Last week, I surprised a group of several hundred people by taking the stage, not with my piano, but with an unfolded fitted sheet. I don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet and that’s a problem. So I asked this group of highly skilled sales executives if anyone knew how to fold a fitted sheet. I was was met with silence. Finally, I noticed someone in the back of the room, half raising her hand. I coaxed her into coming on stage and she then showed us all how it’s done. Thunderous applause and I thought to myself, ‘yikes, how am I going to follow that?’
Can you find the person on your team who knows how to fold the fitted sheet,(metaphorically), and work the magic for each particular challenge you face?
If the answer is no, then it’s time for some team building. A well facilitated team building event can be a wonderful catalyst to improve communication and help you identify the different roles your team members take.
- A Good Brainstorming Session – When I lead clients through our Team Building Through Song® program, open conversation and positive brainstorming play a big part. At a recent event, one participant told his individual story about a project he was having trouble with. As soon as he described the issue, someone else in the room lit up with a smile and described how she had solved a similar problem several months prior. Fitted sheet folded, problem solved.
- Establish Regular Times to Share Problems and Solutions – Identify everyone’s experience and expertise on an ongoing basis. Make time within your work flow to get your team together and have one person share a frustration or problem. That pesky unsolved dilemma may have been dealt with previously by someone else in the room.
- Keep A Culture of Openness – The reason to bring in an outside team building facilitator is to help your group move beyond hesitancy or conflict. Fun goes a long way toward creating an environment in which people aren’t afraid to communicate. But once you’ve opened up, you’ll need to reinforce good communication. Allow your group to share problems and identify problem solvers, rather than continue to be problem hiders.