Team Building - What is Team Building?
How will it help my Team?
Team building sees members of a team study their own process of working with each other and then acts to make a climate encouraging the members of the team to contribute and feel that their contributions are valued. The energies of the team are fully directed towards task effectiveness, problem solving and maximizing how all of the members' resources are used for the purposes of achieving the team's goals. Very good team building will recognize that it isn't possible for the individual's performance to be separated fully from the performance of the team as a whole.
Team building will work at its best when it is possible to meet the following conditions:
Firstly team members need to be interdependent of each other. The team's goal should be important and each member of the team should have a commitment to the achievement of that goal. Also, team building is more likely to be successful if the desired results cannot be achieved without teamwork being involved.
Team building will also be more successful when the leader of the team possesses good people skills and is absolutely committed to the team being built, including committing sufficient time to activities that go into team building. The management of the team should be a shared function, and when a team member's experience and skills are really needed by the team then they should be given the opportunity to be the team's leader.
Each member of the team needs to be willing and capable of contributing information, experiences and skills to make the right mix for the team's purposes to be achieved. Thus, the team will have a climate where its members feel relaxed and can be open and direct when they communicate with each other. The individuals in the team mutually trust each other, in particular they trust that each of them have the capabilities and skills to contribute well to the team.
Those skills can be developed, along with the abilities of the team members because the atmosphere of trust means that they can take risks. This is sometimes needed when the goals and performance targets of the team are stretching whilst being achievable.
Team building is successful also when the roles in the team are defined, with an accepted way of communicating in place, enabling in particular the team to examine their individual weaknesses and errors without having the resort to personal attacks, which means that the group can learn from the experiences.
Finally, each team member needs to feel that he or she is able to influence the agenda of the team. Each individual feels that they have an equal influence amongst the members of the team. Thus, communication will be more successful and better teams can be built.