When leading team building and leadership development programs I use a variety of team building lessons and activities, simulations, lectures, small group discussions, and sometimes I just make stuff up.
Any team building facilitator knows the value and need to process or de-brief with the group. Through a series of questions or discussions or activities working with the team to transfer the experiential to the pragmatic.
I have found that the great team building activities have the lessons built into them, and when properly framed the team just sees and gets the connection, without much prompting.
This happened recently with a team of 46 Directors, Managers, and Supervisors of a healthcare organization.
It was our 4th full day workshop focusing on;
- Developing & Sustaining High Performance Teams
- Managerial-Leadership of teams
- Developing an organization design for each manager and team member to know their accountability & authority
- Implementation of goals, roles, and procedures leading to decreased interpersonal struggles in the team
The first 3 sessions went great and it was time to get more hands-on.
Project Rollerball immediately came to mind!
Key Learning Points / Messages
- Cross-functional working for team effectiveness, customer focus, and satisfaction, overcoming task overload / activity trap, planning and prioritization, resource allocation, diversity and team roles, common focus, motivation, fun and networking, planning, individual and team execution, de-brief / process review skills, overcoming challenges/obstacles, managing change.
The team was broken into 6 distinct areas that all had different directives and requirements AND still had a combined goal of completing the task…just like work.
From the time we started until the end time it was really amazing to see how the group worked together and how they kept stopping and saying, “This is just like how we act at work!” When those moments happened someone else would say, “Your right…everyone let’s stop for a second and evaluate what we are doing, I think that is the point.” GREAT STUFF!
Through the 90 minutes of planning, implementation, re-work, planning again, implementing and discussions the team was able to see how the tools and materials presented in earlier sessions could be applied to a large project, and how with some small changes to how they work and communicate they can achieve excellent results.
I did choose to use some time to process the activity… People were asked to sit with their area team (that they were with during the activity) and respond to the following questions:
- What was the goal/purpose of the activity?
- On a scale of 0 – 10 with 10 being you achieved the goal/purpose as you defined it and 0 being the opposite; where would you place your team?
- What would two steps higher on the same scale look like?
- How was this activity like your work?
The team responses only reinforced that they ‘got-it’ and immediately saw the connection between the team building activity, the lessons in the team building and leadership workshops and their work.
The term “team building” means many things to many people…If you really want to build your team there are several activities, ideas, techniques and ways to do so.
If you are going to implement the use of activities or simulations into your team building lessons – make sure that they make sense and enhance the message and objectives you are trying to achieve. People are smart and they can connect a GREAT TEAM BUILDING activity to their work and team if the activity makes sense and is framed and delivered properly.
What do you think?
What examples do you have of team building that has the lessons learned built in? Have you experienced great team building? What made it so great?