at the end of the day! For the next few weeks, we are going to take a closer look at some of these skills and how they can be used in everyday life.
1. How to give helpful feedback
We often don’t realize communication is more than just talking at each other. It’s also about understanding what someone else is trying to tell you.
I often find that we, as human beings, are not so great at giving or receiving feedback. Why is this? Simply put, we are scared. We dislike being told what problems we have, or what we did wrong, or anything that could be viewed as negative. When we do receive feedback, we aren’t sure how to deal with the information given or the person giving it to us.
Challenge Discovery programs are not just a way to climb the high ropes course at the University of Richmond, and they are not just another fun school field trip. We take the time to process our team behaviors and debrief our experiences. We often talk about group feedback in our debriefing conversations. How did we do as a team? What could the group improve on?
As we move through a program, participants begin to realize it’s not just about “the team,” but rather, it’s about the individuals who make up the team. Participants of all ages, from middle school students on a field trip to fraternities from VCU, quickly learn how to give and receive feedback to both the group and the individual without pointing fingers, assigning blame, or having hurt feelings.
This is just the first of three important skills we’ll be exploring in our blog. Join us next week when we dive into “Thinking Outside of the Box.”
Have questions? Want to share your thoughts about giving or receiving helpful feedback? Visit our Facebook page and join the discussion.
Also find us on Twitter: @ChallengeDisRVA
thank you Ty. I always want people to tel me what they LIKED or LEARNED about themselves or their project. Since we are trying to build skills, focussing on the things we do well will create more of those behaviors.
Thank you for writing. Pamela