Author: TBAE Team

Team Building and Events Management South Africa (TBAE) specialises in coordinating and facilitating interactive corporate team building, with programs designed to promote team spirit and participative culture. TBAE is renowned for the design and delivery of unique, innovative, fun and memorable team building programs, customised to meet each client’s individual needs, agenda and budget. Our experienced and highly skilled facilitators work in partnership with our clients to ensure continuity in existing training or development programs.

Develop Non-Linear Thinking in Your Team

Develop Non-Linear Thinking in Your Team

The usual way to approach problems that your team may face is in a step-by-step fashion. This is called linear or vertical thinking. However, often we tend to not line up the premises in a normal step-by-step fashion. When your team needs to  approach a problem in a different order, they are using non-linear thinking. Sometimes, non-linear thinking is also called lateral thinking.

Related: Creative Thinking Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Encourage Your Team to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone

One of the first steps in developing non-linear thinking in your team is to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. Basically, this concept involves your team seeing information or circumstances from a different perspective. A zone is defined as an area set apart in some way. In critical thinking and problem-solving, your team sometimes have to get out of the areas or zones that make them comfortable and stretch their thinking.

Remind Your Team Not to Jump to Conclusions

An important step in problem solving is for your team to take the time to acquire the necessary information. Often, teams tend to jump to conclusions before they have all of the facts. How can your team use their understanding of logic to gather all the necessary facts? Remember, the premises are the facts or statements that help us come to conclusions.

Encourage Your Team to Expect and Initiate Change

“Be the change you wish to see,” is a common slogan on bumper stickers. With so many events happening on an international and national level each day, change is simply a standard course in businesses. We can always expect changes in organizations. Nothing stays the same, and we sometimes are in the position where we the ones initiating the change.

Your Team Must Be Ready to Adapt

The question in today’s culture is not will change occur in an organization, but how well are teams at adapting to change. Team members protect themselves from becoming obsolete by changing. Adaptation is a survival skill of nature. The species which survive in an environment are those that are capable of adapting well.

Conclusion

There are times that linear thinking is simply not sufficient to solve the problem that is facing your team. This is where non-linear thinking comes into play. For your team to be effective in non-linear thinking they will need to step out of their comfort zones and guard against jumping to conclusions. Your team needs to expect and initiate change, always being ready to adapt, if they are going to be effective in non-linear thinking.

If you want to develop non-linear thinking in your team, our problem solving outcome based team building activities are designed to develop non-linear thinking and other problem solving skills.

 

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Getting to the Root Cause of Team Conflict

Getting to the Root Cause of Team Conflict

Building a positive foundation and gathering information are key steps to resolving conflict in your team, but it is going to be difficult to solve the problem if we don’t know what the problem is! You need to delve below the current conflict in the team to the root of the problem. This is important for long-term resolution, rather than a band-aid solution.

Examining Root Causes of Team Conflict

Once the groundwork has been laid, it is important to look at the root causes of the conflict in the team.

One way to do this is through simple verbal investigation. This involves continuously asking “Why?” to get to the root of the problem. An example:

I was very upset when Sharon vetoed my idea at the meeting.

Why <were you upset>?

I felt that my idea had real value and she didn’t listen to what I had to say.

Why <didn’t she listen to what you had to say>?

She has been with the company for a lot longer than I have and I feel that she doesn’t respect me.

Now we have progressed from a single isolated incident to the root cause of the incident itself (and probably many more past and future incidents). Resolving this root cause will provide greater value and satisfaction to all involved.

Paying attention to the wording of the root cause is important, too.

Watch out for vague verbs.

Try to keep emotions out of the problem statements.

Creating a Cause and Effect Diagram

Another way of examining root cause of team conflict is to create a cause and effect diagram (also known as a fishbone diagram) with the person that you are having the conflict. To start, draw a horizontal arrow pointing to the right on a large sheet of paper. At the end of the arrow, write down the problem.

Now, work together to list possible causes. Group these causes. Draw a line pointing to the large arrow for each cause and write the cause at the top.

