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Do you see the term ‘team building’ thrown around these days?
You must think what does it actually mean to build a team.
On top of this term throwing, most of the activities mentioned to build the said team are boring beyond belief. In schools, team building translates into sharing constructive ideas. On the other hand, in organisations, it becomes a problem solving or capacity building exercise. And, in sports, it is mostly about creating a communication based chemistry. But, in reality, team building is all of this and beyond.
From a business perspective, team building is an exercise to achieve multiple ideal setups.
This can include everything from the alignment of organisational goals to building effective workplace relationships. Similarly, at a deeper level, through effective team building, you may also be able to minimise ambiguity of roles among team members, as they learn to cooperate better. And, above all, as we mentioned earlier, team building introduces a sense of collective problem solving; a feeling that by working together, a team can face and compete against any challenge, whether internal or external.
However, this emphasis on team building and its positives does not eliminate the outright boring nature of most involved activities. So, to get around this issue, here are 5 suggestions from the team at Sorev:
Don’t worry, we are not suggesting that you put on unhealthy levels of weight and have sumo wrestling fights in your office.
Instead, we are talking of air filled, sumo suits. Here’s a funny video demonstrating what we mean:
As you can see, sumo wrestling suits have been around for a while, as demonstrated by this video from 2013. (Here, we need to clarify that we are not related to any company that provides such experiences. However, you will be able to find such suits online and have a little fun with your staff quite easily).
At the most basic level, sumo wrestling will help in developing a positive relationship among your team, in line with the fun everyone will be having. Now let’s move to something a bit more serious.
Within various education systems, especially in the UK, ‘show-and-tell’ is a common classroom activity.
However, we believe that it can also be a positive addition in the workplace.
Specifically, show-and-tell is an activity where each member of a team brings a personal item and expresses its importance to them. As you can imagine, this elevates the relationship among people from a superficial level and opens up the emotional side of individuals.
At a deeper level, by sharing something intimate, you are able to create a feeling that you know someone better. And, that is quite important for a team to jell together. Once again, you will be taking the right steps to develop effective workplace relationships and the positives that follow afterwards, e.g. team problem solving and communication to expel role ambiguities.
Now, let’s look into an activity that outlines individual mentality.
Our next suggestion can be seen as more of a creative outlet.
However, we believe that creativity lies in more than a single shape: a more postmodern perspective, as we have mentioned earlier in:
In one iteration of the ‘game of possibilities’, you hand over a common item to a team member and challenge them to come up with an alternative use of the item. As you can imagine, away from the demonstration itself, the utterance of ideas here demonstrate the mentality of your team members. They may decide to be practical, innovative, or even wacky with their alternative use demo. But, all such demos are acceptable as they are opening up the individual to a group.
In an alternative instance of the game, the basic premise of the game stays the same, but you can involve the team a bit further. Specifically, you may hand over an item to a team member and ask them to demonstrate the use of the item without uttering any words. In such cases, you may want to hand over an item which is not as easier to demonstrate and require some level of creativity from the demonstrator, challenging the whole team to get into the moment and use their abilities to guess.
In both these cases, you are promoting problem solving and cooperation within your team.
Now let’s look into an activity that strikes close to human nature.
Thinking and planning for the future is one of the most human traits possible.
In all fairness, thinking about the future might be the leading cause of stress and unneeded worry in our lives. But, you can convert the activity into something positive for your organisation. (Who thought day dreaming can help you business?).
In ‘all the news’, you must challenge a team member to come up with the future state of your business. This can be anything from getting an ideal client to business growth to humongous proportions. Once again, there are no limits.
However, what makes this activity possible is challenging your team members to then create plans, in this case news fillings, which made the vision possible.
In particular, in order to report news properly and professionally, you must get the finer details right. This is where the team comes in.
In a way, through ‘all the news’, you are running a backward forecasting exercise that looks at a positive end-state and challenges the team to plan to achieve it. In Futures Studies, this is comparable to drawing a preferable future and then developing plans to achieving it, within a given set of information.
By doing so, not only are you making your team think about the future of the organisation, but also promoting teamwork and problem solving.
Now, in the final activity, let’s test how well the team knows each other.
Playing games is all well and good. But, are you gaining anything positive out of it.
In ‘who is it?’, each team member writes something interesting about themselves on a piece of paper and puts it in a pot. Then, each member should draw from the pot and guess the original contributor of the interesting fact.
You can take this exercise into two directions.
Firstly, you can check how well are your team members acquainted to each other. But, more importantly, secondly, you are creating a fun environment, where people are sharing beyond the norms.
And, by doing so, you may even break some barriers and expectations and make the team members look at each other in a different, hopefully better light.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.