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What is Team Building?

What is Team building? The history of team building, team building facilitators and coordinators, reasons for team building, types and methods of team building

First we need to consider the meaning of the word 'Team'. Some of the ideas and definitions that may come up around this word may include: A group of people, Co-operation, Synergy, Having one aim, Co-operation, Flexibility, Working together and Reporting to one boss. The terms associated with the word 'Team' usually has a positive connotation such Synergy and Cooperation which both are features of a team that working well together for the common good. But not all teams live up to these lofty ideals and there is often teams that are made up of highly talented individuals whose measured performance is worse than that of teams made up of less capable people. 'Reporting to one boss' is also a term that can be misleading as team structures are often more complicated than that. One individual can be a member of several teams all of which are working towards one common goal. In its broadest sense a team can be described as a group of people working towards a common goal. With this in mind Team Building can loosely be defined as a process of enabling that group of people to reach their goal.


The term "Team Building" is therefor commonly used to describe a wide range of activities and exercises which are arranged with the goal of improving team performance. Team building activities range from simple bonding exercises to complex simulations and multi-day retreats all designed to develop and maintain teamwork within a group and can be applied to businesses, sports teams, school groups and a variety of other groups. The aim of team building activities is to bring out the best in a team by encouraging self development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to solve problems as a team.

Team building has a very broad meaning; it may mean very different things to different organizations. To some it may simply mean building cohesion among participants, while to others it may mean improving communication and sharing of information between departments. In essence, team building can mean anything that helps you improve your team’s performance.

History of Team Building
McDougall (1920) is commonly credited as the first team builder and he introduced various conditions needed for a high functioning group. The emergence of the team idea can be traced back to the late 1920s and early 1930s with the now classic Hawthorne Studies. These involved a series of research activities designed to examine in-depth what happened to a group of workers under various conditions. Elton Mayo(1933), one of the original researchers, pointed out certain critical conditions which were identified for developing an effective work team ...more on history of team building

Team Building Coordinators and Facilitators
A team-building consultant is responsible for each component of a team building intervention. A team-building consultant will likely interact with the team once, or for a limited number of times. During this relationship, the consultant will actively work to assess the team, make recommendations, and provide activities (exercises that compose a team building intervention) for the team. These responsibilities usually require a team-building consultant to write a proposal after his or her evaluation of the organization and the team, indicating how he or she would go about improving the team’s performance ...more on team building consultants

Benefits of Team Building
Team Building events and activities have many benefits to your company such as improving communication and making the workplace more enjoyable. It is very helpful in motivating a team and for team members to get to know each other better. It is also very useful for making sure that all the members of a team are "on the same page" with regards to the companies objectives through goal setting activities. Through team building activities the participants often learn more about themselves especially in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as well as helping management to identify and utilise strengths in their employees ...more on benefits of team building

Types of Team Building Excercises
Communications exercises are problem solving activities that are geared towards improving communication skills. The problems and obstacles teams encounter in these exercises are solved by communicating effectively with each other. to highlight the importance of good communication in team performance and/or potential problems with communication ...more on types of team building exercises

Team Building Methods
Team building events often take participants out of their regular work context, and use the new context as an enabler of change and development. This allows team participants to get to learn more about each other in a new context. A good method for a team building will have 4 components compromised of a screening phase, analytical phase, intervention or debriefing phase and a follow up phase. The screening phase is aimed at finding the actual problems, topics and/or issues the team would like to deal with ...more on team building methods