teamwork training

Sword Dance brings a new dimension to teamwork training

Modern business and management teams need practical teamwork skills. Sword Dance gives training in planning, communication, monitoring, and support, and teams improve these skills in pursuit of a clear and achievable goal.

Mike Jensen has many years' experience as a builder and leader of teams of graduates. His teams have been praised for their co-operative ethos and willingness to innovate. An expert teacher, he has given workshops and lectures at major international festivals, business seminars, and training events. For twenty years, he was instructor of the Carlisle Sword team which has performed at dance festivals throughout the UK, and in France, Germany, Ireland, Russia, and Canada.

Sword Dance  re-focuses the practical teamwork skills of the rehearsal and performance of a traditional entertainment from the north of England to inspire modern business and management teams.

Many other training activities present logical or physical puzzles: in Sword Dance the team know what they have to do, but have to solve the problems of working together to achieve their goal and deliver a smooth performance. It is not only a pass or fail activity: they may continuously improve the quality of their performance through review and further practice, subject to any time limit.

During the session, everyone learns to accommodate and value the different physical, mental and emotional attributes and contributions of other members of the team. Sword  Dance gives unique insights into the way other people think and learn - developing perception of how to work together for a result.

As in real life, an inconspicuous wrong move by one member of the team can wrong-foot others: Sword Dance demands acute observational and analytical skills, and rewards open and honest performance-monitoring. Teams succeed only when they focus on action for improvement, rather than blame for past mistakes. And that depends on effective communication, building strong relationships in an atmosphere of trust.

Some training activities leave some members of the team on the sidelines making encouraging noises: Sword Dance requires full and equal participation from everyone.

Sword Dance is a flexible activity - it can be a time-limited task taking from 30 to 60 minutes, or a much longer exercise with a wider range of objectives. It can take place indoors or out of doors - in any clear flat space (4m x 4m for each team of 5 or 6). Participants do not need any special levels of fitness or strength.

For more information e-mail Mike Jensen