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Choosing the right team building activity for your meeting can be fun and exciting or painful and nerve-wracking. Make the right choice and you look like a hero within your organization. Make the wrong choice and it can be an expensive “learning opportunity”. Oftentimes clients want to drill down to finite details about the specific activities that make up our team building workshops including a minute-by-minute agenda. Not only is that not applicable for this type of training since it’s often a fluid and dynamic process, but it is really focusing on the texture of the bark on the trees rather than stepping back for a view of the forest.

What is important is having a clear goal for this portion of your meeting. One mistake companies make is having a “We do a team building activity at this meeting every year” attitude with no real thought about what they want to get out of it. How do you choose the right team building activity? It’s best to take the Stephen Covey approach and begin with the end in mind.

Before you start filling out internet forms and making phone calls to team building companies, think about the goals for this session. If you are the information gatherer, press the decision makers for additional information beyond the tired and overused “team building” and “communication” for something more concrete like breaking down silos or building creative problem solving skills. On the surface you might be looking for something fun and interactive, but there’s a good chance that if the company is spending thousands of dollars on this event, someone is looking for tangible outcomes.

Team building activities are exercises that can help teams build cohesion and work through a host of common group issues. They are used as educational tools to provide opportunities to at least begin discussions that can be continued back at the workplace.
How do you choose the right team building activity for your meeting? It’s like the ingredients of a delicious recipe. Instead of focusing on the bok choy, which isn’t particularly interesting in itself but put in context of other ingredients becomes a flavorful dish, begin with the end in mind. If you take a step back and focus on the goals and outcomes from your meeting you will make the right decision for a team building activity.

This article was written by Colette Johnston. Colette is a Corporate Team Building Consultant with The Leader’s Institute headquartered out of Dallas Texas. You can reach Colette at 800-872-7830.

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