My first Farscape Outdoor Experience. How exciting!
“How exciting” was the first thing that came to my mind when I found out I was going to my first Farscape Outdoor Experience.
I had only joined the Farscape Team as the Operations Manager three weeks prior to that. My background is in organising events; I just love working on a project/event for so many months, planning it all, breathing and living it, getting to know the people involved, and finally the D Day arrives and I get to see “my baby” (or “mon bébé” as I call it in my French mother tongue language) unfold in front of my eyes…
But to be honest, as I hadn’t really been involved in the preparation for this course (as I had just started), I was mainly excited to be involved in an outdoor course and get to meet some of the other Farscape Team members!
We arrived at the beautiful location that is Broadfield Court Estate near Hereford, the day before the start of the course to prepare for the delegates’ arrival. I met people, got familiar with the surroundings, checked the kit… and had a go on the High Ropes task (like Go Ape). I am now thinking, I love my new job!
After a well deserved, restful night we welcomed the delegates. It was interesting to see their faces: from really excited ones, who wanted to get stuck in straight away, to quite worried looks, thinking “What the hell have I got myself into?!”. To be honest again, I wasn’t really sure myself what to expect! I knew the programme and the tasks but having never been on a course or team development programme before, I was a bit sceptical about how this would/could benefit the delegates.
They stated with two hours in the classroom, discussing the course objectives (from their Introduction Day), reviewing their Action Plans, discussing what they have learnt since then,… and believe me or not, but I was mesmerised! To start with, Justin (one of the facilitators) is a very passionate and dynamic person, no need for a strong coffee to keep you awake and focus! The openness and honesty of the discussions, the interaction between all the delegates and Justin was great to watch. But the most enjoyable part was watching the delegates realising who they are at work, how they are perceived, how they communicate in conflict and how they now have become aware of themselves and others, how they have thought about what a great leader means to them and the realisation of which actions they need to take to become a greater leader.
Then they were given their team kit bags, and off they went to the Great Outdoors. I could then tell you so much about what they got up to, the tasks, their night away from home, but I won’t as I don’t want to spoil it for future delegates. But it was two very emotional, fun, tiring and mostly challenging and memorable days. Emotional because the delegates were taken on a new journey, outside their comfort zone. Tiring because it is emotionally and physically challenging. Challenging because if it wasn’t, the delegates wouldn’t learn that much. And finally memorable because I don’t think a “standard” Talent Programme could impact so strongly on delegates.
I wasn’t a delegate but I have taken away so much from it. The Farscape facilitators use tools to make you think deeply about your behaviours at work, what is important for you, how you and your colleagues communicate, but mostly, depending on each individual, what can be done to improve those behaviours to become more efficient and reveal this great leader hidden in each of us.
I always say that “Nobody can change if they are not conscious of who they are and what they do”. I now know that Farscape gives people this unique opportunity to stop for a minute, think about the situation and equip you with the tools to make the change!
By Carole Charrade