Now, write each cause on a line pointing to the group arrow. (Sticky notes work well for this.)

Now the people in the conflict have a clear map of what is happening.

Although this technique can be time-consuming, it is excellent for complicated conflicts or for team conflicts where there may be more than one root cause. The drawing should be updated as new causes are discovered.

The Importance of Forgiveness in Conflict Resolution

Forgiveness is a key concept in conflict resolution. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting that the conflict happened, or erasing the emotions that it created. It does mean accepting that the conflict happened. Accepting and working through how it made you feel, accepting the consequences that it had, and letting those actions and consequences exist in the past.

Successful conflict resolution should give the team members some feeling of closure over the issue. Participants should feel that the conflict has been resolved to their satisfaction, and that it will not likely reoccur. These accomplishments should help the team members put the conflict behind them and move forward, to more things that are positive.

These goals should be kept in mind during the resolution process. Ask yourself, “Will resolving this help provide me with closure? Will this action help me accept what has happened and move on?”

Identifying the Benefits of Conflict Resolution

There is no doubt about it – conflict resolution in a team can be hard work. Effective conflict resolution digs deep into the issues, often exploring unfamiliar territory, to resolve the core conflict and prevent the problem from reoccurring.

However, this process can be time-consuming and emotionally difficult. The team members that are in conflict may arrive at a point (or several points) in the conflict resolution process where they wonder, “Is this really worth it?”

When you arrive at these stalemates, look at why you are resolving the conflict. It can also be helpful to explore what will happen if the conflict is not resolved.

What relationships will deteriorate or break up?

If this is a workplace conflict, what is the financial cost to the company?

What will be the emotional cost to the participants?

Who else will be affected?

These questions should help team members put things into perspective and evaluate whether or not the conflict is truly worth resolving. In most situations, resolving the true conflict is well worth the effort in the long term. Visualizing the benefits can provide the motivation to work through the rest of the process.

For complex conflicts, there are some additional ways to stay motivated. It’s OK to break the resolution sessions into parts, with a different goal for each session. It’s also OK to take breaks as needed – a walk around the block or a glass of water can do wonders to refresh the mind and body.

Conclusion

We looked at the importance of getting to the root cause of conflict in your team to achieve long term solutions. The cause and effect diagram was discussed as a way of examining root causes. Then we also explained why forgiveness is essential in the resolution of team conflicts and how you can encourage your team members to resolve conflicts by identifying the benefits of conflict resolution.

Team building events are a great way of identifying conflicts in your team that you may not have known existed. It can also be used as a tool help team members who are in conflict resolve their differences by working together on a non-work related project.

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5 Styles of Resolving Conflicts While Building a Team

5 Styles of Resolving Conflicts While Building a Team

There are five widely accepted styles of resolving conflicts which you can use while building your team. These were originally developed by Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann in the 1970’s. Understanding all five styles and knowing when to use them is an important part of successful conflict resolution in your team.

Collaborating

With the collaborating approach, the members of the team involved in the conflict,  work together to develop a win-win solution. This approach promotes assertiveness (rather than aggressiveness or passiveness).

This style is appropriate when:

  • The situation is not urgent
  • An important decision needs to be made
  • The conflict involves a large number of people, or people across different teams
  • Previous conflict resolution attempts have failed

This style is not appropriate when:

  • A decision needs to be made urgently
  • The matter is trivial to all involved

Related: Cooperation Outcome Based Team Building Activity

Competing

With a competitive approach, the team member in conflict takes a firm stand. They compete with the other team member for power, and they typically win (unless they’re up against someone else who is competing!) This style is often seen as aggressive, and can often be the cause of other team members in the conflict feeling injured or stepped on.

This style is appropriate when:

  • A decision needs to be made quickly (i.e., emergencies)
  • An unpopular decision needs to be made
  • Someone is trying to take advantage of a situation

This style is not appropriate when:

  • Team members are feeling sensitive about the conflict
  • The situation is not urgent

Compromising

With the compromising approach, each team member in the conflict gives up something that contributes towards the conflict resolution.

