Team Myths

Debunking Team Building Myths

Many popular beliefs about team building practices are myths — here are just two of them:

Myth #1: You must hire a coach.

There is nothing magical about team building. Neither is it an art reserved for the select elite. The truth is that team building occurs when people make a specific set of realisations about each other and their work.

However, how these realisations are (or aren’t) achieved often slips the radar, so people see and the effects of team building, but fail to explain and reproduce them.

But because these realisations are observable, it is possible to learn to generate them. So by putting effort into noticing what the realisations that need to be made are, you can effectively create team building yourself: once it has been can be accomplished, then those realisations can regularly be fostered through conversation or other like activities.

In fact, it is often the case that the gains that are achieved with the help of a team building consultancy come from simply pursuing clarity about the group’s collective purpose or task. Yet obtaining clarity is hardly a miraculous feat, nor must one be a coach or consultant — or just a third party outsider — to demand that it be addressed.

Nonetheless, the team building consulting industry thrives on this myth. But companies can’t afford to perpetuate it. Thus, let us raise our expectations that smart professionals can and will see the need to align with one another as part of their accountability to each other. The professionals are just there to facilitate and quicken the process.

Myth #2: The first agenda in team-building is to get people to like each other.

There is a good reason for this myth. From the early part of the 20th Century and up until the seventies, researchers defined ‘group cohesion’ based on interpersonal attractiveness, i.e., how much people in a group like each other.

So psychologists developed personality inventories to help us understand people’s actions and behaviour, which allows us to thereafter pigeonhole them accordingly (because human beings are just such simple creatures that they can be fit into pre-defined categories). Consultants use these personality inventories to help us appreciate and embrace our differences. There is no doubt that such knowledge is valuable. However, just by how much can it improve your team? Not much, really.

Today’s scientific literature defines group cohesion on the basis of linked individual and collective outcomes. So what causes a group of people to cohere and act as a single entity is not so much their affinity for each other but their collective desire for a common outcome (task, result, mission, experience, etc.).

Hence, when a group of people are at odds with each other, do not automatically assume that personality awareness training will bring them in line. Instead, analyse the alignment of their goals and see if they perceive each other as a credible ally or credible threat.

We adapted this article from one by Christopher Avery. To read the original, click here.

 

Conflict

7 Ways To Solve A Conflict With Your Team

Conflicts. Some of the worst moments when tensions are high in a team and the slightest spark inevitably leads to the largest possible blaze. Furious glances across the conference table, screaming matches in the hallway, all those situations that make you wish you were a tiny speck in existence right about to disappear (if you aren’t involved, of course). Yes, the joys of team conflicts!

Yet, conflict can be a healthy part of team communication. For one, it can can spark creativity. Also, it can provoke discussion, leading to better results.

So how do YOU tend to communicate during a conflict?

Here are 7 ways to deal with conflict in a positive way:

Untitled-1

Which Triggers do your team use to communicate? Find out here.

Remember, diversity is good– especially when it comes to Triggers! Teams with a diverse range of Triggers have a balance of communication styles, which can resolve or discourage  conflicts.

How do you communicate in a way that contributes, rather than contaminates?

Credits to Sally and Team Fascinate for this wonderful article. Click here to read the original.

 

I love my job

7 Super Team Bonding Activities that Build Employee Morale

Let’s face it – employee morale can be a bit like a roller coaster ride. Everything is going smoothly but suddenly the company is sold or another polar vortex hits your community causing moods to dip tremendously – just like the lowest point of a coaster. But with so many elements out of our control (i.e. a merger or the weather) the only thing within our control is our attitude toward all of this.

If you are the team leader, here are seven simple team bonding activities that can really help keep your employees focused and happy, even in times of peril:

Recognize special events. Every employee has a birthday and a work anniversary. In addition, they might have an anniversary, birth of a child or grandchild, their wedding or those of their children to celebrate. As a leader, rejoice with them, with cake, coffee and cards.

Reward your employees for a job well done. People want feel appreciated and have their achievements recognised.  Here are five ways to make them feel thus:

  • Tell them they are doing a great job.
  • Write them a note and send it to them via snail mail.
  • Hold a party if your monthly goals are obtained.
  • Give them gift cards.
  • Hold a meeting and publicly recognize them.

Promote the use of an idea board. Whatever the company size or structure, you can help with team building by having a large idea board. This board can have a question, statement, idea or challenge on the top and employees can come by and write text or share photos on it. It allows the idea to brew and because no one knows who provided which idea, the team members will have more courage to share and take risks.

Encourage lunch and work breaks. One might think that lunch at the desk and working through tiredness leads to better results for the team. But the reality is when everyone takes a lunch and one or two breaks during the day, they are more productive when they return to the work at hand. Go out to lunch with the team. Take a walk. Get some coffee. Meditate.

Make the workspace comfortable. The workspace should be more like a living room and less like a cubicle. Lighting that is good but not glaring, chairs that are comfortable, temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold, and having the right technology that works best for the employee, will all help with workplace productivity.

Smile. Make a concerted effort to smile more, talk about fun things and be humorous. These things go a long way to promoting team building.

Have Fun! Off-site team building exercises can help employee morale tremendously. Participating in fun and energising team building activities can not only turbo-charge morale, but also teach respect, and build trust.

Credits to who wrote this piece about team building, and Fun Team Building from where we found it.Click here to read the original.

Thumbs Up

Question Mark

Team Building, or Team Bonding?

What is the long term value of team building? To answer this question, we first have to understand what truly constitutes a ‘team building’ activity. Countless articles and blogs have made mention of the difference between ‘team bonding’ and ‘team building’ activities, and have concluded that ‘team bonding’ and ‘team building’ are two ends of a continuum, where the range of activity options available fall into the gap between.

The problem we have is that any company that offers a ‘team bonding’ session will call it a ‘team building’ activity, instead of just calling it what it is.

It is essential to note that both ends of the spectrum have their merits. However both also have completely different outcomes associated with them. The client must ultimately select the correct type of activity depending on their required outcomes. For example, there is no point taking a team paintballing if there are issues within the team that need some type of intervention to help them overcome the problems. Any competitive fun events will only have two possible outcomes in this scenario – either the rifts deepen or a band aid is placed over a much bigger wound. Both fail to achieve desired outcome that you really want, which is to close the divide.

Going back to the original question, the value of ‘team building’ is far more considerable than a ‘team bonding’ activity. Ultimately, if a company is saying that it is simply something ‘they have to do’, there will not be much that can be done as culturally they are not buying into the benefits of developing their teams and this will be reflected in their work place. Some of these companies see their annual ‘team building’ session as a way of ticking a box to show they care about their employees.

It is refreshing when HR departments have a real ‘people focus.’ They understand that developing their people helps develop their business. So how do we change the situation? People have to realise that ‘team bonding’ is a separate entity distinct from ‘team building.’ Until that happens, we are pretty much stuck with everything being lumped under the one umbrella.

To conclude: can you spot the difference between the types of activities below?

Guest2 Guest1

Credits to Teambuilding Solutions for this amazing article. Click here to read the original.