ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Members of the Center for Information Warfare Training’s (CIWT) chief’s mess and wardroom participated in a teambuilding event on the sea in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, July 18.
It makes sense that simply leaving the office and participating in group events go a long way toward promoting an atmosphere of unity and cohesion. While there may be a hard and fast chain of command at CIWT, on the water fishing, that chain seems to melt away. Chiefs and officers from all levels and departments can learn to better communicate and interact with each other as equals. Boundaries disappear and teambuilding becomes much easier.
That’s exactly what happened with CIWT’s chief’s mess and wardroom during a deep sea fishing excursion out of Orange Beach, Alabama.
"Nothing is more effective in solidifying relationships or building stronger teams than sharing experiences at sea," said CIWT's Command Master Chief Mike Bate. "While on shore duty, participation in team activities such as fishing trips are a fantastic way to get underway for an opportunity to break down traditional barriers to communication and build tight-knit comradery. There’s time for action, learning, teaching and lifelong memories on every fishing trip. In fact, fishing provides every element of teambuilding, and this occasion provided CIWT's chief's mess and wardroom the perfect venue to recharge and refocus our efforts on being the best learning center in the Navy."
Some of the benefits of CIWT’s teambuilding fishing trip include:
(1) Learning New Skills Together
When faced with a situation where many are learning a new skill, such as may be the case with a fishing trip, or where individuals are taken out of their comfort zone, great things can happen. Each person learns from every other person on the trip. That means that individuals will start to rely on others who have different strengths as well as helping others through using their own unique skill set.
(2) Reducing Stress as a Team
Fishing trips allow us to leave behind not only the barriers that can interfere with teambuilding, but also the stresses of the day-to-day world, both professional and personal. The stress-free environment of a fishing trip, as well as the adrenaline rush that can be found hooking into big fish, is something that cannot be replaced. A team built around such an interaction between man or woman and nature, is sure to be successful.
(3) Working Together to Accomplish a Goal
Cohesive, well-rounded teams do not just happen by accident. They are built and nurtured within a command, and there is little doubt about the benefits of teamwork. A fishing trip may just be the answer commands have been looking for when asking themselves how to best build an atmosphere of teamwork and camaraderie.
(4) Bonding on a Personal Level
It is not only the fishing itself that helps to build teams, but the time spent at the destination and reliving stories of the day’s adventures in the days and weeks following. Not only do participants enjoy their time away, but once they leave behind the titles, they learn to enjoy their co-workers on a more personal level. Once the hierarchical stigmas are gone, there is more freedom for everyone involved.
(5) Inspiring More Productive Workers
Studies consistently show that employees who feel valued in the workplace stay longer. Fishing trips help develop those relationships that make employees feel like they make a difference.
(6) Creating Great Memories
Every group fishing trip normally includes photos and individual memories. The point is that there’s more to life than just work, and you’ll remember these special teambuilding fishing trips forever.
"Many conversations that would not take place anywhere else occur during group activities away from the office,” said Chief Operations Specialist Kimberly Meeks. “Our teambuilding trip today helps CIWT build upon an agile and winning team culture. It shouts engagement, and the relaxed atmosphere of this event allowed us an opportunity to get know each other better.”
The Center for Information Warfare Training delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
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