How do I do approach team building?
As I see it, team building is an intervention aimed at helping a team move from “here” to “there.” It’s not just the event – (typically an offsite meeting from a half-day to perhaps two full days). It’s a way for the entire team to take responsibility for taking action to become more effective. It’s a time to reflect on what is working well, what isn’t, and what needs to change.
My basic approach includes a number of steps designed to tailor a specific plan to meet the needs of a given team.
A principle I hold dear: I work closely with the team leader to co-design the intervention.
- The first step is to clarify the specific purpose for this intervention.
- Next, I conduct confidential interviews with the team leader and every member of the team to gather input on the current reality (what is “here”) and the desired state (what it would look like if the team were “there.”)
- The interview data is summarized and reviewed with the team leader (without attribution as to who said what) before the event.
- I design a unique team building workshop. The design is approved by the team leader.
- I facilitate the event.
- Follow-up meetings (2-4 hours) are strongly encouraged.
I’ve done countless team building workshops over the years, including some which were rather unconventional, such as those with city councils, boards of directors, and the like.