Many business owners stumble across the same problem when looking for new, interesting ways to get the most out of team building, which is why we decided to ask the experts.
We asked our industry experts; what is your number 1 team building tip?
Although it’s agreed that it’s difficult to explain it in one short tip, each contribution offers something completely different, so expect no shortage of inspiration!
Pete Ashby – asaLeader
Next time someone says to you at some sort of conference “there’s no I in team”, challenge them on why that’s such a good thing. Seriously! I’ve joined those nodding approvingly when this has been said, but now I think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of compliant teams that stifle the flair of individual members who like to do things a bit differently.
In my experience, the best teams champion people doing things their way without being bound by “team-think”.
They’re a little quirky, and different, and unpredictable, and edgy – and have occasional run-ins on the big issues, because taking the right decisions for their business matters more than team dynamics and keeping everyone sweet!
Yep, there’s isn’t an I in T. But there is a T in individuality! And that’s the point: top performing teams are based on top performing Individuals.
Stuart Sayer – Upthinkers
My number one tip for effective team building is ‘Start with your Thinking!’
Here’s a good way to set a meaningful base:
Before you even begin to build a team, think carefully about what really, really matters to you – and get every other potential team member to do the same thing. Get each person to start by identifying their personal BELIEFS and VALUES.
Only set team targets and goals that fully align with those beliefs and values – and at a deep emotional level ensure you know WHY it matters. Remember, whatever targets and objectives you come up with, you each need to want to achieve them far more than you don’t!
Folk whose beliefs and values fail to align with the collective team goals need to make a swift exit.
It’s important to prevent contamination of the others precious mindset and team spirit!
When seeking to optimise the achievement of the overall team it’s vital to have all component parts (that’s each team member) genuinely working 100% for their own emotionally-driven criteria.
Karen Liebenguth – Green Space Coaching
We all spend far too much time at screens, in meetings and in office space. So why not take your team outside.
The natural open space will help your team to see things with fresh eyes – it’s where reflection and change can happen most naturally. And by tapping into the energy of the outdoors, you will also enhance your team’s creativity, motivation, communication and connection.
Your team building day will benefit from the positive impact natural open space has on our psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing. What’s more it’s fun to get outside.
Do something different and your team will thank you for it
Caryn Skinner & Helena Sharpstone – Sharpstone Skinner
We would say Trust is the fundamental part of teams working well. We like the Trust equation:
It encourages individuals to think about being credible and using their expertise for the good of the team, always delivering what they agreed to when they agreed to do it and being interested in their team mates as human beings.
This is all done with the self-orientation spirit rather than ‘other orientation’ – it means being resilient and self-reliant through tough times or mistakes instead of looking to blame others or lean heavily on others to build you back up.
Nelson Ferreira – nelson-ferreira.com
I believe that it’s very important to actually engage with people’s feelings even more than just with the practical outcomes of that activity.
The most transformative moments I’ve experienced where the times when a deeper human connection was achieved: only that unlocked a love for art that creatively sprouted AFTER the team building session.
Putting this plainly, my role is to enable future artists (I believe that creativity is the natural way of existing) to deal with uncomfortable emotions. By taking care of them while they’re artistically on the edge, they learn from me that they can also overcome and survive their fears. Fear is usually a learnt behaviour that can be deconstructed.
Rob Edmond – robedmond.com
Always be fluid and ready to adapt on the ground in case the need arises. When in the thick of an event things often change, like a major shift in the dynamics of the group or maybe some group members become noticeably more tired than others or maybe the weather (that is always a big one) – there are a whole host of things that if identified at the time and adapted upon can turn a good day into a great one for all.
Even with the best laid plans and ironed out format, it is good to have a couple of Plan B’s and C’s up your sleeve, a change of tempo if they are flagging, an impromptu break to fight off some fatigue, maybe a mini challenge to spice things up or to fill some time if they get through tasks too quick, a change around of teams or even a new rule which you introduce which solves an issue well before it becomes a problem.
If you can see whatever it is coming and make the changes before it happens then you are all in for a really great day.
Jane Cordez – The Lead Training Academy
There are many functions to Team Building but in reality it depends on what stage the team is at i.e. newly formed, stagnant or simply dysfunctional. However, the core of all effective teams ‘Begin from Within’ and this is self awareness.
How we impact on others or simply communicate best is the key to building an effective team. Just because someone works differently to you, doesn’t make it wrong but it can lead to unnecessary frustrations. By developing better self awareness and sharing this, we can promote, understand and value difference in others.
This will lead to a positive, empowered and confident group of individuals who will encourage and support each other to achieve positive outcomes.
David Hain – Transformation Partners
My tip? Get the 4 P’s right and you won’t go far wrong:
P1 = Purpose – common cause and clarity re roles, accountabilities, standards, etc
P2 = Processes – hard e.g. performance management, rules of engagement, and soft, e.g. conflict resolution, managing difference
P3 = People – back story, strengths and support needs – understanding difference positively
P4 = Partnerships – who do you need to work with to deliver team results?
P1 + P2 + P3 + P4 x R (regular review) = Effective teams!
Sean Ferigan – ferigan.com
When hiring for an existing team focus on cultural fit first.
Skills and approach can be taught, attitude and culture are very difficult to adjust.
Jo Monday – Live Love Hoop
My number 1 team building tip is to make it FUN!
As Plato said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
Doing an activity that is silly and fun will quickly break the ice, help you bond and give you something to laugh about with your colleagues in the future.
Nick Heap – nickheap.co.uk
Have a simple flexible plan.
Agree to listen, share ideas and respect confidentiality to create trust. Ask what would be happening if you were delighted about the team and it’s impact.
What do you need to work on to get there? Work on priority topics. Everyone shares their best thinking and listens to each other. Decide actions on each topic.
Ask everyone what they learned from the event, what was good about it and what they will do. Agree a simple follow-up process.
A shared vision creates energy. Listening helps people appreciate each other.
Patrick Morris – Profiling People
My main focus in team work is to assess the behavioural work styles of members and use the ensuing awareness to optimise collective working.
It is a very enlightening process which has consistently achieved very positive outcomes and results over many years.
Mark Walsh – Integration Training
Be aware of the how the body can be used to coordinate people.
Geoff Roberts – Hidden Resources
Get in an expert to help. Most managers are subject experts and bringing in an expert to help build your team lets you concentrate on what you are good at.