Let’s face it, most of the clients we speak to when a planning team building activity highlight that FUN is foremost when the most important objective is predominantly relationship building. However, we work very closely with many clients to design bespoke team building activities and interventions to improve collaboration, particularly where team members work remotely from their teammates.
As the traditional concept of a ‘team’ has changed over recent years, particularly with tech advances allowing for great distances between team members, and the ever-changing demands in the multitude of new industries and businesses, team building is more important than ever.
We are often challenged to design and develop new and engaging team building interventions that promote and establish collaboration. This can be challenging when there are existing dysfunctions within an intact team.
Shared Goals improve Collaboration
By nature, people are competitive, so team goals must be shared ones to help them focus on collaboration. Shared goals may revolve around team output, improving organisational issues, or simply based around the team working and communicating more effectively. As long as everyone has clear and defined shared goals, which are frequently revisited, measured and are realistic, collaboration within the team can definitely be improved. Our experience over 15 years is that the most successful outcomes from team building programs occur when the team is already functioning well as a ‘good’ team. On the other hand, it can be very difficult to achieve successful outcomes when working with dysfunctional teams.
Highlighting dysfunctions in an already dysfunctional team is the easy part… initiating change is the challenging part! When teams are bad, the dynamics are often quite messed up and team building interventions can be extremely tough.
This is where having an experienced facilitator can make or break a team building activity. From experience, when team members don’t buy into collaboration focused team activities, which happens more often than not, we will highlight some bad behavior and then initiate reflection on the cause and the impact on the rest of the team. This is followed up with some “considered alternatives” on how they could respond, interact and behave, and can often provide an opportunity to ask for some commitment to the teams shared goals.
So what team building activities work best to promote collaboration? Well, it really depends on the team participating, the individuals and personalities that make up the team, and having a good understanding of the issues the team faces internally.
A team building intervention should provide an environment where team members see the value in the fact that they are all different, and in turn highlights individual work styles, personality preferences and communication styles within the team. Promoting an understanding of how each of the team interacts with each other, how they make decisions, and how they organise themselves and other team members, can have a positive impact on the team becoming more effective.
Delivering a team building activity or experiential learning environment where it is safe to explore personal performance and address challenges, people will soon see the benefit of the collective team environment.
Achieving change – real personal change – is quite difficult. But with peer pressure and peer support, you are more likely to see some incremental improvements which can then be acknowledged, recognized and reinforced by all those involved.
Any team building activity should really be focused on collaboration over competition
Just be careful of setting up winners/losers in ANY team building initiative.
Are you looking to improve Collaboration in your team?
Contact Team XL NOW to discuss how we can help improve your team!
Team Building Activities & Team Development Programs delivered Australia Wide.
Our team will travel anywhere to deliver the best team building activity your people have ever done. We have an expert logistics team who can design any activity and travel logistics to any location in the country.
Give us a call to discuss your next team building activity, where ever you are located!
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