Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Team Building Techniques

In the business world, top team building activities for the workplace lie on a spectrum of gravitas (seriousness). They range from light hearted, easygoing activities to hard-core exercises that can expose an executive’s vulnerabilities.

On the least serious side of the spectrum, top team building activities for the workplace can involve off site recreation where coworkers can get energized and learn more about each other on a more personal, unprofessional level. These out-of-office activities can range from wine tasting to rock climbing to tours and so on where teammates can learn about what their coworkers like to do in their spare time as well as discuss big picture goals and what the team is doing as well. This side of the spectrum suits companies with the expendable budget to take their team off site to fun environments very well.

In the middle of the spectrum, take assessments as a team. Discuss the results with a facilitator who can talk the team through as to how well it handles different perspectives and how different styles impact the team’s ability to work together. These activities are typically less expensive and very workable in terms of team building perspective.

Assessments can help teammates understand how their coworkers operate and how they are different. This eye-opening strategy is crucial to team building. A team’s biggest downfall is the perspective that everyone thinks exactly the same. With this mentality, team players will approach others in the same way they do things. This kills team building every time.

As far as team building downwards, bosses can work with their employees at ground level for a day. For executives and bosses who have trouble connecting with the team they need to manage, this can be an eye-opening experience. For example, I once sent a COO to work with customer service for a day. The employees loved it and the COO finally understood the full reality of what his customer service team did every day. From this new perspective, he was able to put his finger on their daily goals and problems and, thereby, manage them better.

In the most serious side of the spectrum, of top team building activities for the workplace, upper level executives can perform 360 reviews. They can gather performance info from their peers, employees, and through direct reports. Then, the executives must share with the group what they learned as well as their development plan — how they will be working on improving.

Although 360 reviews were disparaged in the press 5 or 6 years ago, they are making a comeback. Executives work in a vacuum most of the time with nothing to compare themselves to. As a result, they do not realize what other executives are doing or if they are really accomplishing their job. Many executives make massive changes after engaging in 360 reviews.

360 reviews are a very vulnerable thing for most people and, therefore, should be done anonymously. Although some cultures are so open that peers and employees can give feedback freely, it is easier to start with anonymity as a default so that people can be open and say what they need to say.
To decide which of these team building activities for the workplace to use, take a look at the team and decide what level of team building it has accomplished so far. If the team cannot communicate at all, build commonality and get teammates talking with the least serious activities. If the team is not at ground zero but is dysfunctional in some way, start with the more serious side assessments or even 360 reviews to help teammates understand how they can work together best.

16 comments:

  1. Team building is very essential...Corporate team building activities motivates employees to give their best and perform better.

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  2. Thanks for sharing all these team building experiences and ideas. I find them very interesting and helpful toward my executive coaching position. I have been looking for great team building exercises and this has been more than helpful to my ideas and plans. Do you know where I can find more information about how to promote good teamwork?

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  3. An informative blog on the team building techniques for the people. A must read post to gain knowledge on the topic.
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  4. Great idea that in every meeting to avoid the word "boring" better to have new team building activities ideas. It serves as to keep every members feel at ease to each other. With this it will bind you as one.

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  5. I believe is important part of every company or business to start from the proper acknowledge of every aspect of the company from the staff.
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  6. You discussed both sides of team building in an amazing way. I mean you don't have to be only pessimist or optimistic, you need to be a player and should produce ideas for team building every time.

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  8. I think team building is really important for everyone. And now there are so many training centers of team building you can get the training.

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  10. These are some excellent team-building techniques, thanks for passing them along! I run a series of executive coaching programs in Rhode Island, and I'm always looking for new information, tips, and ideas to pass along to some of my clients. I really like the idea of 360 reviews... This is definitely something I'm going to look into further.

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  11. Effective executive coaching encourages your learning, invites creative options development and develops your motivation to work and to deliver high performance.

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  13. Really nice and interesting topic i am quite sure I learn more from there. Please keep on sharing.
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  14. Excellent way of describing!!! Executive coaching help you bring various radical yet positive changes in your professional life. 
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