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Why Team Building?
We get asked a lot of questions about team building. Why does team building matter? Why is team building important? What are the best team building activities?
Let’s unpack these questions and start at the beginning.
How does team building work?
Teams, deconstructed, are sets of relationships created and fostered, to reach a common goal - the objective set by your organization. The glue that bonds a team is a combination of trust and loyalty, typically a byproduct of working towards a common goal. Whether competing agendas or innocent miscommunications, there are many factors that can break down team cohesion. Effective teams mitigate factors that detract from team cohesion by creating positive environments (culture) that foster equality, transparency, and common objectives. Developing a team that prospers in a positive environment (culture) is a process and requires regular effort. Planning activities that serve to refresh and reset team attitudes and perspectives goes a long way in team building.
4 Key Objectives to Effective Team Building
1. Establish common ground
Creating controlled, shared experiences, the more interactive the better, is a highly effective way to take a break from organizational hierarchies. While you won’t be able to control everyone’s perspective, you can provide an anchor, a point of reference for interaction and discussion - take away the mundane and get your team talking!
2. Facilitate communication
Everyone wants to express themselves and be heard, it’s human nature. The challenge is finding topics or proper motivations that encourage even the shyest member of your team to speak up. You know your team better than anyone, maybe it’s something structured like a cooking class/competition, or maybe it’s by injecting some discomfort and fun awkwardness through taking an improv class.
3. Drive trust through empathy and cooperation
While we’re not fans of the trust fall, we get why they’re a thing. We prefer abstracting the “let me catch you when you fall” concept; favoring activities that focus on understanding and teamwork. Think of the coordination required to sail a boat or the shared human experience of volunteering for a good cause, as a team.
4. Reinforce team values and goals
Your organization is an evolving culture and is working towards a goal. The activities you plan are, directly and indirectly, in service of the culture you want and the goals you’re targeting. Consider how you might brand your team activity or outing.
Check out our Team Building ideas and let us know if we can help!