Skeptical. Reserved. Tentative. As soon as I move a group workshop toward corporate team building games, it's inevitable that at least a few people will be uncomfortable, at least initially.
In anticipation of this discomfort, team leaders (and often trainers) seem to prefer corporate team building games that are more complicated, more challenging and longer-lasting. I'm not a fan of this approach. Here's why:
1. It's often an over-reaction to the group's discomfort
Maybe it's okay for people to be skeptical, reserved and tentative. In fact, when building a team's trust and unity, working through those kinds of feelings together is a plus. Trusting the process instead of trying to distract the group is often the best choice.
2. Unnecessary complexity takes away from the desired outcomes
Determining the desired outcomes is always the best place to start. When the desired outcomes are things like building trust, demonstrating the importance of working together, or getting better acquainted with each other, simple and straight-forward corporate team building games are usually best. When the games have detailed rules, long processes or complicated steps, those outcomes get lost.
On the other hand, if the desired outcomes are to build problem-solving skills or observe how different people take on different roles, a higher degree of complexity may be warranted.
Rather than looking at outcomes, facilitators sometimes stereotype groups instead. For example, assuming that groups of engineers need complex problems to solve may be misdirected. Perhaps they could benefit from doing something outside the norm in order to develop team unity.
3. People check out instead of getting and staying engaged
When tasks are complicated or when there are conflicting interpretations of instructions, some members of a group will pull back. Since corporate team building games are almost always intended to draw a group together, this is unfortunate. Select activities that won't sideline members of the group or cause people to disengage.
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If you need effective tools or corporate team building games that will help your team connect, give us a call! Or for some of our favorite team activities, take a look back at our recent posts like this one. Here at People First Productivity Solutions, we build organizational strength by putting people first.
Next Steps for Boosting Team Effectiveness with Corporate Team Building Games:
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Deb Calvert is President of People First Productivity Solutions, the company that helps you build organizational strength by putting people first. Book Deb today to facilitate critical team meetings, to speak at your leadership or team events, to conduct MBTI workshops to improve team effectiveness, or to work with you as your executive coach.