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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Team Bonding

I had an epiphany!!!

Once in a while I receive requests for "easy" team building activities. Ones where there's not a lot of processing, not a lot of outputs. They say, they just want to bond, do something together, nothing heavy, no rules of engagement, no forward agenda. As a facilitator of "team building interventions," I balk at this idea, or at least the idea of calling an event like this team building. Purist much? maybe. But I'd like to think that I am transformed, rehabilitated and changed.

What changed? I used to think that while I acceed to some of those requests just for kicks, I thought they don't do much.  I now fervently believe that those "team building activities" really do make a difference. And here's exactly what I think.



I continue to believe that team building interventions in order to expedite the process of improving team performance need to be deliberate, strategized and structured. I continue to believe that clear goals, team buy-in, rules of engagements together with leadership that is thoroughly interested in building a team seals the deal. I mean if you want to build team fast, there's a way. Now, in order to take care of team relationship which is essential to teamwork, there's another way. I'd like to call them "team bonding" activities. What exactly do they do? They give teams a chance to. well,  bond. Bonding times are times away from work, away from the pressures of deadlines, the office politics and the stress. I have two important criteria for team bonding activities; one is that it is away from work, the other one is that team members get a chance to do things together. I mean a company outing cannot count as a bonding activity, if they just go together in a resort and chill out individually. They must do something together. There are a number of other things that I believe work to bond a team like tree planting, cleaning a river together, putting up a program for street children, work on a Gawad Kalinga or Habitat for Humanity, a sports fest, a Christmas party (the project of putting it together and the actual event).

Team bonding, what it does is help team members know each other better without the aid of personal profiling tool, sort each other out in a way and find out (or in some cases, not) that they can actually do something together. Do these things really translate to better working relationship? I'm going on faith here that if it is done often enough and with care to get the needed dynamics, it will eventually lead them working better together and if you are lucky, towards a common goal.

3 comments:

  1. You've changed, man! :D

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  2. I've taken part in several team building sessions during my corporate stint. I've forgotten 75% of the fun activities and 99.5% of all the "processing". But I still remember all the friends I made during those days. I really do believe in the positive intangible effects of "team bonding"... speaking from a participant's perspective.

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  3. The post is talking about team bonding. Useful post

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