Team Building - Team Development And Training

Written by Michael Federico
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Team building is a crucial effort in the continuing development of any company, whether brand new or firmly established. A company's employees are its best resources, and uniting them to think, act, and function as a team is vital in any industry. There are many different ways to build a team: interactive activities, skill development workshops, and last but not least, simply taking the time to get to know one another on a professional basis. What are the special talents and skills that each team member brings to the table? If you can't answer that question, you and your team may need to dig a little deeper.

For any team building activity to be successful, it must actively engage the participants. They should be talking to each other, interacting, questioning, sharing, and delving into problem solving together. Simply sitting in a conference room and listening to a guest speaker won't bring people together; however, getting your employees on a ropes course and asking them to work together and trust each other will do just that.

Team Building Exercises

There are some basic requirements a team needs to fulfill in order to function well. Besides having a clear understanding of his or her duties, each employee needs to know what the other team members' roles are. A strong sense of personal goals, departmental goals, and organizational goals is imperative. To achieve this, many companies enlist the assistance of team building consultants and ask them to help implement tools and strategies that promote stronger team dynamics.

Team building exercises can be anything you want them to be. They can be designed to complement your unique corporate culture, from simple training programs that can take place in the office to seminars, workshops, and retreats in off-site locations. Some consulting firms specialize in helping members of an organization come together to work efficiently by organizing and leading activities that emphasize trust and communication. These activities pose problems that encourage strong communication and team strategizing. A good consulting firm will provide hands-on activities that are far removed from dry, textbook-style exercises.

Developing Leaders through Team Building

Not every employee is eager to take up the mantle of leadership in the business world. More and more, people are seeking out jobs with very little responsibility. This has made the search for quality managers extremely difficult for companies of all sizes.

Without fail, during the course of a team building program, a leader will emerge. He or she may be someone who was clearly destined to be a manager or executive. However, he or she may also be a person whom others never thought about in terms of leadership. Outside of the typical office environment, where roles have been set over time, new abilities can shine through. Employees have a chance to let their true personalities and abilities shine through, for managers and co-workers to see and appreciate.

Hiring Consultants to Assist with Team Building

Many managers send their teams on team building retreats so that members can engage with one another outside of their pre-set patterns. For companies that need their staff to remain in the office, performance coaches can spend time with a particular department, in-house, to determine how it is functioning. These coaches gather feedback from differing sources and compile profiles on each employee. This practice can also be accomplished by certain software packages, if time or cost restricts a company from enlisting the services of a consultant.

The process by which a performance coach makes changes can be carried out over an extended period of time, in order to clearly define and meet specific goals. The most successful consultants make teamwork and leadership theories comprehensible, but they also make them relevant to real-world situations and strategies. Assessing your team is the first step in any team building activity. Once you have identified the weaknesses to address, you can use the strengths of your team to eliminate them.


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