In October, our entire team met in person for the first time. We had the times of our lives and I even checked off a couple of bucket list items.

We began our four-day adventure working together at the corporate office with 80’s rock in the background (our receptionist favorite music).

On the evening of Day 1, the team, and spouses had dinner at Julie's house. She went all out for us with a build your own salad bar to accompany dinner and a build your own ice cream sundae bar. After dinner, we obliterated the #1 Team Pinata with a bat in her back yard. We enjoyed an evening filled with laughter.

On the morning of Day 2, Julie kicked us off with the goals for the Team Building Event which were:

1. Learn About Each Other 2. Build Trust 3. Build Better Communication 4. Understand What Motivates/Demotivates Each Other

We also played the “Airplane Game.” This is an exercise where you pretend your plane is going down. The team only has 10 minutes to work together and decide unanimously on three items from the plane to take with them. There were fifteen items to choose from and we collaboratively chose water, an axe, and matches.

Next, we pretended we got rescued but we have too much weight on the rescue plane and there is low fuel. The team had to decide which team member should stay on the plane and provide a reason they chose that person. We unanimously chose the lightest person on our team to stay on the rescue plane. We figured the fuel would last longer so there would be a better chance for us to be rescued.

We were then asked to each write down three questions we wanted to learn about each other for an activity the next day. These were done on individual index cards and given to Julie for a future activity.

We then took our new team and individual pictures at the corporate office for our website. Check our new picture out on our website after reading this blog. 😊

Our team then headed to Sedona, Arizona for lunch before continuing our journey up to Williams, AZ.

On Day 3, we got up and went to work together in the hotel conference room. We all work remotely in our home offices, so it was nice to work in the same room. After all our clients were taken care of, we began team building events.

Julie started the team building off by asking us to write the four goals from yesterday on large pieces of paper she had on the wall. We discussed what those four goals mean to each of us and had an open conversation.

Next, we played, the Cross the Line Question Game. The three questions each of us wrote on Day 2 were placed face down on a table. Each team member took turns picking a question to ask. The idea was Cross the line (piece of tape) if you answer Yes. The person reading/asking the question could reword the question to make it a “Yes” or “No” answer if they do not change the context or original meaning.

We then played Traffic Jam Game. This is a game with nine spaces. Four people on each side with an empty space in the middle. The object of the game was to move each set of four to the opposite side of the spaces. There were rules though. Two people are not allowed in one space, you are not allowed to move backwards, and you cannot cross two boxes. After multiple attempts ending with a traffic jam, Natalia suggested we just move forward at the same time which moves each of us forward. This did not break the rules above. Although it worked, it was not the solution on the video. This truly shows how our team, “Thinks outside the box.”

Our last team game was called “Elements” which is a personality game. The game is based on four elements which are: Earth- Rationality/Thinking Wind - Funny/Lighthearted Water - Emotional/Sensitive Fire - Passion/Action

We all then picked an element that best describes us when we interact with friends, family and at work.

Our team and family members who joined for this trip all had lunch together at the Pizza Factory on the Famous Route 66.

After lunch we caravanned to our Grand Canyon Jeep tour pick up spot. Julie picked a company authorized to drive into the Grand Canyon from the original road. Our guide’s name was Werner, and he was so knowledgeable about the Grand Canyon’s history. Driving through the forest we saw different wild animals. Then we reached the rim of the Grand Canyon, and it was breathtaking. We sat together and watched the sunset on the canyon which created amazing colors. This was one of my bucket lists items I mentioned earlier.

On Day 4, we began our day in the hotel conference room and took care of our customers' needs before resuming our teambuilding. We reflected on the four goals of our event and reviewed our previous day’s activities.

Next, we played the Circles Game -Panic Challenge but we used rectangles instead. The outer area of the rectangle was Panic, the large rectangle was willing to try, and the inner rectangle was comfortable. We all took turn asking the team scenario and we had to stand in the applicable area. AN example of a question asked was, “How do you feel about skydiving?” Our team then stood in the area that reflected their level of comfort.

Our last activities were documenting our team roles and alignments. The roles listed were Admin/Sales, Leads, Development, Support 1, and Support 2. Julie asked us to print our names under each role they hold. Julie then asked everyone to order the roles by which comes first or by importance. This was an interesting discussion, led to various opinions on if a product comes before Admin/Sales or the customer engagement that leads it. The team agreed upon the order above as a majority but not unanimously.

We then headed to Bearizona in Williams. This is a drive through and walk-through zoo with animals commonly found in this region. As the name indicates, there were bears. We spent the day enjoying the zoo. Our team then headed back to Route 66 for dinner and live music. Four of our team members finished our final evening with the Route 66 zip line. I was one of them, this was my first zipline and another check on my bucket list.

On behalf of the TriYoung team, I would like to thank our President, Julie Young, for planning such a fun filled event for us. Finally meeting each other in person helped our team grow stronger. We have very funny and smart people on our team. We are a diverse group with unique talents. We all have passion about the work we do.

We cannot wait for next year’s event!

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