We had a group retreat in the beautiful town of Geilo, Norway
Developing the practical skills we use for our work is of course a big part of what we do, but at Haapaniemi Lab we also give particular importance to the development of soft skills for our team members.
These are a mix of social and interpersonal skills, character traits, professional attitudes and emotional intelligence which are all important towards working well with others, and in turn, this keeps our lab an efficient and motivated place to work.
One way to develop these types of personal skills and learn more about these topics, is to hold group retreats, which we do on a regular basis. At the beginning of February, we went to the warm and cozy Vestilia Resort, located in Geilo, a town in southern Norway known for its ski resorts, mountain trails and beautiful views, surrounded by two vast national parks.
We spent 3 days at the retreat, with the purpose of getting to know each other better, to build a stronger team and to find out more about each others’ projects.
At the core of the activities were various team building workshops, such as one about conflict management, which taught the team some very useful knowledge and skills on how and when conflicts can arise, how they escalate, and how to prevent them from happening.
We also attended a motivation workshop and discussed our individual and group successes, what we did to make them happen and what our motivations were while working on them.
In an important workshop about failure, we learned some tools on how to handle and learn from failures. Having strong resilience and the tools to turn failures into valuable learning opportunities is very important in our industry.
Fun team-building exercises
Of course, the retreat was not complete without some fun team-building games!
Divided into smaller groups (Stem Cell Team, T Cell Team, Molecular Biology Team), we did an improvisation exercise where we had to present our work projects to others in a theatrical way.
We played a kahoot learning game with our knowledge of the lab, even using our team member profiles for some quizzes. Who can tell me which member of the team likes horseback riding?
A fun way to learn more about each other was the game called “One lie, two truths” in which everyone had to share two real facts and one lie about themselves, and everyone else had to guess which one was the lie.
And of course, there was skiing
Normally, a Haapaniemi Group retreat is not complete without some skiing either, in beautiful Norwegian landscapes: