Three things to avoid to ensure a great team building workshop

SkyeTeam Morag Barrett Leadership Development

My team and I have partnered with hundreds of teams across the globe, all looking to take their performance to the next level. These team effectiveness sessions are planned and designed in partnership with the team and team leader. It’s one of the many things I love about the work we do. Team effectiveness sessions that focus on HOW business gets done, not just WHAT needs to be achieved.

Done well, team effectiveness sessions can have a powerful and lasting impact. Done poorly, then the team session becomes a nightmare that will undermine future efforts. The ill thought through trust-falls, the fun-fun-fun but with no business focus or outcome, team building activities that exclude rather than include all of the team members.

The result is team effectiveness gets a bad rap, spending time on building a high performance team and the people dynamics is misperceived as “soft skills”. However, neglect the “soft skills” and business very quickly becomes “hard”! It’s why I do what I do (and love it) having moved from a corporate finance environment where “it’s not personal… it’s business” was the mantra. Ha!! This couldn’t be farther from (my) truth… “business IS personal

Here are three approaches that guarantee a team building flop.

“Can you do that in an hour?” I realize that we are all under time pressure, however we are often asked, having discussed a full day event, if we can do it quicker, in less time. Ultimately the answer is “Yes” we could provide something that fits in the one-hour time slot you have (which in all likelihood will be condensed to 45 minutes as your other agenda items run over) but this would not do you, or us, any good. A quick “fill the time activity” will invariably just scratch at the surface, be perceived as “fluff” and further undermine the credibility of any future teamwork efforts.
Experience tells me that it took you more than 45 minutes to get into the situation you want resolved, so be prepared to invest the appropriate amount of time, care and attention, to get yourselves out of it.

Looking for the silver bullet. A team that is struggling does not fix itself with one single event. At SkyeTeam we are VERY good at what we do, however we can’t work miracles, though many of our clients wish we could. There is unlikely to be one single intervention that will solve the team’s challenges. If there were, you would have done it by now! (At least, I hope you would’ve.)
We were discussing this with a leader recently who commented that it was less of a silver-bullet that was needed, and more like a silver BB gun… little steps that together help to transform the team.

All talk, no action. A team effectiveness session, planned and executed well, will result in powerful conversation, new understanding, a common language and framework that defines high performance and a clear plan of action to achieve success. All great stuff. Team members will leave feeling good about naming the “elephants in the room” that may have been holding them back. However too often this is where the team building stops, at the door to the meeting room.
The team session will be a waste of time without ACTION. To be successful there has to be a change in behavior, individually and collectively.

There, three mistakes guaranteed to ensure that your team effectiveness session is a flop.

If you’d like to learn how we at SkyeTeam support our clients in building high performing teams then contact us at 303 800 5442 we’d love to share our experience and help you to take your team to the next level.