This style is appropriate when:

  • A decision needs to be made sooner rather than later (meaning the situation is important but not urgent)
  • Resolving the conflict is more important than having each individual “win”
  • Power among team members in the conflict is equal

This style is not appropriate when:

  • A wide variety of important needs must be met
  • The situation is extremely urgent
  • One person holds more power than another

Related: Getting to the Root Cause of Team Conflict

Accommodating

The accommodating style is one of the most passive conflict resolution styles. With this style, one of the team members in conflict gives up what they want so that the other team member can have what they want. In general, this style is not very effective, but it is appropriate in certain scenarios.

This style is appropriate when:

  • Maintaining the relationship is more important than winning
  • The issue at hand is very important to the other team member, but is not important to you

This style is not appropriate when:

Avoiding

The last approach is to avoid the conflict entirely. People who use this style tend to accept decisions without question, avoid confrontation, and delegate difficult decisions and tasks. Avoiding is another passive approach that is typically not effective, but it does have its uses.

This style is appropriate when:

  • The issue is trivial
  • The conflict will resolve itself on its own soon

This style is not appropriate when:

  • The issue is important to you or those close to you (such as your team)
  • The conflict will continue or get worse without attention

Conclusion

In any team, conflict is inevitable, and knowing which style of conflict resolution to use or allow will help you build a successful team. Team building activities offer team leaders a safe environment to monitor how team members resolve conflict and what style of conflict resolution they use.

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Overcoming Roadblocks to Building a Team

Overcoming Roadblocks to Building a Team

It is common to encounter roadblocks during the process of building your team. Roadblocks manifest in many different forms. Roadblocks, however, should not spell an end to the team building process. You should expect roadblocks to occur. It is natural for it to happen because we are expecting behavior change, which that in and of itself is a task for the team members.

In this blog post, we will discuss ways to overcoming roadblocks. Some of the things you will learn are identifying common roadblocks, re-evaluate goals and focus on progress. Roadblocks are not dead ends. They are warning signs that will help you identify when you need to intervene and get your team back on track.

Common Obstacles to Building a Team

Building a team takes two parties to accomplish. The team leader must be just as engaged as the team members. Lack of zeal and honesty creates roadblocks that will hinder your team’s ability to reach their goals. Here are some common obstacles we, as team leaders create:

  • Do not have enough time to lead the team properly
  • Lack of confidence in leading the team
  • Fear of confrontation
  • Feels awkward
  • Fear of failure in leading the team
  • Afraid team will not respond

Now, from the team’s perspective, here are some common obstacles they may encounter:

  • Home/life issues are blocking progress
  • Fear of losing their job
  • Lack of confidence reaching the goal
  • Denial there is anything wrong
  • Poor relationship with the team leader

Obstacles come in many different forms. However, the root of the obstacles typically comes from a personal deficiency in their life situation. Maslow’s theory of needs outlines basic needs we all must have in order to reach higher order needs. Here is a brief overview of the needs.

  • Physical need
  • Safety need
  • Social need
  • Esteem need
  • Growth need

The basics of all needs are the physical and safety needs. If a person is lacking in either of these areas, they will find it difficult to progress further into the higher needs. For example, if you know a team member is having issues at home, their physical or safety need may be at risk, creating an obstacle to reaching a team goal, which is a higher order need. When faced with a needs issue, try your best to acknowledge the need and guide them to a qualified resource to assist them with this issue.

Let us look at how to re-evaluate goals and realign the team back to achieving the goal.

Reevaluating Team Goals

As time passes from the original team building session, you want to check in with your team and see where they are at, in respect to the goal that was set. It is at this point, where you may want to re-evaluate the team goal and determine if it is still SMART.

