Management: Team Building

Team Building – What Consultants don’t tell you
Team Building is about character – yours! The plethora of information disseminated throughout the western world provides a smorgasbord of choices for business.
Theories are fine but I have found the practicalities another issue and so will you!
There is a cost to you and we are not talking just money. The real test is if you have the character and perseverance to make the changes and work through the hard issues of business.
Do you have what it takes?
Theories are fine but I have found the practicalities another issue and so will you!
Team building takes work but the results are worth it. The essential ingredient is time and patience.
If you really want to build a team that will achieve outstanding results you can.
The Hype
Over the years team work has been the flavor of the day with many businesses spending considerable money in trying to achieve a positive and harmonious team structure.
Some have found the results they looked for but many have not. Consultants would have you believe that if you follow a set of principles or guidelines then it will all work out. Not so as you cannot put all human beings in a box and expect likeminded consistency.
Team building has a number of foundation building blocks that are essential for a team to function.
Commitment of the Manager or Owner
Some managers and owners get excited about team possibilities only to weary over time where the pressures of business and day to day life grind them down.
Your commitment by way of your action and time are critical to your team’s success.
It takes time to build teams. Trust and respect need to be earnt and there are no short cuts. Make a decision to pay the cost and demonstrate your commitment.
Life sometimes throws us a curve ball and not all of our plans go according to the script.
Make a commitment to be patient and as long as you see incremental progress realize progress is progress.
Celebrate Success and do not condemn failures
Learn to celebrate your successes as a team as you go along and learn from failure. Failure is a fantastic teacher if you look at it that way. If you own the business or are a manager realize that you are particularly under scrutiny of your team more so when failure occurs.
Your reaction to change and failure will ultimately determine the amount of buy in you achieve from your team.
Learn to Delegate
As business owners we are sometimes afraid to delegate. Start with small things and as your team gets confidence and does the right thing increase the responsibility.
Be quick to learn
Be quick to learn from each other. The most unlikely team member may be sitting on the very solution you have been looking for in your business.
Many managers and employees are terrible listeners. Learn to hear what people are really saying and don’t devalue their contributions.
It has been reported that children need 7 compliments to counteract 1 negative statement.
How much more important then is it to encourage your team. Anyone can condemn however a good manager and team member knows how to give genuine encouragement. Show genuine interest.
An Example
Before starting Biz Momentum I once took over an organisation that was almost beyond repair. By applying these principals by listening and resourcing employees I took the company from a damaging loss to a substantial profit within 1 year. This was a complex business with complex people and serious mistrust issues.
The cost to me was emotional commitment to change and to listen – it worked.
There is a price to pay for success and no short-cuts. The effort you put in will determine the results.
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You can do it – apply some of these principles and you will achieve results.
Don’t adopt a herd mentality and be a follower. Pay the price be a pioneer, a trail blazer and show some character – its worth it. Nothing worth having is gained or appreciated by little effort.

Team Building: How to Create a Dynamic and Successful Work Environment
Team building activities are essential if you want employees who know how to effectively and efficiently work together toward a common goal. At first, these activities may seem silly or you might wonder how they can contribute anything to your company. But the fact is, team building activities are set up to challenge a team and to sharpen communication and group skills.
For instance, one such team building activity is called the Artesian Well. In this game each team must maneuver a virus out of a certain area and into a new one, within set boundaries. Teams must plan ahead, communicate clearly and cooperate to be successful.
Team building events can be organized to span a few days or can take place on one scheduled date. Team building activities can also be integrated into other corporate events, such as meetings, training sessions and conferences, workshops and seminars, as a way to warm things up and get the ball rolling. Even at serious project meetings certain types of team building activities can be used to help the team begin the problem-solving process and incorporate new thinking styles into the meeting.
Team building activities that make use of games and quizzes will help spark new ideas and jumpstart any decision-making that needs to occur in order to get the job done, and get it done well.
When choosing a team building activity, select a game or event that will be fun for all involved, help your employees learn new skills or sharpen established ones, and most importantly, improve results.
There are other kinds of team building exercises as well, which differ from the usual choices but should be considered as options, especially if your team requires more than just a team building experience, but more of a team healing experience, so to speak. Sometimes a group of employees are just not working well together, and it may be due to other life stresses. In these cases, activities that a person would normally do after work might be appropriate, such as yoga, scheduled lunchtime relaxation classes, or a group bowling session.
In the end, as long as you examine your company’s particular needs and choose a team building activity that will work well with your employees you will achieve the results you desire.

Team Building Activities
Some of the essentials of team building include: emphasizing a team focus on shared goals, maintaining individual commitment to these goals, identifying problem areas and working together to overcome these, developing clear strategies to achieve goals, and celebrating achievements together.
Although the theme of the activities chosen for your team building purposes may vary depending on the field and particular interests of your organization, activities are generally customizable to any sized group and suit a wide variety of individuals. The main requirements should be active participation by all team members, and a positive attitude.
In order to get the best results, activities should be ones that get everyone out of their chairs, encourage creative thinking and enthusiasm, and require that team members actively work together to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Many professional team building programs integrate humorous props to help create a playful approach to the day’s lessons, and teamwork in general. Timed exercises or a competition between groups may be used to further boost energy levels and prompt a focused, coordinated effort towards achieving the specific goal.
Team building consultants use everything from art, music and cooking to extreme sport simulations, and more to demonstrate the finer principles of effective team work, often with great success. The fun atmosphere and break from the daily routine can help transcend personality issues or other setbacks at work and provide a fresh start for tackling challenges back at the office, with a renewed sense of unity and camaraderie.
Investigate the teambuilding programs and services available in your area, or browse some ideas online to start planning your next team development day. The time you spend nurturing positive working relationships and reaffirming your shared commitment to common goals will have numerous benefits, from a more pleasant daily work atmosphere, to increased productivity. Make the most of your best resources, your people, and find out how much more you can achieve together.

Team Building Ideas
For a wide range of fun and creative team building ideas, one needs only browse the latest trends in organizational consulting approaches, and use your imagination. Virtually any kind of group activity can be geared towards good team building strategies for a refreshing way to get your company back on track and even open up new directions for you to go together.
Art activities can provide a creative way to engage people on a different level, particularly if structured in a way that requires interaction. Consider the value in assigning each person to one color, for example, as just one possibility to promote cooperation in order to co-create a complete picture. Encourage abstract images and conceptual thinking to help overcome fears about artistic limitations – people will likely find they are more creative than they originally thought.
Cooking is another popular choice for teambuilding, as a way to have everyone contribute a task towards creating the final product, or dish. This approach offers the added benefit of sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor together, literally. Consultants offering cooking activities are generally able to set up everything you require in ordinary boardroom or conference settings, providing a ready-made way to get your people working together on something a little different.
Outdoor activities are another good way to get your team’s energy flowing. Everything from scavenger hunts, to wilderness survival simulations, to team sports can help reinforce the essentials of teamwork in accomplishing more together than we can as individuals. As in the other types of activities, it is generally most helpful to structure the exercises in a very specific way, taking steps to ensure “an even playing field,” as the point is to encourage equal participation by all. This can be done by using non-traditional equipment for sports, making up rules, etc. to maintain a focus more on fun and cooperation, rather than all-out competition.
A wide variety of team building ideas are available through business consultants specializing in organizational culture. Using their carefully developed methods, products and services can help streamline your team building process, and provide you with fun ways of improving your team’s cohesion and effectiveness. Good teamwork requires more than just a talented group of people, and investing the necessary time to develop your group as a team will provide countless payoffs in both employee moral and company productivity.
Investigate the possibilities to creatively address any setbacks your team is experiencing, or just generally refresh everyone’s focus and commitment to working together for optimal achievement. A motivated team that is confident in their individual roles and clear on the direction of their combined efforts is the recipe for success that will take your company where it needs to go.

