Orientation 2015 Ropes Course
Why include a ropes challenge course in the MBA program orientation?
Successful leaders in today’s world need to be skilled at both self- and other-management, sometimes referred to as “emotional intelligence.” Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Effective leaders must also have a solid understanding of team dynamics and how their individual leadership competencies can either foster or detract from the success of the team. Experiential activities such as the Challenge Sonoma course provide a safe and effective “laboratory” where individuals are called upon to exercise EI and practice leadership competencies in a team setting. Learning occurs both through direct experience and observation as well as via debrief discussions.
Because participants must work closely together in a perceived “higher risk” setting, these activities also have the potential to accelerate the development of trust and camaraderie within a group. This has obvious benefits within a workplace or educational setting, especially where participants will be called upon to work closely with one another in the future. Another benefit of the Challenge Sonoma program is simply providing participants with a novel and fun shared experience in a beautiful natural setting above the Sonoma valley. Feedback from those who complete the course is consistently very positive.