There are several things you want to take into consideration when re-evaluating goals. First, re-evaluating does not mean that you have to change it. Reevaluating is an opportunity to check on the team goal and to determine how your team is doing in achieving this goal. Here are some steps you want to take when re-evaluating a team goal:

  • Revisit the starting point. You want to review where you began. This way you are able to see if progress has been made and your team is moving towards the goal.
  • Determine what has been accomplished. Look at what the current performance level is and compare it to the starting point determined earlier.
  • Review the amount of time left with respect to the goal date. You want to see if the amount of improvement is aligned with how much time has passed or how much time is left before the goal date is reached.
  • Determine if the time remaining before the goal date is adequate to fulfill the goal. Here you want to see if there is still enough time to improve and reach the goal.
  • If not enough time is left to accomplish the team goal by goal date, then set a new goal and goal date based on how much improvement has been accomplished and the time it took to get there.
  • If there is still enough time, set smaller goals to help the team move towards the established general goal.

In overcoming roadblocks, you may need to be more flexible. Perhaps the goal originally seemed like a viable goal, but when put into practice it becomes apparent the team will not be able to reach it. Do not become frustrated. Be flexible and understanding of your team if you have to reset a goal.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Focusing on Progress in Building the Team

If you find yourself with a team member  struggling with reaching the team goals, you may be tempted to pull them over and discuss how they are missing the mark and the related consequences.

Focusing on the negative aspects will only create more obstacles. Remember the hierarchy of needs mentioned earlier? Well, if you start making the team building session feel more negative, the team member may feel that their place in the team is threatened. If this happens, they will become more fearful and this adds to the roadblocks.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the progress. Tell the team member that you see progress and that you believe that they are able to make their goals. Speaking positively expands the team member’s belief about themselves. Use encouraging phrases like the ones here:

  • I know you are not quite there yet, but you managed to improve this much in such a short amount of time.
  • Your progress is steady and you are showing promise that you will reach that goal.
  • You showed definite improvement since our last discussion. I am confident you are going to hit this goal.

It is easy to speak into the positive aspects of progress. The benefits of focusing on progress could reap the following:

When you speak positively to your team, then positive things come out, but if you speak negatively, and then you will get a negative reaction.

Conclusion

Roadblocks should not stand in the way of building your team. By identifying the obstacles and working towards overcoming each one, team goals can be reached. Sometimes team goals will have to be reevaluated, but if you continue to focus on the positive your team will progress. Team building events are essential in the process of building your team. It gives you the opportunity to interact with your team and identify possible roadblocks in building your team.

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Connecting with Your Team Through the Art of Conversation

Connecting with Your Team Through the Art of Conversation

Engaging in interesting, memorable small talk is a daunting task for most people. How do you know what to share and when to share it? How do you know what topics to avoid? How do you connect with your team through engaging conversation?

Most experts propose a simple three-level framework that you can use to master the art of conversation. Identifying where you are and where you should be is not always easy, but having an objective outline can help you stay out of sticky situations. We will also share some handy networking tips that will help you get conversations started.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Level One: Discussing General Topics

At the most basic level, stick to general topics: the weather, sports, non-controversial world events, movies, and books. This is typically what people refer to when they say, “small talk.”

At this stage, you will focus on facts rather than feelings, ideas, and perspectives. Death, religion, and politics are absolute no-no’s. (The exception is when you know someone has had an illness or death in the family and wish to express condolences. In this situation, keep your condolences sincere, brief, and to the point.)

If someone shares a fact that you feel is not true, try to refrain from pointing out the discrepancy. If you are asked about the fact, it’s OK simply to say, “I wasn’t aware of that,” or make some other neutral comment.

Right now, you are simply getting to know the team members. Keep an eye out for common ground while you are communicating. Use open-ended questions and listening skills to get as much out of the conversation as possible.

Level Two: Sharing Ideas and Perspectives

If the first level of conversation goes well, the team should feel comfortable with each other and have identified some common ground. Now it’s time to move a bit beyond general facts and share different ideas and perspectives.

It is important to note that not all personal experiences are appropriate to share at this level. For example, it is fine to share that you like cross-country skiing and went to Europe, but you may not want to share the fact that you took out a personal loan to do so.

Although this level of conversation is the one most often used, and is the most conducive to relationship building and opening communication channels, make sure that you don’t limit yourself to one person in the team.

