Team building is something of a catch phrase today, where many new businesses and established organizations participate. Their team members, employees, or sometimes the entire staff, take part in workshops that offer a wide variety of activities and programs designed to build a sense of cooperation. Some of these can be perceived to be a needless use of time, or can actually do damage to a team, but then others are very successful. What, then, are the best qualities to look for in team building workshops?
From most of the responses to workshops that haven’t been successful, the major complaint seems to be that when there is an emphasis on competition over cooperation, things tend to fall apart. It’s easy to see why. If the workshop works to bring out the worst in human behavior, without any kind of constructive examination, then it can only serve to illustrate who are the weakest links.
However, the truly effective corporate team building programs work to help the team solve problems and complete tasks together. This is where everyone’s individual contributions are valued and recognized. At the end of the day, the most successful workshops will reveal that there are, indeed, no weak links. Everyone has a useful contribution, with individual and unique skills, and these can be brought out to the surface so that they can become conscious choices.
For the really successful workshops, there is certainly room for team members to see their own faults and deficiencies revealed, as long as there are positive outcomes. When the focus is on human behavior, then individual behaviors can be seen for what they are: subject to change, and also subject to modification. It doesn’t have to be tough love in order for there to be a breakthrough, and oftentimes, a positive approach, with a solid understanding of how people work, can reveal how teams might work together. It puts the focus on the
group’s strengths, and also gives them some very useful tools for bringing out the strength in each other.