Beyond being a wholesome new take on the obligatory team away-day, not to mention a refreshing alternative to paint-balling, how exactly can forest training benefit your organisation?
The concept of ‘containment’ is a useful one for explaining how forest training benefits organisations, and it is a concept taken from the domain of psychotherapy.
Containment names the space between a client and a therapist.
For the therapeutic interaction to be a productive one, it is essential for there to be a sense of trust or safety preserved in that space. This allows the space to ‘hold’ the client, so they can move through emotions, gather insights and make positive behavioural adjustments in a comfortable and effective way.
Sounds good, huh?
In typical group working environments though, where competing priorities and demands often pull the attention and energy of the team in different directions, a sense of containment can sometimes be compromised.
In some instances, like when there is an organisational culture of blame, a sense of containment could be said to be lacking altogether.
Without enough containment, team members’ and the entire organisation’s ability to learn, grow and successfully adapt to environmental challenges is weakened.
Here’s a few reasons why:
- If there’s not enough containment in the work environment, there’s likely to be an increase in negative emotions experienced by the team. Barbara Fredrickson’s ‘Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotion’ describes how negative emotions and the behaviours that they give rise to, can hamper resourcefulness, creativity and the ability to problem-solve – all of which are fundamental to business (and personal) success.
- Without a sense of sufficient environmental support, team members are less likely to persevere in the face of adversity.
- In a low-containment environment where there is insufficient ‘head-room’ to digest difficult experiences. This means that less learning will occur and fewer improvements will be made.
A major factor in why forest training benefits organisations is that when teams spend facilitated time in nature, as a group and as individuals, they experience the creation of a strong container and a felt sense of containment.
Clients’ consistently report that our forest leadership programme brings a sense of being anchored and secure. This leads to:
- Insights into organisational challenges faced and ways to overcome them.
- Enhanced communication.
- Increased awareness around effective group working.
- Strengthening the team’s cohesion and their ability to ‘pull together’.