How to use free team building activities and team building exercises
Before I share with you some great free team building activities let’s consider what a team is?
"A team is a small number of people with complementary skilss who are committed to a common purpose set of performance goals, and shared approach for which they hold themselves accountable."(Kazenbach and Smith (1993)
Related Team Building Team Development Pages
How Team Development is Related to Learning
8 Step Leaders Guide to eam Activities
Characteristics of an effective team:
Team Building" is the process of aligning and engaging diverse individuals into a Team. Team building takes many forms and shapes. Having a drink at the bar with colleagues after work can be as an effective piece of (almost) free team building activities as any. The key thing about effective teams is that they have good processes for establishing compromise agreement.
There is definitely a place for doing team building for a bit of fun, after all that might just be what the team needs to lift their engagement. There is also a place for team building that focus on team processes, helping the team reflect and practice behaviours to make the team more effective overall.
But if you want a high performing team, you have no choice but to clarify and get into the purpose of the team and what is expected of it by the organisation.
Nine Steps in Developing a Team Plan
What are the usual phases of a team's development?
A team is a dynamic and changing entity. It is helpful to think about where your team is at before you start implementing free team building activities. Many team s progress in their effectiveness as they mature, however many teams get stuck and never become high performing teams. Tuckman's model proposed the following typical phases in team development:
4.1 Forming: This is the initial orientation period. The team is unsure about what it is supposed to do, members do not know each other well or are not yet familiar with the way the team leader and the other members function. This stage is complete when the members begin to see themselves as a part of the group.
CA use most types of free team building activities: trust, team purpose, relationship building, problem solving,
4.2 Storming: This is a sorting out period where members begin to find their place as team members. The team members now feel more comfortable giving their opinion and challenging the team leader's authority and recommendations. Some members may become dissatisfied and challenge not only the tasks of the team and how these will be carried out, but also the leader's role and style of leadership. This is the start of intragroup conflicts.
Focus is on team purpose, relationship building,
4.3 Norming: Team members begin to use their past experiences to solve their problems and pull together as a cohesive group. This process should result in the team establishing procedures for handling conflicts, decisions, and methods to accomplish the team projects. Focus is on relationship building, problem solving,
4.4 Performing: In this phase the team has achieved harmony, defined its tasks, worked out its relationships, and has started producing results. Leadership is provided by the team members best suited for the task at hand. Members have learned how to work together, manage conflict and contribute their resources to meet the team's purposes. Focus is on refining team purpose, enhancing relationship building, more complex problem solving,
4.5 Dissolving or reorientating: The team dissolves when the team has completed the project. It may be reoriented to continue on a next phase of the project.
When to Use a Team Building Process:
While team building is essential to newly formed groups or an organization with a large number of new members, there are other times it can be effective as well. You might find it helpful to use team building techniques when:
· Team is not performing at a high level
· Team members seem bored or irritable
· Individuals are drifting away from the group or going off in different directions
· There is a great deal of conflict or "infighting"
· The team has been apart for a while (i.e., separate working, breaks, vacations, etc.)
· You want to lift team spirit or take a break from the normal routine
Free Team Building Activities:
For ease I Have categorised these free team building activities into these categories:
· Relationship Building
· Trust Exercises
· Physical Exercises
· Problem Solving
· Purpose Exercises
Relationship Building Exercises