On the 6th of July, a large group of the team of 1-StopAsia from Bulgaria headed to an unexpected adventure. I say unexpected because none of the group members had gone through an experience like Legion Run before. Naturally, the most energetic signed up for it almost instantly. As the fresh newbie in our team, I also decided to give it a try although my colleagues were still a group of people I barely knew. Initially, I signed up for the personal challenge with the only idea to test my abilities and endurance. However, it turned out to be much more!
What is Legion Run?
We headed early morning and met at the spot at around 10:00 AM. Although it was quite early, the place was already packed with people full of energy and enthusiasm. It was impossible not to get in the mood for a good 5km track full of obstacles and hardships. “So, what exactly is Legion Run?” you might ask. Legion Run is a team-oriented run with 20+ obstacles of mud, fire, ice, and barbed wire, held in different countries around the globe. It is not a race, neither a competition against others (a fact very hard to accept after seeing how very well prepared some of the people there were). Just pure wicked fun for grown-ups!
How the 1-Stopians survived it?
As experts say, the most successful, memorable team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively. Our goal was to reach the finish line all together as a team. Our group was immensely diverse. Some were athletic – others not that much. With my insufficient height of 158cm, I had major difficulties climbing over the tallest obstacles. But guess what? There was always somebody wearing the red “1-StopAsia” bandana around me to lend a hand, or a shoulder to climb on, in my case!
Our expedition continued for a bit more than three hours. Took us a bit longer than expected, I admit, but I still consider the time spent with these people greatly enriching. Personally, I learned a lot about my colleagues. I witnessed sides of their character I would have never noticed by having a chat over coffee in the office. They demonstrated their inspiring power of will and even more impressive team spirit! People that saw each other mainly at the company`s gatherings (team buildings) were giving themselves out for each other. Everybody was helping with whatever they can – you`ll be surprised how a couple of jokes can boost the spirit of the whole group!
We slid and ran, we crawled and swam, we fell quite often, bruising ourselves but nobody was left behind. At the end, the whole team managed to overcome not only the three-meters-high ramp but also all the fears and differences between each other. At the finish line, I was feeling thankful and rather humbled. I realized that those individuals actually tackle the problems in the office the same way – together, sharing the mutual goal.
The impact on our team!
After I`ve noted how the work environment changed to the better following this adventure I am fully sure that despite its reputation for being, well, lame, team building is the most important investment you can make for your people. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration, which is absolutely viral for a work process such as the one in the translating industry. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which builds a company culture and boosts the bottom line. Our experience is a great example that you don’t have to bet the farm on fancy, expensive trips or experiences – a good, exhausting marathon in the countryside is enough to boost the spirit and give people a different viewpoint on their job and colleagues.
My advice – don`t be afraid to be thrown out in the wild with your colleagues. Give yourself the chance to get to know what wonderful people they are both in and out of the office!