When it comes to synergistic teams, the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. But in order to achieve peak performance, teams must be able to maximize a collaborative approach.
Part of the best-selling HRDQ Team Adventure Series, Black Bear is an excellent training tool for developing the group process skills that teams need to achieve synergy. The simulation provides a safe, non-threatening learning environment for teams to practice communication, problem-solving, consensus decision-making, and conflict resolution. Teams also learn what it means to be synergistic.
- Learn how to manage and resolve group conflict
- Hone group problem-solving skills
- Improve communication
- Practice consensus decision-making
- Learn how to work as a team under pressure
- Experience the concept of team synergy
How It Works
Participants are presented with the scenario: On an early-morning hike in the Great Smoky Mountains, your group surprises a huge black bear, with near-fatal results. The group must find a way to work together in order to escape more attacks. After the facilitator introduces the exercise, participants ranks five strategy alternatives and 10 backpack options, both individually and as a unit. The facilitator then leads participants in a group action-planning discussion, providing the team with the opportunity to apply the learning to the workplace.
We recommend you allow approximately one hour for interpretation of scores, discussion, debriefing, and action planning. The Facilitator Guides includes everything you need to lead a successful training session and also offers a workshop outline that expands the learning to a three-hour program.
Trainer certification is not required in order to facilitate Black Bear.
The Black Bear Facilitator Set includes:
- Overview and introduction
- Administrative guidelines
- Experiential learning methodology
- "About Black Bears" background materials
- Training outline template
- Expert rationale
- Sample Self-Assessment Form
- Additional support materials
Uses for Black Bear
Black Bear can be used as a stand-alone training instrument, or it can be incorporated into a more comprehensive program on team building. It also makes an effective component in training programs for a variety of topics such as problem-solving and decision-making. Black Bear is an especially effective training exercise for teams that work in high-pressure environments or must strategize under pressure. It can also be used to:
- Illustrate the concept of team synergy
- "Break the ice" among new or conflicted teams
- Improve active listening, probing, and confronting behaviors in a realistic setting
- Introduce an organizational change, such as the transition to self-managing teams
Based on expert research and HRDQ CEO Brad Glaser's real-life experience on the Appalachian Trail, Black Bear demonstrates the concept of team synergy: the belief that decisions made by groups are better than decisions made by individuals acting alone (Michaelson, Watson, & Black, 1989). Black Bear can also demonstrate "process loss." This phenomenon occurs when a knowledgeable group member outperforms the group, indicating that the member's knowledge was lost sometime during the group discussion. In order for group decision making to work, unique information must be shared and absorbed by the group (Stasser, 1992).
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HRDQ is a trusted developer of soft-skills learning solutions that help to improve the performance of individuals, teams, and organizations. We offer a wide range of resources and services, from ready-to-train assessments and hands-on games, to facilitator certification, custom development, and more.
Our primary audience includes corporate trainers, human resource professionals, educational institutions, and independent consultants who look to us for research-based solutions to develop key skills such as leadership, communication, coaching, and team building.
At HRDQ, we believe an experiential approach is the best catalyst for adult learning. Our unique Experiential Learning Model has been the core of what we do for more than 30 years. Combining the best of organizational learning theory and proven facilitation methods with an appreciation for adult learning styles, our philosophy initiates and inspires lasting change.
Other questions? Contact us online or call us at 610-279-2002!
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