I often say that my perception of team building activities is that they are too easy – too emotionally charged – too much about you, too little about them, and too much about you. Which gets me to wondering how powerful team building can be when you understand the essence behind a well-structured, complimentary afternoon.

Seven essential nuggets of psychology underpin what leaders can do to enhance leadership qualities in their teams – and give them a winning edge in any competitive situation.

1. Time-line

They take two hours to plan your team building event. You can start a teambuildingJames Bond Afghan page from day one, as it will be hard to take the two hours back when things have not gone as planned. What would that sort of result be?

2. Ground Rules

You need to set it out. The rules must go into your team building activity so everyone can be on the same page. Think of the process as a corporate board meeting, packed with important decision making. If you have that sort of structure, it’s a good way for team members to get it the right first time.

3. Review

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to know how you want it to go. Before you start it’s good to have a plan to know what the tone is going to be. As a team-building facilitator, if you have a clear description of the emotion you want to create, and how you want the team to respond you will have greater success.

4. Accountability

When you have the foundation you can give your team a standing challenge. Narrow it down to a few and get them to support the events that you choose. Let them know that they have the power to decide their success or failure.

5. Reward and Recognition

One of my favorite moments is when I have a member of the team go away and get a little pampering. This is a fantastic motivator for them. It’s the feeling that they just got that recognition when you ask them to explain how they performed. You are there as well, to keep it fun.

6. Fun

Do not make your team building event Boring! You have to get the point across that this will leave them refreshed and ready to get back to work. They will feel much more energized when you have interesting activities.

7. Results

Why did you set these goals? Why have you agreed to achieve them? Give them meaning. This part is really easy. Add some fun. Let them know how they have achieved their goals. It does not need to be all serious. I know that’s true with a cold phone, the temperatures in today’s weather are a nightmare, but it does need to be real.

It’s a great way to differentiate your team from the rest. People appreciate structured activities that add value. You just have to know what you want to have happened.

There you have it. There are many more elements out there that you can use in your team building; it doesn’t always have to be team building. It doesn’t mean that people have to be forced or cajoled, but it does mean that you have some choices. So go ahead, get going on your team building today!

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