Team Building Training
Why are people taking a more scientific approach to team building training?
Going back over time, traditional team building trips have tended to encompass rolling around in mud or building a raft to get over a stream or climbing rocks and the like. For some organizations, these have worked in the past, and so they may want to continue to have them work into the future. Platitudes and adventure are all well and good for some team building, but what do people take back to the office after running around in some woods? Why should they always work together more efficiently having got a raft that they built over a river?
The scientific approach to team building is different in that individuals within a team are tested, then once those test results have been analyzed the group can be offered concrete, specific written instructions on how their group can improve in working with each other. Using online psychological assessments like the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator you can get factual insights into how the team can process information, make their decisions and how they should best be treated to get them functioning best. At the end of the process, instead of just having mud-stains to get off your clothing, you can take away support documents to help what you've learned be retained. This eliminates the guess work from team building.
The concept of scientific team building training is to test first then train. The tests produce knowledge which can be used to customize the training session in order to match the specific configuration of your group. Whilst it is individuals that are tested, the report is configured for your whole team. The report will have practical steps to allow the individual to work better within the team, strengths and weaknesses get discussed and the team should be able to start communicating better. Within the report should be a personal action plan for each individual in the team. Included in the reports can be suggestions for how team members can improve their personal effectiveness, solve problems and resolve conflicts.
Teams that always seem to be in conflict could take the Thomas-Killmann Conflict Mode Instrument - also called TKI. This will assess each of the group members and look for the exact causes of the tension in the group. It is not effective to just do generalized assessment, you really need to get o the specifics of the problem in order to find the solution, and that is what the scientific approach to team building does.
Ultimately, the best form of team building training is when the scientific is combined with the practical. So there is nothing wrong with going on adventure outings, but the activity should have a clearly defined aim backed up by scientific findings.