by Paul Tobey
There has been a lot of focus in recent years
on team building. But what is it exactly and why is it important?
Well, to make it really simple; when you work as a team you can
accomplish more than if you’re on your own. It’s a lot
easier pushing a horse cart up a hill if you have a team, that’s
for darn sure.
However, forming a dynamic team and getting
them to work together is, more often than not, a very difficult
task. That’s why many businesses are now hiring expert professionals
to come into their organizations and do team building seminars.
What’s the biggest challenge to getting
a team to work together? It’s simple. Ego! You, see it’s
not that people don’t want to work together it’s that
the human mind has been conditioned to look for weakness in others.
Why? Because, the mind wants to feel good about itself.
In a competitive environment, the mind is constantly
judging others. And, while that temporarily makes you feel better
about your own situation, in the long term you are setting yourself
up for failure. When a group of individuals are all fighting for
position, the team can easily fall apart. It’s only when you
can get the ego of the way and focus on what’s really important
can a group of people work together as one.
Effective team building is all about energy.
If there’s any negative energy at all it can easily divide
the group. How many of you have seen camps form in even the smallest
of groups? I’ve been on many executive boards and more often
than not there are at least two sides who are always opposed to
anything the other side puts forward. This is more often than not
a very big problem and one which very few people know how to deal
So, how do you combat this problem? How do you
fix the divisions that inevitably creep their way into the vast
majority of teams? Well, I’ve got to tell you it’s not
easy by any stretch of the imagination but it can be done and here’s
a glimpse into how go about it.
First, when I step into any group dynamic the
first thing I do is find out what the ultimate goal is. That’s
so important because if a group doesn’t know where they’re
going they’ll end up somewhere else. If a team doesn’t
have clarity on what they want, they’ll never ever get it.
Clarity is power and I always find out first what it is the team
Secondly, I explain to most people what a team
is. In my experience very few people actually know this. A team
is a group of people working together to realize a “dream.”
There’s big difference between working towards a dream and
just keeping the bottom line. If you’re constantly focused
on keeping the bottom line then that’s where you’ll
always be. Find out what the ultimate goal is and it’ll make
the whole process a gazillion times easier.
Thirdly, I get people to focus on how they can
benefit by taking part in realizing this dream. If people do not
feel they will benefit from it, how the heck do you think you’ll
be able to tap into 100% of their energy? People want to feel safe,
valuable and loved and one way to do that is to make them realize
what they’ll get if they participate in and make this dream
a reality. I call it the WIIFM question. What’s in it for
Next, I teach people how to behave as a team.
And, this is where it gets tricky. Because the glue that holds the
entire organization together is the biggest challenge. In fact it’s
the exact opposite of ego and that is; accountability. You see,
everyone in any team is inevitably responsible for everyone else.
That means you help others when you can. You teach them what you
know and what’s worked for you. You remain open to learning
from others and learn what they know that can help you. I know that
sounds like a mouthful but, in short, when you are responsible for
the success of others you’ll get more success for the group
and ultimately, for yourself.
Finally, once the team understands the behaviors
and habits of successful teams, it’s time to give them the
biggest lesson of all. The team needs to have clarity on how to
achieve their goal. You see I’ve only explained so far what
it is you need to do, I haven’t explained how to do it. And,
that’s why team building seminars are so important because
there are limitations to what you can learn by simply reading a
book or an article.
Understanding group psychology and natural human
behaviors is only one element. Understanding your own corporate
or organizational culture is another. Understanding your own team
and harnessing their collective power is magical. Successful teams
have successful habits. Successful teams work both creatively and
as a unit. Successful teams have a clear goal. Successful teams
share both individual and team accountability. Team building seminars
offer very specific real life situations designed to get people
working with effortless mastery. If your team needs a boost, consider
tapping into the magic of team building seminars.
to Team Building Seminar
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