Level Three: Sharing Personal Experiences

This is the most personal level of conversation. This is where everything is on the table and personal details are being shared. This level is typically not appropriate for a social, casual meeting. However, all of the conversational skills are crucial at this stage in particular: when team members are talking about matters of the heart, they require our complete attention, excellent listening skills, and skilled probing with appropriate questions.

Our Top Networking Tips

Understanding how to converse and how to make small talk are great skills, but how do you get to that point? The answer is simple, but far from easy: you walk up, shake their hand, and say hello!

If you’re in the middle of a social gathering, try these networking tips to maximize your impact and minimize your nerves.

  • Before the gathering, imagine the absolute worst that could happen and how likely it is. For example, you may fear that people will laugh at you when you try to join their group or introduce yourself. Is this likely? At most business gatherings, it’s very unlikely!
  • Remember that everyone is as nervous as you are. Focus on turning that energy into a positive force.
  • To increase your confidence, prepare a great introduction. The best format is to say your name, your organization and/or position title (if appropriate), and something interesting about yourself, or something positive about the gathering. Example: “I’m Tim from Accounting. I think I recognize some of you from the IT conference last month.”
  • Just do it! The longer you think about meeting new people, the harder it will be. Get out there, introduce yourself, and meet new people.
  • Act as the host or hostess. By asking others if they need food or drink, you are shifting the attention from you to them.
  • Start a competition with a friend: see how many people, each of you can meet before the gathering is over. Make sure your meetings are worthwhile!
  • Join a group of odd-numbered people.
  • Try to mingle as much as possible. When you get comfortable with a group of people, move on to a new group.
  • When you hear someone’s name, repeat the introduction in your head. Then, when someone new joins the group, introduce them to everyone.
  • Mnemonics are a great way to remember names. Just remember to keep them to yourself! Some examples:
    • Singh likes to sing.
    • Sue sues people for a living.
    • How funny – Amy Pipes is a plumber!

Conclusion

Engaging conversation is an effective way to connect with your team and staying within the three-level framework will help you master the art of conversation. Our team building activities offer the ideal opportunity for conversing and connecting with your team in a new and more relaxing environment.

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Developing Options for Reaching Team Goals

Developing Options to Reach Team Goals

In today’s blog post, we explore options that will enable your team to move towards the goal that was set before them. This is a pivotal step in the coaching process. If done correctly, you will engage your team and create a desire for them to improve. If done incorrectly, your team will disengage and they probably will fail again. It is the coach or team leaders’ job to create this participative environment. Let us look and see how.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities 

Identifying Paths to Reaching Team Goals

Many times, we feel that we have to outline the specific actions that the team has to take in order to reach the stated goal. While this may make you feel better, the likely hood of this action becoming meaningful to your team is close to nil. There is usually very little wiggle room when it comes to a performance goal. It is the plain, unchangeable business reality. Next, we established the current state of affairs with respect to your team’s performance. This historical and factual reality is also unchangeable.

Now, let us take it from the team’s perspective. How in control do they feel? Would they shut down if we, as their coach or team leader, solely determine the action steps they are going to take? They might. It is imperative to keep the team engaged. If not, the rest of the coaching session is just a one-way discussion, leaving your team feeling powerless in their own development.

When you allow your team to participate in the development of their options, you get B.I.G. results. B.I.G. results stand for the following benefits:

  • Buy-in by your team, because the options developed was a collaborative effort
  • Innovation, because more creativity is possible when more people work at it
  • Growth, because the options developed will have more meaning and lasting commitment

Choosing Your Final Approach to Reaching Team Goals

Deciding on which option to implement could be frustrating. The best thing to do is to implement a consistent method of determining the best possible option. The APAC section of the B.I.G. Template is designed to help you come to a quick decision on which option to implement. Here is how it works.

