Line of people at the airport

People Watching at the Airport


It’s fair to say that I have spent a huge amount of time sitting in airports around the world. Its also fair to say that when I retired from a career at sea, I thought I had left airports behind! However, since starting Tailored Team Building, I seem to be again sleeping in hotel rooms and racking up the air miles.

The difference is that this time I get to travel to run events and thoroughly enjoy myself, rather than the travel being an arduous, long journey simply to join another ship.

I enjoy airports. I am one of these people who happily arrives hours before a flight (even a domestic flight) and happily wanders around, looking in shops or finding a quiet spot to catch up on emails. Occasionally you may even find me warming a seat at an airport bar. I also enjoy chatting to people. I find that travelers are more likely to talk in an airport.

Last week I was at Brisbane airport having spent two days planning and then running events around the city. It had been a long couple of days and I spotted a large TV showing a footy match live (helped that it was my team playing) in a jovial little bar. I went and found a seat at a table among similar travelers watching the game. Now, remember I had come straight from a Corporate Amazing Race and was still in my Tailored Team Building uniform polo shirt.  So the gentleman opposite me looked at the logo on my shirt, read the phrase “Team Building” and very obviously rolled his eyes with a sigh. Now I am not one to leave an opportunity alone and smiled in a friendly manner at him and said “I know! No one likes Team Building!”…and we started to chat.

So Patrick used to work for a photocopy company, back in the day when sales teams had a lot of “Team Building Experiences” thrown at them. He told me that he went on a survival course in the bush once with twenty other sales reps and spent the whole time being bitten by random unseen creatures. Patrick had also done every one of the old cliche Team Building activities – trust falls, obstacle courses, human pyramids, lost at sea scenarios….

This response is something we come across all the time. People hear or read the words Team Building and immediately lower their eyes, worried they are going to be volunteered for some embarrassing task! And this is where we are different and exactly WHY we are different.

The first stage of any event is a chat, preferably over a video call. The reason we do this is so we can get to know “Patrick” and the things they hate about Team Building, what they have done before and what they are expecting from their experience. This allows to us completely Tailor every event.