Team Building Training
Team building is the process of bring together individuals who need to work cooperatively and providing activities or exercises that help develop the basic skills required for effective teamwork including good communication, clarification of goals, problem solving skills, and more.
Where training is concerned as a part of team building, this often refers to a more skills-centered approach, rather than the more generalized methods of team development. However, your team building training will depend both on the needs of your organization, and the style and capabilities of the team building consultant you bring in to facilitate the process. Virtually any team building activities can be made more or less training-oriented to suit your goals and expectations.
Team building is a process of bringing together individuals who need to work cooperatively and providing activities or exercises that help develop the basic skills required for effective teamwork, including:
– good communication skills, including conflict management
– the ability to clarify goals and work cooperatively towards achieving these
– staying focused on the task at hand
– problem solving
– the importance of each individual’s contribution towards the greater goal
These general concepts will carry over in the form of improved interpersonal relationships at the office, improved morale and more effective communication and cooperative efforts during the course of daily work. The ultimate result of a happier, more motivated team is increased productivity for the company as a whole.
As mentioned, these benefits can be augmented by focusing on specific problem areas your team may be encountering, or areas for improvement. It may be helpful to sit down together before choosing an approach to training, to allow each team member to voice any concerns, issues they would like help addressing, suggestions, and so on. The intention behind team building and training is to empower each team member to be as effective as possible, not to point out deficiencies or place blame. The more involved each individual can be at each step of the process, the more helpful the experience is likely to be.
Finding ways to help a group of individuals function effectively as a cohesive team is a process that requires structure and commitment over time, as well as regular review. Like any other relationship, communication, change and growth are all necessary components of the way team members work together, and the working relationship will evolve naturally over time given the attention it needs. Periodic team building training will ensure everyone is on the same page, and going in the right direction.
Take some time to explore the vast range of team development resources available and start to think about methods that may be the most useful for your team. Try to keep an emphasis on the fun side of learning and make the experience an enjoyable one. Remind your team of their many strengths as you explore ways to become more effective together. With a clear, shared focus on goals you maximize your combined ability to reach the desired outcome, and can look forward to celebrating future successes.

Corporate Team Building – Shake ‘Em Up To Wake ‘Em Up
Team building has become somewhat of a buzz word in corporate circles over the past few years. Many corporate event planners toss the term ‘corporate team building’ around willy-nilly as part of their marketing talk – but their events don’t always live up to the team building promise. For an event to actually transform and cement new ways of working together, it has to offer more than just lip service and a group trip to go fly-fishing.
Successful corporate team building events have a number of elements in common:
1. The opportunity to see the roadblocks to successful communication and teamwork
2. The chance to see co-workers in unfamiliar roles and situations
3. The necessity to work together toward a common goal
4. The support needed to forge productive new ways of working together
Good corporate event planners take those cut-and-dried concepts and turn them into a fun learning experience. The true geniuses in the corporate event world can create amazing and transforming events that will shake up your organization and wake up inspiration that you never knew existed in your company. Experienced planners of team building events know how to bring your coworkers and employees together in new ways that highlight the strengths you know they have, and show them how to use those strengths to build a solid service or production team that simply can’t be beat.
Chillisauce, a UK company that specializes in corporate events and group tours, explains that team building challenges can be beneficial in highlighting how work obstacles are overcome by working together. Among the fun team building activities that they’ve offered are a Limousine Treasure Hunt, a Spy Mission, Dragon Boat Racing and the opportunity to participate in It’s a Knockout!
Other companies plan ‘Service Days’ that may include building a children’s playground for charity or pitching in to completely renovate a home for a local charity. In any case, the value of the day is in the lessons carried home at its end – that the team can overcome anything by getting to know each other and working together – as a team with unique members.

Corporate Team Building Techniques
Corporate Team Building generally refers to the selection and motivation of teams for fulfillment of organizational goals. Our society is increasingly becoming a multi-cultural one and you are required to work with different groups of people and expected to get along with them as a team. This is more in the case of transnational and multi-location conglomerates. Corporate Team Building Techniques are methods to help people adapt to these new requirements. Your corporate team building skills are critical for your effectiveness as a manager. Even if you are not a manager, your understanding of team building makes you an effective member of the corporate team. Corporate Team Building Techniques can make your team accomplish objectives as a team rather than working on their own.
There are certain factors that are critical to Corporate Team Building. You may have a strong fusion of individual contributions. Diversity of skills and personalities are quite effective in Corporate Team Building. When all members of the team contribute to their full strengths, they compensate for each other’s weaknesses also. Different personalities and skills complement each other. Corporate Team Building Techniques involve good communication between the team members as well as harmony between the members.
Corporate Team Building – Versatile Practical Tools
Putting a group of people together does not automatically equal a team. Corporate Team Building starts with getting the people in the team to know each other. The technique involves in learning to get along with each other, develop interpersonal trust, and communicate well. This helps build team spirit. On a daily basis, members of a corporate team need to develop habits to function as an effective team.
There are a number of ways to Corporate Team Building. Each member of the team could take a course on how to work collaboratively. This is an individualistic approach and may, or may not, help in forming a cohesive unit. One other way could be to employ Corporate Team Building professionals to help train your corporate team in functioning as a cohesive unit. This is a great idea, but may not fit into your budget.
You could find your own techniques for Corporate Team Building. Put your corporate team members into new challenging fun activities that will require contact and communication between them. Organize events where they get together for fun activities, such as fly-fishing, sailing regattas, road rallies, snowboarding, interactive seminars, etc.
These activities go a long way in improving communication and interaction, and help Corporate Team Building.

