I spent yesterday morning in the very picturesque surroundings of Carlshead Farm near Wetherby with Learning to Listen, a leadership, teambuilding and coaching organisation.
I was there for an open morning/taster session, checking out their approach to see if it might suit my sort of clients. The fact that Learning to Listen do a lot of their training using horses (explanation here) was merely a plus :)
On a guided tour of the site, we came across this little barn:
It’s fairly basic, with a wood burning stove, hot and cold water and a couple of compost toilets. It’s also incredibly peaceful – and the only way to get mobile reception is to stand in the middle of a nearby field.
In short, it’s the perfect place for facilitating an away-day or workshop.
No-one can ‘forget’ you banned powerpoint and try to share their fifty page presentation because there’s nowhere to plug the laptop in. No-one can keep checking their email on their Blackberry all day because there’s no signal. And no-one’s going to disappear off at lunchtime as all they’ll have to look at are a few sheep.
To top it all off, your usual warmup/teambuilding exercise could be replaced with pony wrangling, fire lighting or shelter building.
If you’re sick of rip-off venues, soggy sandwiches, wi-fi that won’t, windowless rooms, wobbly flip charts, blu-tac bans, awol attendees and snarky hotel staff, then I suggest you get in touch with them here.