- Team Building Tips, Resources and Strategies
Effective teamwork is never an accident. It is always a reflection of the quality of leadership and effort that is being invested by people. This page will offer tips and resources that you can use to help further improve the spirit of teamwork in your workplace.
Team development can be stimulated when the group sit down together and attempt to honestly and openly confront questions such as………
- What is our core purpose as a team, and what are the common goals we share?
- What are our values, and how well are living these as a team?
- How can we work together more effectively as a team?
- How can we better use the resources we represent?
- How can we communicate with one another more effectively to make better decisions?
- What obstacles are impeding our performance, and what issues do we need to address?
- Teamwork – It Takes Effort
Over many years I have been called upon to facilitate many different types of team-building workshops and team-development processes. Although it is not always the case, very often there is some sort of dysfunctionality within the workgroup that is prompting the initiative.
Just because you bring a bunch of people together, and place them under the same functional umbrella is certainly no guarantee that you will automatically get co-operative teamwork from the group.
The reality is that there are differences that exist in any group – differences in personality, differences in work values, differences in age, gender and work styles, and these differences have the potential to become a source of conflict.
Yes, we know that diversity can bring the potential for more creativity within group thinking, because of the wider range of perspectives that can be contributed to the pool of group experience. However the great challenge for managers and team-leaders is how to constructively deal with the conflict that can arise within the workgroup, on a day-to-day basis.
A few tips that I would offer to managers and team leaders in these situations include ….
- Define and agree guidelines, or values, around acceptable team behaviours
- Try and nip issues and concerns in the bud early, rather than letting them fester
- Identify and recognise the skills and strengths that each member of the work-group bring to the team, and check that maximum use is being made of these. Cross-skilling opportunities in the team help to promote respect for each other
- Generate opportunities to have some fun together – whether it is an occasional lunch together, or celebrating birthday’s together, or regularly investing together in a team lottery ticket – all help build a spirit of camraderie.
If you are based in Australia, and seeking some facilitated Team Building, you might like to visit my webpage Team-Building Cheers for now
- Encouraging Innovation & Risk Taking
Just as it is important for a team to have agreed structured processes and procedures, it is equally important that the team be prepared occasionally to move beyond the boundaries of established procedure in order to explore new ways of doing things.
Techniques such as “Brainstorming” and De Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” should be tried periodically to generate creativity and to identify opportunities to improve team effectiveness.
An open mind, a willingness to try something new and take a calculated risk – these are qualities that should be encouraged in order to empower the team to develop greater flexibility in dealing with problems and decision-making situations.
The following short clip features Dr. Edward De Bono explaining the benefits of his popular Six Thinking Hats method, as a means of avoiding destructive, critical argument and instead promoting “parallel thinking” as the basis for more constructive decision making processes within a group. With this method, when group members together put on a particular “Thinking Hat” in their discussion, they are looking at an issue or problem from the same perspective, rather than being at “cross purposes” and arguing with each other.
- Team Groundrules
This short clip reminds us that it is important to define team groundrules (“constitution”) to support team development.
- Building Blocks For Great Teamwork
In this clip, we are reminded of some of the fundamental building blocks for developing productive teamwork in the workplace – including learning from mistakes and taking the time to understand each other …..
- Working With People Who Drive You Crazy
Over time, there will probably be occasions when you will need to work with people who irritate and frustrate you. And even though they may drive you crazy, you still need to find a way to get along with them so that the job can get done!
This clip features Dr Joel Freeman, who uses the DISC model as a framework to describe how differences in communication and bhavioural styles can create tensions in human relationships. Once you gain an understanding of these natural differences that exist in style, then you can learn to adjust somewhat the way you deal with other people.
There are people who are very goal and action oriented and who just want to get on with things – however there are others who need time to think and carefully analyse all aspects of a situation before making any decision. If these different styles fail to understand each other, there can be conflict. But with an awareness of the potential strengths of each style, you will be better able to leverage off other people in your team.
- “Life & Teamwork – A Game Of Inches”
This video clip features the inspirational speech of Al Pacino, from the movie “Any Given Sunday”. The coach is addressing the players with the team having reached a Championship Final, but suffering from internal tensions and conflicts. In this motivating speech, he describes life and football as “A game of inches …… Move a little too early or a little too late, and you don’t quite make it”. Be warned there is some “colourful” language on a couple of occasions, however it is a classic speech in which the coach speaks from the heart and appeals for team spirit and unity of purpose.