Can anyone really pick the five best of anything? I don’t believe there is a static ‘top five best team building programs’ list. But I believe there are five very important attributes the best team building programs share. If you choose a program with the best attributes or features, then you’ll get great results. One year you might decide to use music for team building and the next year you might decide to take your team up a mountain. The success of these programs, and your ROI, are determined by who’s facilitating and how well the activity is structured to your team’s needs.
5 Things The Best Team Building Programs Have in Common
- Disruption: Routine works best when it’s new. But after a while, it’s well…merely routine. While every organization needs established work flow and routines, efficiency and enthusiasm decrease over time as part of a natural cycle. Positive disruption to shake up routine is a powerful way to re-energize your work force. Positive disruption will help you step back and gain perspective on where you are and where you’d like to be. The best team building programs employ positive disruption.
- Listening: The best leaders are great listeners. The best teams are comprised of members who listen to each other openly. A good team building program creates an atmosphere in which listening happens. Hierarchy and old patterns should be suspended and hopefully dissolved, at least for a time. When colleagues listen to each other openly and feel safe discussing and debating, great things happen.
- Sharing: Sharing is closely linked to listening. When you listen to someone it implies that you’re allowing them to express themselves and share a part of themselves. In a program that allows brainstorming (open exchange of ideas), people feel safe sharing.
- Developing: The foundation of any successful team building program is development. A successful program will start with your team as it currently exists. It will then take everyone through an experience that moves people forward toward positive change, or positive reinforcement of the inherent qualities that already make your team successful – or both! You want to begin somewhere, experience something, and end with a feeling of transformation and empowerment. That’s development!
- Take-Aways: The development described above is a take-away. A feeling among your group is a take-away. A debrief session can provide you with specific action steps as follow up. When we work with clients, the songs they create are powerful take-aways that help extend the impact of a team building day.
I didn’t mention fun on my list above. But fun is foundational to any successful group experience. Find a program that is fun in an honest way and that matches your team dynamic. Then find a team building provider who will deliver on the five important points above.