No group hug, just great teambuilding...yes, you do need it.

Teambuilding - such an overused word, and so misunderstood. In our work at ignite, it is one of the first things clients think they want or need; mostly, I have found they just don’t know what they want or need and so teambuilding seems to be the catch- all request. Then a message goes out to their organization announcing, “We will be doing Teambuilding, and we will have fun!” and the answer is a collective groan, accompanied by an eye roll from all those intended participants. Hmmm-not exactly what you had in mind? Well, let’s see if we can change that.

Good, effective teambuilding is an integral part of any powerful team, whether in sports or business. To grow your organization, people need to feel connected, inspired, challenged and listened to. Surely you are doing that in the day to day, but there is something about a time set aside, just to focus on the whole team, separate from the day to day work, that can make all the difference in establishing high performance teams. But let me be clear - it does not have to be a Kumbaya session. Look at the guidelines below and you will be on your way to creating a teambuilding that will bring you, and your employees, value.

Establish a focus:

The first step is to ask yourself: what do I want to walk away with that would create value for this team/organization? Does it concern customers, strategy, service, commitment, creativity, connections, sales? It can go any way you want, but remember it is not a seminar or a lecture; it is a discussion and an opportunity for engagement. It is all in the balance. Ask your team what they want, even if they look at you funny. Keep pushing them for clarity on what would bring real value to the team if they spent X amount of time on it.

Once you have a focus, establish an agenda and pick a timeframe. Most companies do not do a whole week. If this is new to you, just go for two days the first time and one overnight. Pick a location. Do something social as a team, as well as the business discussions - something different, not just dinner - white-water raft, do a half-day community service project, hike a mountain…

Create expectation and excitement:

Set the expectations for your team. Tell them what you’re doing and why you feel you should do it. Tell them what their piece of the teambuilding is. Create excitement around the event and be enthused yourself. Be sure you are really "showing up", both mentally and physically. Do not let outside distractions get in the way of your time with your team. Ask them to do the same. Think about hiring a facilitator, at least for the first time, so you can be part of the teambuilding, instead of running it. It also helps to get a model of how to run a successful teambuilding session.

Leave with “actionables” and follow through:

Be sure you leave your teambuilding retreat with commitments of what you will do differently going back into the mayhem of daily work. Don't commit to too many, or none will be accomplished; two-three would be great. Most importantly, whatever you say you will do during the teambuilding, do it, and follow up. Nothing is more of a downer than leaving a session on a high, with expectations of changes or improvements to come, and nothing happens and no one follows up. Terrible.

Learn more about how you can teambuild more powerfully; log-on to or simply call us at 781-979-5460 and let us give you a free consultation for your next teambuilding event.

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Ignite Wednesday, November 10, 2010 @ 10:49 AM   0 Comments


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Ignite offers a variety of transforming programs that can propel you and your organization to brilliant successes. And we have experience in a wide range of industries, so we can tailor each session to specifically address your needs and goals. To learn more please contact us.