Building a successful team is not as simple as finding the best people and then bringing them together in one place. Just because someone is good at their job does not necessarily mean that they are ready to collaborate to bring out the best in others. On the other hand, if you have a talented but dysfunctional team, you can help them to reach their full potential by carefully designing activities (i.e. team building games) to bring people together and teach them skills they can use in the future.
Recreation Versus Rehabilitation
One major focus when choosing an activity for your team is whether you want to help people build trust in one another or you want your team to develop specific skills and strategies that will help them to work better together. If your focus is building trust, any game that facilitates discussion and cooperation can help. If you want a game that brings out certain skills, then you need to decide what skills you want to teach and then choose a game with those skills in mind. Depending on how much time you have for professional development, you may wish to do multiple activities, starting with more recreational activities to lighten the mood and then moving to skill-driven games to reinforce training.
Set up and Debriefing
No matter how well chosen your games are, they will not be as effective as they could be if you don't set up the games properly and then debrief your team on what you want them to learn. Don't just hope that your employees and/or colleagues will understand exactly what your thoughts were when choosing your games or activities. Instead, work the games into a presentation that sets up for the game, gives ample time to play the game, then includes a guided discussion to go over what your employees took away from the game as well as focus in on the key skills you want to instill in your team.
Building a successful team is extremely challenging yet can also be highly rewarding. Rather than approach team building as an opportunity to have fun and then hope you also get a better team out of the bargain, you should approach team building with focus and deliberation. Also, remember that helping your employees and colleagues work together is an ongoing process, so learn from what works and decide what still needs to be learned as you move forward. Contact a business, such as Houdini’s Room Escape, for fun ideas about team-building activities.