Team Building Day Tips

meercats having a team dayIn times of change and austerity team building can fall off the agenda, which is somewhat short-sighted as a good team day can revitalise lots of staff in a very cost effective way, and help them manage times of change. Team building (or team development) is very important to organisations, and to employees.  However,  if not enough attention is paid to what you want from a team day, it can go spectacularly wrong!

Here are my tips for a good one:

  • Lower your expectations. If you have a long standing problem in your team one day is unlikely to fix it. It could help you identify a plan for dealing with it but rarely does a single team day fix it, whatever anyone says on the day!
  • Don’t fill your time so that no one has time to think. The normal working week is usually chock full so design a team day that will allow people some time and space to reflect.
  • Remember that location can have a dramatic effect on how people approach the day. And a nice lunch always helps!
  • You don’t always need an external person. Try asking the team to design their day.
  • Sometimes you do need an external facilitator, especially if it’s important that the manager participates. Otherwise you run the risk of just perpetuating what goes on day after day in your workplace.
  • Don’t put pressure on people to ’emote’. This is work and people’s feelings and personal issues should be respected. If it is appropriate to address those type of issues do it privately. Allow people to keep their dignity. Remember that the power of the group may mean people say things that they later regret or cannot follow through on.
  • If you are using an external facilitator for your team day ask for some follow up to keep you focussed on your aims.
  • Have a laugh! Invoke the spirit of appreciative inquiry and don’t focus only on what is wrong. Spend a lot of time congratulating yourselves on what you also do well and plan to do more of that!

I have run numerous team days using the above principles and I love it. I use all sorts of different techniques like knitting (yes, I did say knitting-you’d be surprised!), music, visualisations, but definitely never, ever any role play!   I want everyone to have a positive experience, not sit in fear and dread most of the day! Each day is designed specifically for the client; I don’t follow a pre-set plan or programme.

If you’d like to talk to me, at no obligation, about your own team development you can call me on 01761 438749 or use the enquiries page.


Posted on October 20th, 2009 by

One Response to “Team Building Day Tips”

  1. Sharon says:

    Just been told that I am a radiator, lovely, feeling a warm glow and so pleased that I am not an old boiler! Thank you x

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