Building your team’s performance and strengths is vital to how well your projects get completed, the cohesiveness of the group and the trust each one has in the others. There are several activities and procedures you can use to help your team improve the group’s strength. These exercises range from games and challenges involving complex and simple tasks to social activities to encourage team members to build friendly relationships with co-workers.
Team building activities and practices are designed to help individuals discover how they approach problems and how the team works together. It helps the group discover better methods of communication.
Sports groups have long known that members working together through daily practice, exercise activities and bonding activities improve not only performance of individual players but the strength and performance of the sports group as well.
Many of the same principles can be used in business team building.
There are many different types of team building exercises you can implement.
- Communication exercises are designed to help your team build better communication. These are usually a form of problem solving activities that have members communicating effectively with one another to solve the problem.
- Problem solving/decision making exercises focus on your group working together to solve a difficult problem or make complex decisions. These are very common types of team strength building exercises since it directly links to what an employer wants from their team.
- Planning and adaptability exercises focus on setting up a plan and being able to adapt when change is needed.
- Trust exercises involve getting team members engaged in ways that encourages them to trust each other. These are more difficult to implement since there can be varying degrees of trust among individuals and others in general but the trust built is well worth it.
- Action learning is a combination of taking action and reflection by the team. They are asked to solve complex, yet strategic problems in a real-world business setting whether that is structural, managerial, logistic, or any other organization setting. The group applies all their existing knowledge and skills. They learn new skills, knowledge and gain insights by continuing to reflect on and question the problem, the groups’ behavior and the subsequent results.
- Action research is the strategy where your team performs research in the field to examine a specific question. This is specifically for team members who don’t know what they don’t know. They are collecting data that could alter the original question, while learning unexpected procedures and principles. This type of exercise requires them to be open-minded and objective.
- Appreciative Inquiry team building exercise is the alternative to a traditional type of problem solving. It emphasizes the participants focus on the positive aspects of a situation instead what is wrong. This exercise encourages members to share their positive experiences with one another. Team members are asked to create and share images of what their preferred future of the team looks like and brainstorm ways to create that vision.
- Assessment-based learning activities involve team participants taking and completing a test, rating scale or a questionnaire. They receive a score and feedback on each individual’s attitudes, personality traits and personal abilities. The responses may then be combined with others in the team to identify the opinions or characteristics of the group.
- Consensus decision making activities usually involve a list of 10 items that participants arrange in order of priority individually and then as a team consensus. The list is then compared to the experts ranking list. This activity helps team members build their strength of decision making and reaching an agreement as a team.
- Corporate Adventure Learning activities involve a challenging physical activity either indoors or outdoors. Activities such as sailing, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing, exploring wilderness areas, or walking on rope bridges have been used in the past. Participants learn trust, values and skills from these experiences.
- Other types of activities include audio games, board games, card games, computer games and many others all designed to help teams work together in decision making and building trust.
There are many activities and practices that you can employ to improve the strength and performance of a group. Group trust, cohesive work skills and decision making aptitude begins with individual team members performing activities and exercises that build these skills.