Just when I begin to think I’m an expert at successful team building strategies, I’ll facilitate a program that reminds me how much I still have to learn. When that happens I’m reminded that I learn more from my failures than from my successes. Failure creates wonderful opportunity to reflect, to strategize and to envision a better future. Conflict, much like failure, can be embraced as a call to action; as an imperative to move forward and evolve as a team. I recently facilitated a team building program in which my usually successful team building strategies fell short. This particular group had enough creative conflict to fill more than our allotted session time and I wasn’t prepared for that. While that particular team building day wasn’t my most personally satisfying, it’s proven to be a great learning experience for me. It forced me to stretch beyond my usual experience and think about how to be better at what I do.
Failure, Conflict and Collaboration
When I’m driving home after a successful gig, I’m most likely thinking about what to have for dinner or how to spend a relaxing evening. But if I’m driving home after an unsuccessful gig, my thinking cap is still on. I’m thinking about what I missed, how I could’ve done better, what learning do I need to do to improve and more. One of the most important successful team building strategies for your own team is to work through this same thought process both individually and collectively. When your team is missing the mark, there’s probably conflict arising from your awareness of failure. Embrace the conflict in an environment that allows everyone to share ideas and future thinking without being judged.
…Without Being Judged
It may be a great idea to bring in an outside team building facilitator to create an environment in which you can brainstorm freely in an open setting focused on the future, rather than past recrimination.
Successful Team Building Strategies Include
- Using failure as a catalyst to learning
- Focus on learning and problem solving opportunities with an eye to the future
- Create an environment in which team members can communicate without judgement
- Bring in an outside facilitator when needed