Team building exercises play a vital part in forming cohesiveness and cooperation between team members. Team Building helps unite members that have different principles, come from varied walks of life, and have diverse personalities. To make a united team that works toward one common goal requires hard work and a meticulous eye for details that matter. A well-organized and coordinated team does not come to life overnight. There will be conflicting personalities and battling of countless ideas. It will take a constant building-up and not just one or two-shot team building exercises. Although a once-off team building event will be beneficial, it takes more than just the fun and games in order to build a good team. Here are some things to keep in mind when embarking on team building exercises.
- Impart values that are essential to the team.
Team building starts from having a set of values that each member buys into. These values that each of them believes in and not merely imposed by someone else. Whenever team building exercises are undertaken, these values will be honed and strengthened.
- Choose exercises that are relevant and meaningful.
Sometimes, the downfall of a team building exercise is the irrelevance of the activity because people tend to improvise. Make sure that your exercises have valuable learning at the end of it. Do not compromise learning for fun. Otherwise, ice breakers may just serve the purpose if you just want to be entertained or to be saved from boredom.
- Plan and plan carefully.
Prepare everything you need and avoid last minute decisions. Part of planning is also making sure that you do not force the activity if everybody is not quite ready. For instance, just because you do your team building activities in May doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. If a company is on a tight deadline, you could give leeway and wait until at least everybody is good to participate.
- Prioritize activities that have a positive and constructive outcome.
Do away with activities that promote too much competition between groups. This might have a rebound effect on the team and make prior competition issues between members even worse. If you choose a competition-based activity, be sure to have a sensitive facilitator who knows how and when to push the right buttons.
- Add the element of fun.
A good team building exercise does not only have valuable learning as a product but should also have a sense of enjoyment after it is done. A good facilitator knows how to creatively incorporate fun without making it all about entertainment.
These are just a few tips to remember when doing or planning team building activities. The success of every activity does not only lie in the facilitator’s hands but also on the willingness of the members to cooperate. Make sure that everybody is relaxed, settled, willing before starting any team building exercise. Otherwise all your efforts will be wasted, and the group will fail in realizing the objectives of doing a team building activity. Realize too that a team building exercise is more than just a game, it could be a catalyst for positive change in your team when done the right way.
WorkrFun is a comprehensive database of ice-breakers, team building activities, fun games and energizers which can help teachers, youth workers, trainers and facilitators prepare awesome outcome based activities.