Myths About Team Building

Posted on May 27, 2010

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Having played on sports teams most of my life (which included a brief NFL career) and working on teams in companies and organizations, I know how important “team building” is. But my experiences (more off the field than on) tell me that very few people understand what the term really means and how hard it is to do. So when people hear “team building” they think of things that are so far from true. Let me give you a few.

Team building is not…

1. A weekend retreat with your colleagues, sitting in circles playing games and “bonding”. While this has it’s benefits, team building is “bonding” everyday in the office around the goals for your organization.

2. A brown bag series on strengths, personality types or communication. You should do these things, but it won’t build your team or enhance their performance if you don’t incorporate it in the daily game plan.

3. “Casual Friday”. This does little if anything for your team. Regardless of what you wear to the office, the relaxed, open environment should be intentional, everyday, not just on Fridays.

4.  Any annual or stand alone gathering/activity. This is more like herding than team building. You build closeness and trust everyday, not at gatherings.

5. Recruiting the best talent. Ask Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskins owner, if 8 head coaches (with good reputations) in 11 seasons and millions of dollars in high-priced free agents will build your team into a winner. (For those of you who don’t follow sports, the answer is NO!)

The overall them is this: Team Building is something you have to do everyday. It is not events, meetings, retreats or games. What are you doing everyday?

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