Throughout my career, I have managed dozens of projects with the same objective: Helping people to live a more balanced life. Mostly, I worked with people in classrooms and other training spaces. We worked hard and achieved good results, but I always knew something was missing. For years, I dreamed of finding the perfect location to run work-life balance courses, one that would allow people the sense of peace, tranquility and reflection necessary to fully engage and learn the true meaning of balance.
When I met Marzena and explained this idea to her, she immediately understood. Marzena is always open to innovative or “thinking outside the box” ideas! We both knew that, if we were to provide our clients with meaningful and impactful experiences and an opportunity to learn valuable skills, our training environment was key. For work-life balance training, this meant finding a peaceful and beautiful place that would allow our clients to experience balanced living first hand.
And we did it. It took us 5 months of preparation. We designed a brand new programme using an excellent method we learned in Danish alternative business school, Kaospilot. We visited multiple potential venues on the beautiful island of Tenerife and tested out a range of activities for our participants. And, finally, in October this year, we realised our dream of delivering a work-life balance course in the perfect location; a location that allowed our participants to temporarily escape their everyday grind, disconnect from it all, and discover their own sense of balance and what they can do to nourish it.
I was so happy to finally achieve this, and even more pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from our wonderful group. I wanted to share some of the highlights with you in the hope that it will illustrate the importance of environment in learning. It will also give you an insight into what you can expect if you ever decide to take part in one of our trainings!
1. The Perfect Location
People appreciated both Tenerife as well as the venue we chose. Hacienda Cristoforo is a place where you can be close to nature, in complete peace, far away from the tourist traps.
You can enjoy beautiful surroundings and many facilities that help you to relax during free time, including comfortable spots beneath enormous palm trees, a swimming pool, and many quiet green spaces. It’s a large, open space with lots of little hiding spots should you need to escape for a while, even from us trainers! Fortunately, no one felt the need to escape this time.
2. Course Structure
One of our participants, Jiří said:
I like the course structure because a huge portion of it was non-invasive work.
Our courses are made to give people optimal development conditions. First, we want our participants to feel comfortable and to have good energy levels. Only after achieving that we can expect them to take on a new subject, work creatively and develop skills. Therefore:
- We always establish, together with all participants, a list of rules that serves as a kind of group contract for how we will behave and work together.
- Each session lasts a maximum of 90 minutes. After that, we all take time to rejuvenate our individual energies.
- Theory is always accompanied by practice. We do not preach and we do not present theory that we haven’t tested. We are open for discussion, criticism, and questioning.
- Our programme is flexible and sensitive to the group. They decide when to move forward and when to stop or even take a step back.
3. Diverse Activities: Outdoor and indoor
Our course participants had a chance to:
- Test different aspects of their work-life balance, reflect on this and plan their own strategies,
- Attend a healthy cooking class,
- Take a scenic hike in Barranco de Infierno,
- Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises that help in stress reduction,
- Do physical exercises at a beautiful beach,
- Laugh, laugh and laugh some more during our powerful energisers!
4. Great Food
We enjoyed wonderful healthy food, thanks to Isabele from Tierra Cafe! It was so delicious and nourishing for both mind and body. Isabele also ran a wonderful cooking class for us with fresh ingredients we picked ourselves from the Hacienda Cristoforo gardens.
During the course, we also visited two other amazing local restaurants, where we enjoyed fresh sea food, locally prepared meat and the traditional Tenerife dish, patatas arugadas.
5. Balanced Trainer Team
Marzena and I are very different people. We differ in our temperament and ways of expressing ourselves – not just our hair colours! But, we strongly agree on our core values, which include authenticity, freedom, and curiosity.
This complementarity gives us both a tremendous sense of satisfaction and enjoyment in our work together. And, apparently, it also helps our group to connect with us:
I recommend this course because of the trainers, who are, themselves, very honest and direct. They have good practices, not just theories. They create a great atmosphere and are not pushy.
You both are amazing trainers and we have had an amazing time with you. We learned lots of useful things! Thank you so much.
If you would like to take part in one of our courses and experience for yourself how we use our training environments to foster better learning and development in our participants, get in touch with us today! We would love to help you find the right training option to meet the needs of you and your team.