After you have brainstormed your options with your team, assess the pros of each option. Determine the benefits and possible rewards to select that option. Write those benefits in the template. Next, assess the cons for each option. Here are some things to consider:

  • Resources needed
  • Cost
  • Time
  • Return on investment
  • Disruption of the business

All of these factors could rule out an option. Once you identify the cons place those in the corresponding area on the template. Next, determine the top five options that are feasible to implement. Use a rating scale from 1-5 and place that in the rating column. Now, you are ready to rate the relevancy of the options identified as feasible. Rate the relevancy of the options with the goal. Here are some things to consider when rating this category:

  • Does this option build new supporting skills?
  • Does this option meet the time requirement of the goal?
  • Is this option measurable?

Once you determine the relevancy, you are able to multiply the feasibility rating with the relevancy rating. The highest number is possibly your best option. Remember to gain consensus from your team on this option.

Structuring a Plan to Reach Team Goals

Since you have your team’s attention, it is best to begin the planning process. Structuring a plan as soon as possible sends the message to your team that you mean business when it comes to implementing the option. For example: your SMART goal may be to increase the sales attempt rate from five percent to seven in 30 days. Next, you and your team may have agreed to focus on asking open-ended questions during a sales call as their option, giving them more information to help them attempt better. When are they going to start asking those questions? How many are they going to ask? These are action items you want document in a preliminary plan.

The 3T questioning technique helps you document three major milestones. Basically, you ask, “What are you going to do:

  • Tomorrow?
  • Two weeks from today?
  • Thirty days from today?

You may need to guide your team when answering the first question. Remember, the more time you let pass from the time you catch them and the time you implement your first action step, you could be losing precious information discussed in your coaching session.  Once you get to this point, you are ready to begin drafting your final plan.

 

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

It is vitally important to make sure that all team members are on board with a change.

Gathering Data to Support the Change

In order to continue increasing awareness and to build desire to support the upcoming change; the management team must reach out to the team. The force field analysis, developed by German social psychologist Kurt Lewin helps a change management team to:

  • Identify pros and cons of an option prior to making a decision
  • Explore what is going right — and what is going wrong
  • Analyze any two opposing positions.

Related: Decision Making Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Addressing Concerns and Issues About the Change

If concerns or issues arise in the team, then steps must be taken to ensure awareness is continually raised and that desire to support the change is increased. Strategies that can help the change management team responsively address team’s concerns include:

  • Engaging team members, providing forums for people to express their questions and concerns
  • Equipping managers & team leaders to be effective change leaders and managers of resistance
  • Orchestrating opportunities for advocates of the change to contact those team members not yet on board
  • Aligning incentive and performance management systems to support the change.

Evaluating and Adapting

Change is not exempt from Murphy’s Law. And even if something isn’t going wrong, change management team members must constantly be observing, listening, and evaluating the progress and process during a change.

A feedback form can be used to gather information from those involved in a change to help shape the remaining course of the change project. Instead of a paper form, feedback can be obtained through online surveys (Zoomerang.com or Survey Monkey.com), an in-house questionnaire on the intranet, a few questions sent by email, or a focus group. The questions will vary depending upon the subject being queried.

The compiled results of the feedback forms can be used by the change management team members to modify the project plan and/or the communication plan or to work with specific members of the team that may be providing roadblocks to success.

Leading Status Meetings

The team leader must make sure that the project and communication plan remain on track. They need to identify, and explore any issues from the team members that have emerged, and review and consider any feedback gathered to date.

Acting as a facilitator, the leader helps to bring about learning and productivity. Communication will be a byproduct of this by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, and supervision.

He or she listens actively, asks questions, encourages diverse viewpoints, organizes information, helps the team reach consensus, and understands that the individual needs of team members will affect teamwork.

The LEAD model provides a simple methodology for facilitating a participative meeting:

Lead with objectives:  When clear objectives are stated up front, group energy is channeled toward achieving an outcome. The objectives shape the content of the meeting.

Empower to participate: In the Lead model, the facilitator is empowered to encourage active participation.

Aim for consensus: Getting the team to consensus will have members more likely to support and carry out the decisions of the team.

Direct the process: How the meeting progresses will influence the quality of the decisions of the team, and influences the commitment of team members.

