As anyone who has played an escape room can confirm, escape rooms always deliver fun and excitement. More importantly, they also draw out and celebrate individual and team talents. Further, they create a unique dynamic of partnering and collaboration against a shared objective. Combined, these characteristics create a compelling foundation for team building. However, how well can we really “build a team” without evaluating its performance? Similarly, how can team members truly learn and grow without revisiting successes and failures? The answers to both questions is, of course, “not well”. Feedback drives both personal and team development. Through feedback, we can asses strengths and weaknesses, and correspondingly develop strategies to improve performance. With the critical role of feedback in mind, Timed Out has developed programs and tools to review team performance in the escape room. These tools empower the team to investigate both constructive and destructive behaviors, and encourage the team to identify strategies for improvement. In this fashion, team building events can deliver a return on investment that continues long after the event concludes. As a result, we developed, tested and launched CLIC. CLIC relates activities from the team building session to work performance through a fun – but structured – post-game debriefing.
Do you hear the CLICing?
The name CLIC reflects four key behavioral areas that emerge vividly from the challenges and pressures of an escape room. These four areas are Communication, Leadership, Impact and Collaboration. Importantly, CLIC is not an assessment. Instead, it is a facilitated post-game conversation among team members. Through CLIC, we highlight behaviors and drive insights. CLIC challenges a team to relate those insights back to the work environment and mission. As a result, it challenges a team to analyze these behaviors and to identify ways to improve.
Team Performance Area: Communication
Communication creates the foundation for a high-performing team. In fact, hall of fame basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski cites three systems that drive his teams performance: offense, defense, and communication. It is important to think about communication as a two-way street. First, the communicator must speak. Second, the listeners must listen. Both speaking and listening (and their non-verbal variants) are active processes, and combined they create a feedback cycle. Through CLIC, we probe both elements. We query the team for which members spoke up – and which didn’t. The team will discuss how – and to whom – it listened. Finally, we’ll collectively discuss tools to improve both speaking and listening across the team.
Team Performance Area: Leadership
Escape rooms create an incredible window into team leadership. Through CLIC, we’ll challenge the team to consider a number of leadership dimensions. First, to what degree does a team rely on a formal organizational structure and hierarchy? Second, how static or dynamic is the team’s leadership model? Finally, do leadership styles change during the course of the room (Such as when the clock is closing in on zero!)? Often, reflecting on team leadership dynamics in the escape room creates insights into the team’s DNA – how its structure aligns to the types of activities and goals the team performs – as well as to broader organizational culture.
Team Performance Area: Impact
For a team to deliver its best performance, it has to effectively tap into the talents of its members. Not only is this critical for team performance, but for individual engagement and fulfillment. In fact, Gallup researchers have found “When employees are explicitly encouraged to use their talent in pursuit of a goal, individual engagement improves (from 9% to 15%) as does team performance and the company’s business metrics as well.” At Timed Out, we use CLIC to review which challenges were most interesting to individual players, and where players contributed to – or struggled to reach – solutions. Trends in the types of puzzles that appeal to players can highlight – or in most cases, reinforce – the talents of each player. In addition to individual talent insights, this reflection can also be valuable in identifying potential in-team partnerships and project resourcing considerations.
Team Performance Area: Collaboration
Collaboration is a magic word in team building circles – and as we’ve written, it is critical to compete in the new economy. As a result, it is a key focus of CLIC. Escape room behaviors – such as forming smaller teams within a larger group, and whether those smaller teams are static or change over a game – can often times mirror behaviors in the work environment. Do team members consistently solicit input to ideas? How does the team respond to alternate or competing concepts? What tools do team members use to build and reach consensus? Is the team willing to experiment, fail, learn and iterate? Teams improve outcomes by harvesting members’ diverse talents. Escape rooms, when viewed through the CLIC lens, highlight and celebrate these different talents. Further, they highlight mechanisms that solicit and integrate ideas to form solutions.
Ready to CLIC?
Are you ready to get your team CLICing? Click here to learn more about CLIC, and our other team building programs. Alternately, contact us at email@example.com or 980/209.9776.