Team Building Tools
These tools are a means to an end – what really counts is the improvement that you see in your team. We put tools like these in our toolkit when they have proved their worth either in obtaining useful results quickly or contributing to team building for our clients over time, or both.
Before undertaking any team development, we work with you on the following:
- Our first step together is to determine the reason for the team building session – the results that you want to achieve.
- What is the key message or learning outcome the team should walk away with – what do you want the team to be doing differently?
- What will be the best team building tool to achieve the desired results?
Examples of team building tools used by Leadership Evolution are:
Problem-solving and construction games
Builds rapport and opens up team communication. Enhances the ability of team members to make decisions about their work. Example: participants are given various challenges and required to work together to get an outcome (ie, Build a bridge from straws, rescue an object from a hypothetical swamp with ropes, etc). These tend to be high energy, fun, involve all the senses, especially appealing to those who like tactile problem solving. Suitable for large groups.
Trust building exercises
Increases support between members, leading to high performance teamwork. Fosters joint ownership of team projects. Example: this includes physical exercises, such as guiding a colleague who is blindfolded, and interpersonal trust, which includes self-disclosure in a safe, sharing environment. A great activity here is to ask people to bring an object or photo that is important to them, then in small groups share “why it is important”. The use of “photo language cards” (cards with emotionally provocative photos on them) allow people to express emotions in a safe way, and personal storytelling in a safe environment also really helps people to get to know each other. Works best in small groups and requires quite a bit of warm up time to allow participants to feel safe and take risks.
Promotes bonding and team unity. Clarifies and reinforces team mission and shared vision. Examples: teams create their own identity through their own mission, vision etc or tell their story, which may be represented by some joint effort at painting, creating a symbol, metaphor, mascot, collage, artistic piece, often a selection of craft items (like pipe cleaners, coloured cardboard, glue, scissors) are provided. This may also involve “acting out” their identity and creating their own scene. A strong bonding activity that usually leaves participants with a physical symbol of their identity.
Team profile assessments
Identification of particular preferences so as to make best use of team members. Example: MBTI, Team Management Index, Belbins team roles. Any of these can provide a foundation for a conversation about how teams work, and to provide richness to any of the activities outlined above. They provide personal information that participants can share and also provide a whole team profile that can be used to identify the likely style of a team and strengths and weaknesses of a team. Knowing that information means that the team leaders can plan their approach to work and identify potential weak spots. For example, some teams may lack a natural attention to detail, others may lack strategic visioning skills and therefore the team is aware that they may need a strategy to compensate in those areas.
Improves the efficiency and effectiveness of team communications. Example: there is a comprehensive package of practical exercises that the participants can practice on each other. It raises their awareness and capacity to build instant rapport with others and to understand communication styles. Communication basics include first, second and third person communication skills. These can also help technically focused teams shift their thinking to become more client/stakeholder focused.
These team-building tools can be used independently or in combination. The same key learning message or outcome is reinforced through different modalities, and each person gets involved in the learning through their own examples and experience.
We add to our range of team building tools on a frequent basis. If there are particular aspects of team building that you would like to put in place in your organisation, then call Alison on 0400 340 171. We’ll be able to tell you about the latest tools that match your needs and how we have already used them to get results.