Tag: Team Building Facilitation

How To Prepare For a Team Building Session

How To Prepare For a Team Building Session

In order to be ready to welcome participants to your team building session, you must be prepared. Try to get a good night’s sleep beforehand, and leave yourself plenty of time so that you arrive at the team building venue early.

If your team building session is technology heavy, arrive 45-60 minutes before your session starts in order to set up, test, and work out any problems before your participants arrive. If you are walking into a session where the technology is already set up, or you are not using a laptop/presentation style approach, arrive 30 minutes early.

Other things you will want to do:

  • Set up your materials
  • Make sure the team building area is prepared properly
  • Locate the washrooms
  • Locate emergency exits

If your team building session runs for more than one day and everything is in working order, you can arrive 15 minutes early for day two onward, but be sure to calculate traffic and other factors (such as weather) properly. It is important that you arrive before your participants do, and that you are ready and able to welcome them.

Your welcome should include the following:

  • Make sure that the team building area is welcoming and ready before participants arrive
  • Greet participants individually as they arrive and invite them into the team building area
  • Ask them to sign in and make themselves a name tag or tent card if you are using them
  • Invite them to help themselves to a refreshment if they are available
  • As you get things underway, introduce yourself (or have another facilitator/host introduce you) to break the ice and establish your credibility
  • Have the participants introduce themselves
  • Review the agenda for the day so that people know what to expect
  • Asked participants about their expectations and personal learning objectives

When you ask participants about their expectations, be prepared for them to have thought of things that you may not have, but don’t worry. If there are things that people were looking for that you can incorporate in some way, then it is recommended that you do so. If you are not able to incorporate them, assure the participants that you can provide them with information that they need, and be sure to follow up.

 

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Step by Step Guide to Deliver Great Team Building Activities

Step by Step Guide to Deliver Great Team Building Activities

The following is a guide that will help you deliver effective team building activities that encourage teamwork, communication, creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, time management, trust and support. It takes you step by step through each phase of the team building activity, from selecting the appropriate exercise to reinforcing the learning outcomes.

Related: Effective Team Building Activities

Step 1 – Select Team Building Exercises Appropiate to Your Team

To select the right exercises you must understand the purpose of the team building event and identify learning objectives. The age, ability and any physical limitations of the team members also need to be taken into consideration. Select a number of team building exercises that suite the group and venue, and that will help you achieve your learning objective.

Step 2 – Prepare For Your Team Building Activity

Go through the activity notes and gather any equipment or learning materials. Practice presenting the team building exercises to gain a better understanding of the activity and identify potential problems. Set up the activity area at the team building venue and identify and remove any hazards or potential safety issues.

Step 3 – Introduction and Explanation of the Team Building Activities

Introduce yourself to the group, discuss the importance of teamwork and the learning objectives of the team building activities. Introduce the team building exercise and outline the rules of the exercise. Obtain feedback to ensure that the team understands the activity and clarify the instructions. Provide the team with the equipment needed for the activity.

Step 4 – Run the Team Building Activity

During the activity, encourage and support the team members. Observe and note anything you can use later during the review. If there are time constraints on the activity, make sure you watch the clock and give the team a ‘time check’ occasionally. Do not stop the activity unless you run into serious issues.

Step 5 – Debrief the Team Building Activity

During the debrief, try not to call on anyone by name unless you have to. Be comfortable with silence. Watch for head nodding, smiles, and other indications that they agree with what is being said by others. If any team members give a response that is wrong or inappropriate, ask the team how they feel about it rather than correcting someone. Remember that even if the activity did not go as planned, most participants probably learned something. Try to use a mix of reviewing methods, reflection and questions to engage the team and draw out key learning outcomes.

Step 6 – Reinforce the Learning

Encourage the team leader to display anything the team created during the activity at their workplace. Advise team leaders to often refer to the activities and the lessons learned when they are coaching, giving feedback, or conducting meetings. The team leader should watch for examples of how the participants used what was learned in the team building activities. The team leader can also follow up a couple of days later and ask participants to share what impact the activities had on them.

 

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Team Building Event Planning Do’s and Don’ts

In this blog,  we will look at a list of do’s and don’ts to consider when planning your next team building event. The list is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but should give you a good idea of some important aspects to look at when planning your next team building event.

Team Building Events Planning

Team Building Event Planning Don’ts

  • Team building activities should never be overly competitive. The goal of team building is to get team members to work together and not working against each other, which is often what happens when activities become too competitive. Competition can often divide groups and it is better to stick with activities where members truly have to depend on each other to succeed. Some form of score keeping helps to keep the activities focused, but it should be kept light-hearted, and winning should not be over emphasised.
  • When planning your team building event make sure that the activities will not be to physically demanding for the participants involved. The fitness and abilities of the team as a whole should be taken into consideration. You want to make sure that everybody can be equally involved in the activities, and it is essential to be aware of any physical handicaps or weaknesses within the team.
  • The activities that you are planning for your team building event should always have a good balance. On one  hand, the activities should not be too strenuous but also not be too mindless, causing the participants to lose interest. In the same way, the event should neither be just about fun but also not be draining physically or emotionally. Also, beware of making the event overly comical or complicated. The activities chosen should support the main message and not detract from it.
  • Team building should focus on team work and not be about rewarding individuals. The activities should be structured in such a way that competitive individuals cannot succeed without the participation of all the team members.
  • Do not spend all of the budget available on food and accommodation but make some funds available for facilitation fees. Hiring an experienced team building facilitator will ensure that your event is successful and that all your colleagues can participate in the event.

Team Building Event Do’s

  • When you plan a team building event try to keep the activities in the context of the normal way of doing business for the participants involved. This will help to ensure that the participant will be able to apply the lessons learned in the event to their everyday working environment.
  • Try and arrange activities that have similar challenges to that which the participants might experience in their daily tasks. Successful team building depends on how much the activities create a microcosm of real challenges the participants face on a daily basis.
  • Consider hiring professionals to facilitate your team building event. Good team building facilitation companies have strong working relationships with venues, and they will often be able to arrange not only facilitation for the team building activities but also a team building venue, as well as conferencing facilities if required.
  • Take time to clarify the aims of the team building event before contacting a prospective facilitator for the event. Having a clear understanding of why your company needs team building will help you to communicate your requirements to the team building facilitator.
  • Put plans into place to follow up the event with meaningful work activities. If team building exercises do not have any follow up activities in the work place, employees will more often than not see team building as a once-off event and, therefore, a waste of time and energy.
  • Effective team building is a ongoing process. Together with regular team building events, you should also incorporate team building exercises in the work place on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Make plans to follow up on the lessons learned in the team building event. The purpose of following up should be to re-emphasise lessons learned in the team building exercises and to measure the teams’s progress.

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