If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably searching for a team building presentation. But stop, wait! I don’t think you should be looking for a team building presentation. A presentation implies a person delivering content to you, talking at you, rather than collaborating. Team building shouldn’t work that way.
The Team Building Presentation You Don’t Want
Have you ever had to sit through a colleague’s presentation that went sort of like this, “Hey folks, I’ve done the research, stayed up all night and created this really interesting power point. I think it will show us all how to improve our teamwork, increase performance and build trust. No where’s my clicker…” zZzZzZzZ. You don’t want this.
The Presentation You Do Want
What you really want and what you definitely need is a team building activity. This would be a program that’s facilitated with you and your team as active participants. When I talk with a potential team building client, I stress to him or her that the group will be doing the heavy lifting, (metaphorically speaking), the actual work that makes up the activity.
The role of the best team building facilitators is not to present, but to guide and collaborate. The best kind of team building is the kind in which everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets involved.
Now that you know you’re not really looking for a team building presentation, you can begin to look for the specific type of team building you want and need for your group.
Know How To Plan For Success
Before you can find something, you have to know what you’re looking for.
- Why? What is your main objective for your team building event? Do you know why you’re willing to invest time to plan, execute and pay for a team program? Do you have one main objective or a few objectives? Take time to discuss potential team building with your key stakeholders. Perhaps you need to bring people together after a merger or acquisition. Perhaps you’re launching a new initiative and need to get everyone aligned with mission and goals. Perhaps you need to build camaraderie or trust. And if your main objective is simply to have fun, that’s okay too!
- What Fits Your Team? Do you have colleagues with physical limitations? If so, you probably won’t want to go on a ropes course or white water rafting. Does your workforce skew young, old or in between? Different age groups have different expectations. While you’ll never make everyone equally happy, it’s important to rule out activities that will turn off a large part of your team from the outset. It’s a great idea to ask for input, but you’ll never make everyone happy. So eliminate programs that would exclude some of your team members while keeping as many options open as possible.
- When? Find a time and an environment that allows your program to be successful. This takes planning and forethought by both you and your professional facilitator. For example, I led a large group program a few years ago that became an incredible challenge for the simple reason that no one had eaten since breakfast and we began our program in the late afternoon. People were too hungry to care about a group activity that didn’t include food and drink. I learned that I have to ask my clients about more than just team building. I have to make sure they’ll be ready to play with us!
There are lots of great programs to choose from. You can choose ropes courses, amazing race programs, trapeze, white water rafting, building with Lego’s, music team building, a cooking competition, improv or movie making to name just a few ideas.
Here are some common attributes all the best programs share.
- Genuine experience – Genuine means that everyone is engaged. You can’t force feed content. Successful team programs draw people in so they actively participate. The best activities will pull you from hesitancy to acceptance to enthusiasm.
- Fun and interactive – Fun follows genuine or maybe genuine follows fun! They most definitely go hand in hand because you can’t be bored and be having fun at the same time. And you won’t have fun in a program that’s forced or not genuine.
- Great leadership – To achieve success here you need to make sure you’ve hired the best team building facilitators. I really believe that almost any activity can be made into a team event. Planning and facilitation make or break every program. Your facilitators must be relatable, enthusiastic and skilled at appealing to everyone on your team.
- Meaningful Takeaways – If you’re making a movie or writing a song, the obvious takeaway would be your song or movie you’ve created. But additionally, every program should have takeaways that are lessons learned and action steps your team can use to improve performance, communication and trust.
Team Building ROI
When I started leading team building programs I did some research, trying to come up with metrics that proved there’s ROI from these events. It’s sort of impossible to find metrics that prove ROI in a narrow sense. But while the metrics may be soft there is most definitely value.
As a life long creative I’ve reframed the traditional concept of ROI into something I call ROInspiration®. If you participate in a successful team building session you should come out of that session feeling inspired. Inspired to communicate more openly with your colleagues. Or inspired to continue your renewed enthusiasm for your team’s mission. Or inspired to build on the positive feelings your team building event created.
If you harness your inspiration you’ll be more creative and innovative. You’ll be a better problem solver, a better co-worker and a better leader. Inspiration gives us confidence, energy and stamina. It allows us to see things from a glass half full perspective. If you can hold onto your inspiration, which is one of the takeaways from a successful team building activity, you’ll see real ROI for yourself and your entire team.
So forget the old concept of team building presentation. Don’t just sit back. Roll up your sleeves, break a sweat and crack a smile. This is the team building you want and need.