Before we begin a Signature Teambuilding activity, I often ask participants to line up on an imaginary line based on their inclination towards team building. To the left of the line are the people that would rather die than participate in team building and to the right of the line are the people that enjoy, even love, team building and are happy to be there. While lining up, people have to talk and share their reasoning for why they feel the way they do. I like this exercise because it encourages honesty about people’s past experiences. In my 30 years in the field, I have heard some horror stories about some team building experiences.
Team Building Horror Stories
1. Our team actually got in a fight because they were so competitive.
2. I was horrified to be seen in a bathing suit in front of my work mates.
3. It was a waste of time. They should have put that money in my paycheck!
4. The activities were so silly, they made me feel stupid.
5. It was supposed to be team building but the same groups of people stayed together the whole time.
6. That was nothing more than a day out of the office. I didn’t learn anything and now I am backed up at work.
While we can’t predict what you’ll gain from the experience, we can guarantee that you won’t feel exposed, silly, or that your time out of office was spent wasted. Our activities are fun, inclusive, and designed to get every individual team member interacting in a new and changing way. It’s best to come with an open mind and an attitude that the experience will be completely different than anything you’ve tried before.
Everyone’s Tailored Approach
Once the group has finished lining up, my work is cut out for me. For the people that love team building, I need to make sure I meet what may be high expectations. For the people in the middle, I want to show them that team building can add real value and encourage them to re-think the way they lead and show up in a team environment. As for those people at the “I’d rather die” end of the line, I really hope I can change their view of team building by inviting them into the process, not forcing it, and creating A-HA moments they weren’t expecting. It helps to come in to the program with an open mind but that can be easier said than done, given how much past experiences weigh on our perspective.
Encouraging an Open Mind
When participating in one of our challenges, we encourage teams to forget what they’ve heard, seen, or imagined and come prepared to be transformed, both personally and professionally. The one thing we do want our participants to expect from Signature Teambuilding is lasting change if they continue to utilize the successful behaviors highlighted in each of our unique programs.