Team leaders must differentiate between process and content. Content includes the topics, subjects, or issues; process is about how the topics, subjects, or issues are addressed.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Celebrating Successes

Because communications from managers and team leaders have been shown to have a significant impact on team members during a change initiative, it is appropriate that they be actively involved in celebrating success with the team members as a result of positive performance. Celebrations can occur on three levels:

  1. One on one conversation: In a private meeting, a team leader should attest to the fact that due to the team member’s effort, a change was made, and how it is succeeding. He or she should extend verbal thanks to the team member.
  2. Public recognition: Public recognition officially acknowledges outstanding performance and points out a role model that helped make a successful change happen. Team leaders should carefully consider who receives recognition, and not alienate team members who participated in the change but who many not have distinguished themselves significantly.
  3. Team celebrations: Fun or engaging team activities are used to celebrate key milestones by a group. They include buffet or restaurant lunches, dinner events, or can include group outings to sports, amusement, or cultural events. It is important that these types of celebrations try to include the involvement of the primary change sponsor in some way.

Sharing the Results and Benefits of the Change

In order to sustain the impact of a change, it is important for everyone who is involved in the process to know what results are occurring. This occurs across a number of dimensions. Ongoing feedback is needed from team members at all levels.

 

Why Team Building is Important

Why Team Building is Important

Have you ever needed to convince management that your company needs team building? Did you need to provide reasons why team building is important. As a team building facilitation company, of course we believe team building events are important and absolutely essential to the success of your team, but we realize that not everyone gets why team building is necessary. To help you convince management that team building is necessary, we have put together a  list of reasons why team building is important.

Related: The Benefits of Team Building

Reasons Why Team Building is Important

  • Team building help team members set common goals and effective goal setting is essential to the success of a team.
  • Team building help management assess the members of the team and gives them the opportunity to see how everyone work together in different situations. When a team have to solve problems under pressure, strengths and weaknesses of team members come to the fore.
  • Team building often places teams in engaging situations that require attention and critical thinking. The right team building activities will encourage team members to think on their feet and find instant solutions to problems.
  • Team building assists in defining roles within the team. During team building activities, participants tend to realize their strengths and ultimately their role in the team. Some team members may come forward as leaders, while others show critical thinking abilities.
  • Team building is an effective vehicle for cultivating communication within the team.
  • Team building is also about having fun and laughing together. Laughing together is an effective way to enhance relationships in a team and unites a team during difficult times.
  • Team building improves morale among team members.
  • Team building is a fun, participative and non threatening way to break down any existing barriers that may exist in the team.
  • Team building exercises can be customized to develop specific skills that are required in the team.
  • Team building often identifies leadership qualities in a team member which may have not been noticed before.
  • Team building is a great way to bring your team together and help team members to get to know each other better which in turn leads to better relationships within the team.
  • Team building highlights differences in the team and creates respect for different cultures and personalities in the team.
  • Team building fosters team spirit that can be carried over to the workplace.
  • Team building will help to motivate your team to finish that important project before the deadline.
  • Team building is a great way to reward your team and give recognition to team members for their contribution to the team.
  • Team building encourages cooperation in a team and every member is encouraged to participate. Team members learn that the role of each team member is important. Team building creates a sense of connectedness and interpersonal support among the team.
  • Team building leads to successful companies. Strong, happy and unified teams are crucial to the success of a company. Companies need teams that work as a unit and are willing to assist each other. Working as a team leads to the improvement of operations, finishing projects on time and efficiently satisfying the requirements of clients.

Still not convinced? This what some of our customers had to say about team building.

