Team Building in Santa Barbara

25 Apr
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Cruise ship off the Santa Barbara Pier

On Sunday I participated in a team building event at a writer’s retreat in beautiful Santa Barbara. I have done bartending presentations and “classes” on how to make cocktails, but this was my first team building event. It was a great experience for me, and I think for the other participants, and I hope to more of these types of events in the future.

A major literary agency from New York hired me to facilitate the event. The participants, all leading writers with the agency were to create their own special cocktail with my help. I made a shopping list of bar basics and fresh ingredients for the participants to use as building blocks for their new creation. I chose  tequila, rum, vodka, and bourbon as the bases. Simple syrup, bitters, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh pineapple juice, strawberries, cucumbers, and mint leaves made up the rest of the ingredients, along with some club soda and tonic water.

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Ingredients for team building cocktail fest

Purpose of Team Building

  • Bind the group
  • Align goals
  • Establish leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Accomplish goals

I explained that I can make several different types of margaritas, daiquiris, sour drinks, and tropical drinks with just those ingredients. The participants came up with a orange mojito as the ice breaker drink. I made those for all of the participants and that got the ideas flowing. The participants finally agreed on a bourbon sour made with bourbon, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and a dash of bitters with a twist garnish. Everyone agreed it was delish.

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Team building facilitators at Los Arboles Ranch

I notice when I do these types of things, certain participants quickly establish dominance. Just like with jury duty, a leader usually self appoints. Those participants who don’t speak up will end up going along with whatever the others decide. Maybe that is part of the reason companies do these type of things, to quickly see who the leaders and followers are. I doubt that was the case here, since we were only doing cocktails. As I always say, it’s not brain surgery

The event was held at Los Aboles Ranch in Santa Barbara. This was a fantastic location for a retreat, in a great area. It doesn’t look like much from the front, but wait until you get back into the compound – a perfect mix of privacy and luxury. Vallefresh of Santa Barbara provided the catering. I hope to return again.

 

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