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  • Writer's pictureScott Colby

How Outdoor Team Building Hikes Improve Communication Skills

Updated: Apr 16

In the fast-paced, technology-driven world of business, effective communication is often hailed as the cornerstone of success. But what if I told you that stepping away from the conference room and into nature might be the key to unlocking your team's communication potential? Outdoor team building hikes are on the rise, and they offer more than just a breath of fresh air. They provide the ideal setting for improving communication skills.

Nature as the Ideal Classroom

First, let's address why nature, specifically hiking, makes for an ideal classroom for communication skill development. When you and your team embark on an outdoor adventure, you leave behind the stressors and distractions of the corporate world. Creating opportunities for individuals and teams to connect in nature can be a powerful antidote to the kind of prolonged stress that is rising in the workplace. When you're in nature, and especially if you leave your cell phones behind, you immerse yourselves in an environment where the only notifications are birds singing and leaves rustling in the wind rather than the endless emails and text messages we get all day long.

The serene backdrop of nature encourages team members to focus on the present moment, creating an environment conducive to open, attentive communication. If your hike requires navigation skills, that can help your team work together. Navigating trails, crossing streams, and identifying landmarks demand clear and concise instructions, active listening, and swift problem-solving. Hiking encourages participants to adapt to changing conditions and communicate effectively to achieve their goals - essential skills that can be seamlessly transferred to the workplace.

The Science of Communication Improvement

Research shows that spending time in nature can improve cognitive functioning, boost connections, and be a catalyst for personal and team growth. Studies have also emphasized the role of nature in reducing stress and anxiety, which, in turn, made individuals more open and willing to engage in meaningful conversations. As part of a study from the University of Utah, hikers spent three days immersed in nature without any technology. Half of the hikers experienced a significant increase in performance on a creativity and problem-solving task. The findings reaffirm that being exposed to natural settings increases cognitive performance by simultaneously calming the mind while allowing it to focus.

Moreover, many organizations have observed that team members who participated in outdoor activities, such as hiking, demonstrated better conflict resolution, and more effective listening skills. These findings directly support the theory that outdoor team building hikes enhance communication within corporate teams.

Practical Benefits for Your Company

The benefits of improved communication in the workplace are numerous and have a direct impact on your company's bottom line. Effective communication reduces misunderstandings, streamlines processes, and fosters a collaborative atmosphere, ultimately increasing productivity.

When team members communicate well, they're better equipped to share ideas, provide feedback, and tackle challenges, making your organization more resilient and adaptable.

Additionally, outdoor team building hikes offer an excellent opportunity for team members to get to know each other on a personal level. Building relationships outside the office fosters trust, camaraderie, and a sense of unity, which can lead to improved teamwork and problem-solving. Employees who feel connected are more likely to support each other, resulting in a more pleasant work environment.


In conclusion, outdoor team building hikes offer more than just an escape from the daily grind. They provide a unique and effective platform for improving communication skills within your team. By integrating outdoor hikes into your corporate culture, you can enhance your team's ability to communicate, collaborate, and succeed in today's fast-paced business world.

If you are interested in one of our Gratitude Team Building Hikes, please contact us here.



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