Team Building Leadership Training Corporate Retreats


Q. Why would I choose Aretê for my training needs?

A. Great question! The answer that we prefer is because you feel absolutely confident that we will meet and exceed your needs and objectives. Our advice to you is to make sure that you find out what it is that a training company is able to offer you and whether that will meet your needs and objectives. Our initial interaction with potential clients always starts with a detailed consultation that is designed to ensure that our services are in alignment with your needs. We suggest that this be your focus too!

For example if Team Learning is what you are after, here are a few questions you can ask a company that will give you a good indication as to whether or not they will be able to deliver what you are looking for:

  • Do they utilize a personality assessment model?
    Almost all effective training companies will specialize at the very least in either the DiSC Personality Profile or Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
  • Do their facilitators have business and training backgrounds or are they recreation majors? Do they have an understanding of the business world and workplace dynamics?
  • How do they choose the activities to evoke the take away learning you are seeking? How thoroughly do they debrief their activities? How do they make the connections from an activity back to the workplace?
Q. Does learning by experience really work?

A. Well, let us ask you this. How did you learn to drive a car? Did you read about it? Did anybody teach you by demonstrating and talking about what they were doing? Or, did you actually do it and then practice a whole bunch? Most of us probably used all three of these methods in conjunction with each other. That’s why we practice what we call Integrated Learning. We use a mix of experiential and cognitive techniques – because that’s how we learn best – AND it’s more fun!

Q. How long does the learning from a program last?

A. Anywhere between a couple of weeks and a lifetime. The high from a great program will last a couple of weeks and the effects can last up to six months. Then it’s time to do something again. Think of it like exercising. When an athlete has reached their peak physical condition does that mean that they get to stop exercising? No! Staying healthy and fit is a lifestyle choice and requires a continual commitment, especially if you are interested in reaching the next level of skill and ability. The same is true of personal and professional development.

On the other hand, about 15% of the attendees will probably experience lifetime learning and commit to new practices that will make a positive difference in their workplace and their lives. Regardless, we strongly encourage follow up to any training initiatives in order to create a culture of learning within your organization that is continually striving for excellence.

Q. How can climbing and jumping off a pole teach me anything?

A. Please see our Ropes Challenge Course program page for details on the benefits of this type of activity for a team.

Q. Are you crazy? That can’t be safe!

A. Another great question! No one can honestly give you a 100% guarantee on your safety at any time during a program, as there is an inherent risk in doing ANYTHING in life. We can tell you that statistically speaking, you are MUCH safer dangling 40’ off the ground on a ropes course than you are driving your car to the program, just to put things into perspective. Any Ropes Challenge Course that we use meets the standards for American challenge courses as established by the ACCT (our regulatory body). Our course is inspected bi-annually (twice a year) by two separate challenge course inspection companies even though the standard requirement issued by the ACCT is for an annual inspection only. Ask us for the 20 year safety study if you’d like more information.

Q. What if I’m too scared, have a medical condition or am just out of shape?

A. Our programs are designed to be participatory and inclusive. One of our participant guidelines is a Challenge by Choice principle and we respect any participant’s decision to choose not to do an activity. Even on a ropes course, which demands a higher level of physical activity for the climber than any other activity, there are many other vital roles that the team needs to fill in order to run the event, providing ample opportunity for people of varying physical levels to be a part of the activity and the team’s experience. Many times the most learning comes from being able to be a 100% team player without being or doing it like everyone else.

Q. Is this that "touchy feely stuff" where we have to sing Kumbaya?

A. While we can guarantee that we won’t be singing Kumbaya at any of our programs (unless you want it), the former part of the question doesn’t have a cut and dry answer. Let’s be clear. We’re in the business of team building and leadership development, developing ‘soft skills’ in areas such as communication, managing conflict, having difficult and honest conversations, practicing personal accountability, goal setting, building trust, questioning assumptions, etc.

These are interpersonal skills which require a certain level of vulnerability, honest communication and lots of practice with others. This process might seem ‘touchy-feely’ to some, and to others, it won’t. Usually, participants who experience the most discomfort are those who are the most in need of these types of skills. The bottom line is that it is a process that we all must engage in to become more effective leaders and team players.

Q. How can falling off a ladder and being caught by my team possibly make me more effective at work?

A. Frankly, Trust Falls are a very small part of the work that we do, and a very powerful event when it is the best activity for a group. But this question applies to any activity that we use to facilitate. There’s no telling why some stuff works for certain folks and not for others. That’s why we always aim to provide a mix of activities and delivery methods that cater to all of the different learning and behavioral styles. We ask all of our program participants to be curious, explore and try new things - then take on what works for them and leave behind what doesn’t.

The fact is, only you can create meaning for yourself from an activity. For insights to be useful, they need to be generated from within, not given to participants as conclusions. People experience the adrenaline-like rush of insight that facilitates learning and change only if they go through the process of making connections themselves. Our goal is to set up an experience that we believe contains relevance and meaning. Extracting and personalizing the learning can only be done by the participant.

Q. I ♥ California, but do you work anywhere else?

A. Of course! Very few of our programs are location specific and our work can go anywhere that we do. Please see our Options & Logistics page for more information on the types of venues and sites we can work in anywhere around the country, and internationally.

Q. Is this physical stuff all that you do?

A. While our Team Learning and Team Bonding programs are largely experiential, our Leadership Modules cover a wide array of leadership development topics that are cognitive based. These types of programs typically happen indoors in a classroom setting and also include experiential activities in order to create an integrative learning experience for participants.

Q. What should I wear for a program?

A. Leave your heels at home unless we’re doing an indoor Leadership Training workshop, in which case, standard work attire is fine. The best attire depends on what type of program we’re doing. Generally speaking, if it’s an outdoor day jeans and sneakers are best, along with extra layers for colder weather and a hat and sunglasses. We provide a list of what to bring and wear before every program.

Q. I need something fast… can you help?

A. Call us! 1-888-92-ARETE. Quick! It depends on the type of program you want to do, location, etc, but it is always worth giving us a call and we’ll do our best to meet your time requirements. Our preference is to have between 1 and 3 months to discuss, design and deliver a program, however, we have pulled off programs in as little as 48 hours!

Q. What if I have more questions?

A. If you’re still in the dark or it’s your style to get your information person-to-person, give us a call at 1-888-92-ARETE. It’s toll free!