F6 Take to the Water: Team Building on the Thames

F6 Take to the Water: Team Building on the Thames

F6 Take to the Water:
Team Building on the Thames

A few weeks ago the F6 team downed tools and set off for a team building day at Kingston Rowing Club.

Candice, our MD, had booked Ciara Aspinall of Pinpointing Potential, a specialist in business improvement through people, to run some training sessions throughout the day. And, of course, we were going to head out on the river for some rowing.

When you understand each other better, you communicate better.

What’s your colour energy?

We began by discussing the fascinating results Ciara had gathered through the Insights Discovery process. She has used this psychometric tool based on Jungian theory with the F6 team as part of our professional development.

As she tells us, ‘F6 is a progressive, dynamic and innovative creative agency that truly has its people at the heart of everything that it does. Pinpointing Potential has been working with F6 since 2021 to support them to achieve exceptional things through their people. For 2023, we crafted a programme for the team to enhance self and other awareness and increase connection, collaboration and communication within the team.’

Through workshops, online learning, and reflection techniques we each learned what our ‘colour energy’ was, and what this means in terms of how we like to work and engage with others.

The four colours in Insights Discovery are red, blue, green, and yellow. We had already completed detailed questionnaires and Ciara had created a colour profile for each of us, giving insights into our strengths and areas we struggle with.

Image link


Fiery and pragmatic, Red energy likes to be in control. It’s all about efficiency, results, and action. Sometimes it can seem abrupt but it just wants to get stuff done.

Image link


Cool and logical, Blue energy dives into detail and structures. It doesn’t like vagueness and may come across as conservative. This is the precise, problem-solving energy every team needs.

Image link


Green energy is loyal and likes harmony. It’s a caring energy but can appear stubborn or slow. Speak nicely to green energy people and they’ll work their socks off for you.

Image link


Optimistic and sunny, Yellow energy is outgoing and sociable. It’s into big-picture, inspirational thinking and can get bored by routine. Channel Yellow energy and you’ll harness innovation and uplift your team.

For our first team day session, we explored how our colour energies impact the team, and discussed ways to elevate our collaboration and create a common language to tackle challenges.

We also took on other colour energies and role-played some marketing scenarios so we could experience different communication styles.

Using these insights invites us to see our colleagues – and ourselves – in a new light. Think about the people you work with. What may seem like stubbornness, an overly direct manner, or relentless cheerfulness, could just be a manifestation of a need for clarity, or of innate optimism. Knowing how they like to be managed and interact means you avoid unnecessary conflict and crossed wires.

When you understand each other better, you communicate better.

There’s a mix of colours in our team at F6, and Ciara showed us how to work most effectively with people of different preferred communication and learning styles. We all came away from her sessions with a greater understanding of how to get the best out of each other, and maintain a harmonious, effective work environment.

So how would this play out when we weren’t cosied up in the clubhouse and found ourselves on open water instead?

Team building takes attention and commitment

After practising on the indoor rowing machines, guided by a brilliant instructor, it was time to put the theory into practice. We carried two boats down to the water and tentatively climbed in.

If you’ve ever watched the Boat Race or seen athletic-looking rowers glide gracefully past as you walk along the river bank, you’d be forgiven for thinking rowing is easy. As we were about to discover, it isn’t.

Rowing requires not just balance and strength, but impeccable coordination. At F6 we pride ourselves on our culture of collaboration, working in synergy to create great work for our clients.

But it’s a lot harder to sync up when you’re wielding an oar and there’s just a small gap between you and the cold, murky water of the Thames.

After several false starts, ungainly zig-zags, and mismatched strokes, everyone on the two boats found moments where the crew all pulled together. Literally. And the feeling was incredible. Perfect timing, equal strength, moving as one organism along the water. That’s how teamwork feels.

That’s not to say there wasn’t some healthy competition between the two boats when we’d got good enough to have a race. And we definitely needed a lot more practice. But the experience of that flow state and the feeling of being truly synchronised was enough of a reward.

Later, some of us tried rowing solo, with varied success. There were capsizings. There’s no doubt we all enjoyed rowing together more than our individual outings on the water.

As team building exercises go, rowing has to be up there with the best.

Although some of us had soggy clothes, bruised arms, or aching thighs afterwards, it was totally worth it.

Ciara reflects on the day: ‘It was fantastic to see the team’s development and application of their knowledge of the four colour energies – and oh how we saw them coming through when the competition was rife (fiery red), the need for detail on rowing techniques was required (cool blue), ensuring that everyone had an equal opportunity to participate (earth green) and encouraging fun and healthy competition (sunshine yellow).’

Building a team isn’t just about assembling the right people.

It’s about learning how to communicate well, and how to bring a sense of flow and ease into our work – even when things are tough and deadlines are looming.

Need some help? We’re glad you asked.
Let's talk
Image link
Candice Cunliffe
Managing Director

Our MD and founder, Candice blends strategic marketing and business development support to help owners and marketing managers grow their business. From IoT start-ups and telecoms scale-ups to major network operators, her clients know they’ll see tangible returns.

Image link

Want the latest marketing insights straight to your inbox?

Share on
Related Posts