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Team building is a misnomer

First, let’s talk about what team building is – and what it is not. It’s not an event. Does this surprise you, coming from a company that specializes in team building? Yes, we do events, but there is a lot more to team building than you might realize!

Some people think team building is an event; they do it once and stop. They are often surprised when the results stop, too.

Team building is something you cultivate every day.

Let us share with you our point of view based on 18 years of experience leading more than 1,300 groups through life-changing adventures.

There are five things we believe to be true about team building. And we’re pretty sure it’s not what you think. 

Cross-team collaboration is the greatest opportunity for Corporate America

Corporate America talks incessantly about cross-team collaboration. What is it? We view cross-team collaboration as two or more teams working together to achieve a single goal. How often does it really happen? Rarely. Research, and our experience, shows that most teams naturally head straight to competition, rather than collaboration.

And Corporate America fosters this behavior. “They” say they want everyone to collaborate. Yet, employees are often incented to compete with each other.

How many times have you shared your bonus with your team? If you were financially rewarded based on your team’s performance, would you do things differently?

Leaders plan an event once and check team building off their list for the year. There is a better way.

Team building is a lot like software. It needs to be upgraded regularly. Your team, just like your computer, is vulnerable to attack when you don’t upgrade your system. And we know you experience peak performance when you upgrade.

Software is like an operating system for a group. Every group has norms; some are good and some are not so good. Think of team building as the upgrade for your team’s operating system; it needs to happen every day.

Build relationships long before you need them.

Team building is a process that starts way before you ever need the team. It accelerates relationship building. Relationships build trust. And trust paves the way for speed.  A trusted friend is much more likely to support your new idea or help you meet a crazy deadline, than a stranger.

True team building will never happen over coffee, lunch or bowling.

You build relationships by having a shared experience, which is part of what team building is about. Is your team member social, inclusive or analytical? You can learn a lot more about someone in an hour of well-designed play than you can working with him or her every day for a month.

Who wins?

Every team that builds communication and trust – wins. While 100% of the teams we work with increase their communication and trust, only 1% of teams perform at the highest level.

Do you want to be in that 1%? Stay tuned to our message series to learn about what we call ‘The law of 80/19/1’.

Tell us your truth. What do you believe about team-building?

  • Join the conversation by adding a comment to this post below.
  • Call or email us to discuss your team building needs.

We look forward to helping you create your next life-changing adventure!

john@geoteaming.com | (206) 856-8491

Life-Changing Adventures. Breakthrough Results.

Originally published on LinkedIn.

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