Creating Successful Team Charters
How many times have you been on, or heard about a team that got frustrated? Or felt like they weren’t making progress? Or weren’t completely clear on what they were expected to do? Or didn’t feel like they had support from those above them?
If you are like me and most people I know, you are nodding yes to one or more of the questions above.
There is one single thing that can alleviate or eliminate these challenges and get the team off to a solid start. That single thing is a team charter.
What is a Team Charter?
A charter is a document that describes the purpose, boundaries and agreements of the team (the details are below). It is co-created by whoever is sponsoring or forming the team and by those who will be on the team. The power of this document comes from the conversation and agreements that are recorded on it.
Because the power comes from the agreements that are reached, the format of the document itself is less important than the conversation. Whatever the format, the components in the next section should be considered.
What is Included?
Team charters should address the following areas and answer the related questions.
— Purpose and Alignment. Why is this team being formed? What purpose will it serve? What challenge, problem, issue or opportunity will it address? How is the work of this team in alignment with the larger goals and strategies of the organization?
— Goals and Expectations. What are the specific goals for this team? When will we know we have completed their work? Who are Customers and Stakeholders of the team’s work? What are their needs and expectations? What are the obstacles or challenges that can be seen at the start? Make sure to state the goals clearly with measurable outcomes and timelines.
— Roles. Who is the team leader? What is their role? Who is responsible for facilitation, logistics, and information management? Who will be responsible for communication to stakeholders and the team sponsor? How will each person be involved in decision making?
— Approach. How and when will the team meet? What are the norms or ground rules that the team will agree to? How we make decisions? How will we hold each other accountable for these things and for task completion? Who will communicate team progress and to whom? Your charter should also include a high level look at the major phases or milestones in the life of the team and outline those.
— Skills and expertise required. Make a listing of the skills and expertise that will be required for team success. Identify the individual on the team that can provide those skills and perspectives. Identify any gaps in skills and determine a way to attach those skills to the team through other resources. Adding these skills doesn’t mean you have to add people to the team. It means that subject matter experts can best be identified and invited to participate in the beginning and a charter helps make that happen.
— Resources needed. What budget of time and money will be needed for this project? What other resources will be required?
— Authority. What level of authority on spending does the team have? What authority do they have for other resources? What approvals will be required and by who?
— Agreement. Once all of these questions and items have been documented, your charter should be signed by the team sponsor and each team member. This will cement the agreement and make it easier to hold people accountable. It also ensures that every team member understands and is on board with the complete charter.
How do I Implement a Team Charter?
Because there is some structure required, typically a leader who is forming or sponsoring a team would initiate the process. If this doesn’t happen in your organization don’t use that as an excuse! Whatever your role you can gain support for having a conversation that leads you to the clarity and agreements that a charter will provide.
Get the team together along with the leader who formed and/or is sponsoring your team. Have a conversation about the eight items above, documenting your agreements. You may be able to finalize a charter in one meeting, or it might require people to gather more information before finishing – do what makes sense given the size, complexity and importance of the team’s output. Remember all time invested here will be repaid many times. Resist the urge and tendency to “get this done and get on with the work.”
Once the document is created, have all parties sign it as a way to signify commitment to each other. Then keep the document fresh by referring to it in team meetings and making sure that you stay on-track with the boundaries and guidance it provides. Recognize too that as time moves forward you may need to make adjustments, clarifications or changes to the charter. This is perfectly fine as long as all team members and the leader and sponsor are in agreement and “sign on” to the changes.
Be Forewarned
Will creating a team charter take time?
Will some people want to stop talking and get started?
For sure.
Recognize these facts but remember an even bigger one – time spent collaboratively building a charter will be repaid in reduced frustration, improved productivity and better results.