I recently participated in a team building afternoon, and I must say it was a success.  I did not coordinate or facilitate the team building, and it was not even my idea. However, I was the first non facilitator present because I knew this was a potential boost my team needed. Our team had been way too busy for months, and we seemed to have lost our morale.  I can’t say we were super negative or lost our work ethic, but we may have lost our sense of humor and our interest in  each other in a good way.  I must say I am speaking from my own perspective, and the other team members have their own thoughts and feelings about our team atmosphere.  I want to focus on how successful a team building afternoon can be if done well, and ours was done well and successfully.

One thing the facilitators did well was leading a variety of mini activities.  This helped to appeal to different personalities and various learning styles on the team.  So, if one activity was not a person’s favorite, the next one could be.  I especially liked the tasks we accomplished with the entire team as I liked being with the whole team.

Another aspect of the set up that was smart was that the facilitators had the group change teams a lot, so we were always interacting with different people and got to eventually work with everyone.  This supported all of us being able to get to know everyone better.  It was wise to split up the two teams of the overall team, so we were able to get to spend time with people we do not see or might not talk to as much.

A third helpful thing the group facilitators’ role modeled was not focusing on who won a particular game, but seamlessly moving onto the next game.  So it was a bit competitive, but it did not get overly competitive.  They focused on creating cohesion, bonding and fun.

The final success was the activities resulted in humor which had us laughing so hard.  We got to see different personality styles, different levels of athleticism, and different peoples’ strengths and weaknesses, but everyone was supportive.  We were talking and laughing about the team building afternoon for days.  It really helped me realize I want to stay connected with and have fun with my team, even when work is stressful or overwhelming.

Has your team had a team building day?      Maybe it is just what your team could use!