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Deep in the wilds of Northern Minnesota, a group of friends enjoy a serene paddle across a scenic lake. However, on the second day of their trip, the weather turns stormy and dangerous, and before they can reach the shore, a strong wind gust flips their canoes upside down. Everything - and everyone - is dumped into the water. Some items sink and others float away, including the paddles. With only ten salvaged items, the group must work together as they struggle to survive on the deserted shores of Lake McEwen.

HRDQ Team Adventure Series training simulations are a popular choice for team development training. They're an effective way to introduce the concept of synergy and help team members quickly develop vital group-process skills such as consensus decision making, problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution in a nonthreatening learning environment.

How It Works

Every adventure simulation in HRDQ's Team Adventure Series starts with a suspense-filled scenario that challenges teams to work together to escape danger with only limited resources - and each other. While most people can rest assured knowing they'll never encounter these survival situations, they do experience similar feelings of stress and conflict that accompany everyday organizational life.

Swamped offers groups an opportunity to experiment with or practice consensus decision making. By doing so, Swamped helps groups to understand the value of consensus decision making and learn to achieve team synergy.

Uses and Applications

Swamped can be used as a standalone training instrument or incorporated into a more comprehensive program on team building. It's also effective as a component for problem-solving and decision-making training programs. It will allow you to illustrate the concept of team synergy, break the ice among new or conflicted teams, and give teams a nonthreatening opportunity to work together and practice consensus decision making. You can also use the survival simulation to:

  • Improve active listening, probing, and confronting behaviors in a realistic setting
  • Train team leaders in team facilitation skills
  • Open or close a learning session
  • Introduce an organizational change
  • Interject a fun activity into an otherwise serious agenda
  • Supplement outdoor experiential learning

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this simulation, participants will have the knowledge to:

  • Develop group problem-solving skills using a five-step process
  • Learn how to manage and resolve group conflict
  • Understand four techniques to improve communication
  • Discover the advantages of consensus decision making
  • Experience the concept of synergy

Product Details

Product Type: Survival simulation

Target Audience: Team members at any level, especially those who work under pressure

Measures: The value of consensus decision making and the ability to achieve team synergy

Dimensions: Consensus decision making and decision making under pressure

Time Required: Simulation: 15 minutes, Workshop: One hour and 45 minutes

What to Order

Facilitator Guide: Order One Guide Per Trainer.

The comprehensive Facilitator Guide includes everything trainers need to deliver Swamped. This includes background information, administrative guidelines, a step-by-step workshop outline, expert rationale, frequently asked questions, alternative training designs, a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, and sample participant materials. Facilitator support materials will be available to you as a digital download link in your order confirmation.

Participant Guide 5-Pack: Order One Pack for Up to Five Participants.

The participant guide includes the adventure scenario, pressure-sensitive scoring, Boundary Waters Canoe Area map, and team discussion guide as well as information about synergy, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

About the Authors

The HRDQ Development Team creates soft-skills learning solutions that help to improve the performance of individuals, teams, and organizations. 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 40 years. We combine the best of organizational learning theory and proven facilitation methods with an appreciation for adult learning styles, our philosophy initiates and inspires lasting change.

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