The Truth About Team Building

Posted on June 2, 2010


So my last post was about the myths concerning team building. Most people think about it as some touchy-feely retreat or let’s bond around silly games and activities type stuff and it really isn’t. The truth is, authentic team building is hard. Here are some things I learned about team building from my days in little league to the NFL.

Authentic Team Building is about…

1. Building Trust – We all know that this is very fragile. It takes a while to build it and second to destroy it.

2. Confrontation – You must be willing to confront the brutal facts (as Jim Collins would say). But it must be done in a constructive way that gives clarity as it relates to the team goals. It can’t be personal.

3. Humility – The moment “star” performers or leaders start thinking their above others, there will be problems. Trust me, everyone knows how important certain people are to the team (no public declarations are needed).

4. Sacrifice – Good teams feed off the extra effort and unselfishness of their teammates. I would always get pumped when I saw one of my teammates give that extra push when there seemed to be little left in the tank.

5. Clarity – People need to know the goal, game plan, their role and consistent reminders. Nothing will break a team down like uncertainty.

6. Fun – It can’t be all work and no play. Yes, playing games, team gatherings and silly contests build comraderie and it is necessary. The best teams know how to have fun with each other.

Just know that team building is a daily investment. Top talent and every once in a while activities won’t do it.

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