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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:26:11

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

More On Teambuilding

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Understanding teambuilding better: Below we are summarizing useful information regarding teambuilding.

Some information is derived from the Team Building section of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. As we have been designing and delivering literally 1,000 of team building programs over the last 11 years, we are also including our views regarding designing team building, delivering team building, facilitating team building and sustaining team building.

If you are looking for specific outcomes, click here

What does it imply to design a team building program? What does a Team Building Consultant do?

What does your organization want to get out of the exercise?

What are the needs of the current team?

 

What is the general age of the participants within the team?

Reasons for Team Building Includes

What are Team Building Exercises and what is their purpose?

Who can benefit from Team Building Exercises?

Key Benefits of a Team Building

Types of Team Building Exercises

Components of a Team Building Exercise


What does it imply to design a team building program? What does a Team Building Consultant do?

A team building consultant is responsible for each component of a team building intervention. Designing of the team building intervention is key as each organization, each team and in fact each intervention will require a different approach. A key question to answer is how to create a learning experience that allows space and time for the participants while leading in constructive directions, towards the goal of building the team.

At this stage, it is important to note that building a team is a vast enterprise and may lie in various sometimes contradictory actions. For example a team of people that have been working well and happily for many years does not require the same approach than a new team of people with many different profiles (say some artists with some financial controller and some social workers put together in a team).

In a case, the focus of the team building will be more in the form of team coaching, inspiring leaders, pushing the limits, exploring potential. In the latter case, the focus maybe to work to build trust and support… possibly working on communication, or conflict management but creating the condition for teamwork first.

A team building consultant will likely interact with the team once, or for a limited number of times. During this relationship, the consultant will actively work to assess the team, make recommendations, and provide activities (exercises that compose a team building intervention) for the team. These responsibilities usually require a team building consultant to write a proposal after his or her evaluation of the organization and the team, indicating how he or she would go about improving the team’s performance. Once the organization and consultant determine which recommendations to utilize (if not all), the consultant is then responsible for providing a useful intervention that will transfer back into the organizational setting. This responsibility usually requires the consultant to create a detailed plan of events, while allowing for flexibility. After the intervention has been employed, the consultant will typically evaluate the team building program and communicate the results to the organization.

What does your organization want to get out of the exercise?

The organization should make their goals clear to a team building consultant or facilitator. This will allow the consultant to more effectively work with the organization to find the best exercises that fit their needs.

What are the needs of the current team?

Sometimes an organization will not know exactly what is wrong with a team. The team itself may have some clear ideas about what they need to improve on. Again, a consultant or facilitator will be able to assist the team better if they are able to get this kind of information. With this information, they can tailor the team building and individual exercises to best help the team.

What is the general age of the participants within the team?

Some team building exercises are designed for younger groups. These exercises are not appropriate for older groups and could cause the organization and the team members to think that team building is a waste of time. In addition, some exercises are simply beyond some individuals physical capabilities. It is important to make exercises all inclusive, so that all individuals within the teams can participate.

Reasons for Team Building Includes

  • Improving communication
  • Making the workplace more enjoyable
  • Motivating a team
  • Getting to know each other
  • Getting everyone “onto the same page”, including goal setting
  • Teaching the team self-regulation strategies
  • Helping participants to learn more about themselves (strengths and  weaknesses)
  • Identifying and utilizing the strengths of team members
  • Improving team productivity
  • Practicing effective collaboration with team members

Key Benefits of a Team Building

  • Improve processes and procedures
  • Improve organizational productivity
  • Improve the ability to problem solve
  • Identify a team’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Improve morale and leadership skills
  • Break the barriers that thwart creativity / performance
  • Clearly define objectives and goals

What are Team Building Exercises and what is their purpose?

Team building exercises consist of a variety of tasks designed to develop group members and their ability to work together effectively.

There are many types of team building activities that range from kids games to games that involve novel complex tasks and are designed for specific needs.

There are also more complex team building exercises that are composed of multiple exercises such as ropes courses and exercises that last over several days. The purpose of team building exercises is to assist teams in becoming cohesive units of individuals that can effectively work together to complete tasks.

Who can benefit from Team Building Exercises?

Team building exercises are useful for all kinds of teams. Some exercises are designed for smaller teams, some for larger teams. Some are designed for new teams, others to focus on specific areas of an established team to be worked on. In addition to this, team building exercises also are for different age groups. In addition to this, some team building exercises are intended primarily for a specific age group. It is possible that some team building activities designed for younger teams being misused with more mature groups has contributed to the negative stigma frequently associated with team building exercises.

Types of Team Building Exercises

Communication Exercise

This type of team building exercise is exactly what it sounds like. Communications exercises are problem solving activities that are geared towards improving communication skills. The issues teams encounter in these exercises are solved by communicating effectively with each other.

Goal: Create an activity which highlights the importance of good communication in team performance and/or potential problems with communication.

Problem Solving/Decision Making Exercise

Problem Solving/Decision making exercises focus specifically on groups working together to solve difficult problems or make complex decisions. These exercises are some of the most common as they appear to have the most direct link to what employers want their teams to be able to do.

Goal: Give team a problem in which the solution is not easily apparent or requires the team to come up with a creative solution

Planning/Adaptability Exercise

These exercises focus on aspects of planning and being adaptable to change. These are important things for teams to be able to do when they are assigned complex tasks or decisions.

Goal: Show the importance of planning before implementing a solution

Trust Exercise

A trust exercise involves engaging team members in a way that will induce trust between them. They are sometimes difficult exercises to implement as there are varying degrees of trust between individuals and varying degrees of individual comfort trusting others in general.

Goal: Create trust between team members

Methods for Team Building

Team building events often take participants out of their regular work context, and use the new context as an enabler of change and development – allowing team participants to get to learn more about each other in a new (non-work) context.

Components of a Team Building Exercise

Part 1: Instructions

This part of a Team Building exercise involves introducing the participants to the instructions for the exercise.

Part 2: Activity

This part of the Team Building exercise is the exercise itself. This is when participants utilize the instructions and begin to participate in the actual activity.

Part 3: Debriefing

This is likely the most important part of a team building exercise. The facilitator will close the exercise with a review of the purpose for the exercise and how the team accomplished it. A debriefing is important to reiterate the purpose of the exercise and to keep participants focused on the positive outcomes from the exercise.

The methods of doing this vary widely, including simple social activities – to encourage team members to spend time together group bonding sessions – company sponsored fun activities to get to know team members (sometimes intending also to inspire creativity) personal development activities – individual programs given to groups (sometimes physically challenging) team development activities – group-dynamic games designed to help individuals discover how they approach a problem, how the team works together, and discover better methods psychological analysis of team roles, and training in how to work better together (and combination of the above)

Team interaction involves “soft” interpersonal skills including communication, negotiation, leadership, and motivation – in contrast to technical skills directly involved with the job at hand. Depending on the type of team building, the novel tasks can encourage or specifically teach interpersonal team skills to increase team performance.