What Our Customers Say About Team Building

“We would like to say a big thank you to your team for facilitating our Minute to win-it session this afternoon. Your team was absolutely fantastic and really re-ignited our teams’ energy after a busy audit season.” Kerryn Lee, Financial Manager, Tarsus

“We would like to express our most  sincere gratitude to you for all your assistance throughout .The team building was a huge success; everyone says they had so much fun .Wayne and Zuma did an amazing job as facilitators, tell them to keep up the good job!!!” Veronica Kgautlhe, Barclays Life Botswana

“I just wanted to thank you for arranging this team building session. We benefited tremendously from this and I would recommend this to anyone. Ian is a fantastic facilitator.” Dr Carola Kirchner, Namibian Project Coordinator, Benguala Current Convention

“Thank you once more for being of assistance. I would like to express my satisfactory by complimenting the two facilitators who were assigned to us, Mr James and Mr Tebogo. The two gentlemen are experienced, they have done a sterling job, and were able to stir my team to the right direction. The activities were appropriate and fit so well to our theme. Words cannot express the huge impact they left on us, my management team were so impressed and cannot stop talking about the sterling job they have done. Well done. Thanks TBAE for the great service, you are the best and super professional. Looking forward to working with you in future.” Lebo Maphosa, NNR

“Just a quick note to say thank you for the awesome team building last week. Our team had a blast. The team build achieved what it set out to do, teamwork and also enjoying what you do. The facilitators were great and did an excellent job with getting the team going and to participate.” Veni, Standard Bank

See more testimonials about team building

As you can see there are many reasons why team building is important. The question is really not whether team building is important, but can your team afford not to do team building.

 

Team Building Quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien

Team Building Quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic. He was born in Bloemfontein in South Africa and is best known as the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. He was at one time a close friend of C.S. Lewis, and were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972. He is seen by many as the “father” of modern fantasy literature, and in 2008 The Times ranked him sixth on a list “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

We have put together a collection of quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien, which you can use to motivate and build your team:

“You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Short cuts make long delays.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out. – J. R. R. Tolkien

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

Every change in the team begins with a leadership decision. Making the decision to institute changes is not always easy. Being prepared, planning well, and being surrounded by a good team will make that decision a lot easier.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Preparing and Planning for Change in Your Team

Begin by putting yourself in a positive frame of mind. You are likely to experience higher than normal levels of stress and knowing this beforehand will give you the ability to be prepared mentally and you will be the anchor person and the foundation, and with your steady hand will guide your team through the stressful events. Be a reassuring and active force throughout the whole process.

It is impossible to prepare for every contingency, but planning for the known is a must. Add time or extra room in the schedule for the unknowns.When you encounter an unexpected event, your schedule should not off by much if you have built in some leeway. It will provide that buffer that gives you and your team the ability to deal with the unknowns and keep rolling with the change process.

Delegating to Other Team Members

Surround yourself with people in the team that you can delegate to and be confident in their abilities and skills. Be precise and specific with your directions as when the change process begins you will be depending on these individuals and their talents. Communicating and providing feedback are the keys to successful delegation; make sure your team understands this. If communication fails or there is not accurate feedback the chances of a success are lessened.

An issue that sometimes arises when delegating is micro-managing. Keep an eye out to not micro-manage as you can quicklylose track of events and it will take time away from your main duties. Delegating is a skill that takes time as you must first learn the strengths and weakness of your team and know what tasks you can and cannot hand out. It may not be possible to always delegate, but when it can, it will provide a great resource.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open in the Team

Always be available during the change process. Before the change prepare your friends and family that you may not be available for social events. Reassure your team that you are there for them and you are here to provide them with the necessary resources to lead them through the change. Stress to them that you are available and focused on keeping the communications lines open.

Always be aware of rumors, they will happen before, during and after the change. Do not ignore any rumor, put out honest and clear communication as soon as possible. Reassure your team that if they hear a rumor to seek out more information from a reliable source. Remind them that spreading rumors helps no one and will cause more harm than good.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Coping with Push-back from the Team

Not everyone in the team will agree on the change. Keep in mind that these types of feelings are normal as people generally do not enjoy change and are sometimes made nervous by it. You will likely encounter push-back and resistance by some team members.

Provide facts and data to show why the change is happening and reassure them the need and benefits of the change. These types of individuals are best suited to be educated bout the change with information. If you are encountering an extreme case of push-back in your team, provide them with some choices that still fall within the spectrum of the intended change. They should then feel more involved in the process and it will help alleviate the negative mindset they may be experiencing.