What is a good team building?

Regardless of the industry or the sports, our clients want better teams to face challenges and come out stronger from change happening in their environment. After all, the collective intelligence and the team’s capacity to take actions will always surpass the individual’s. The richness of the performance experience is much greater when shared with a team than by yourself. They put on this facade regardless of the doubts, the misunderstandings, the failures amongst other things.

Being part of a team also mean facing challenges, experiencing tension and stress. It’s thinking that we understood each other to later realize that it was not the case. Sometimes that happens a few days later. In other cases, it takes weeks. Being part of a team is accumulating frustrations. It’s wanting to say how we really feel but deciding to keep it to ourselves by fear of hurting the Team. It’s avoiding opening certain cans of worms because we tell ourselves the story that we do not have time. Being part of a team is going back to the numbers instead of the root of the relationship because that is concrete. Right?!

P1122242I am trying to get you to ask yourself: what is a good team building?

Many of you have told us that psychometrics tests did not do the job. Even going outside to play was not enough. You have even told us that you did not want to end up with a long list of employees’ frustrations built from the expectations that you, as their leader, should be taking control of the situation to find the solution. The cynicals often perceive the team building day as a thing imposed by the boss; a corporate recreation or a brainwashing of strategic orientations presented by a speaker hired to deliver the key to success presented in 6 simple steps, as read in a book. Your teams do include skeptical people. As I often say in my conferences, skepticism is a sign of intelligence. “My energy is precious, why would I embark on something that doesn’t make sense to me. We remember the last time… Nothing changed.

Our first suggestion is that team building is not the activity day itself, the one spent outside of the office, but rather what you are going to do with what you experienced as a team in the weeks that follow. The day generates expectations of change.

It is possible to do a good team building with simple activities by putting in place good follow-ups… And on the flip side, it is possible to accelerate team failing by doing an extravagant activity and doing nothing with it afterwards.

According to CANU, a good team building is…

… Creating a safe space so that team members can see themselves through the lenses of the thinking mind, the engaging heart and the sensing body.
… Revisiting the team’s past in order to make visible the stories that conditioned the individual’s experience, and that continue to do so. Thus, leaving them in their current posture; a victim of circumstances on which they have no control.
… Allowing the participants to propose their own diagnostic of the situation by interpreting their experience and giving it a meaning. It empowers them to identify their needs and take control of their experience.
… Including the next steps (the follow-ups) to integrate those learnings within the life of the organization itself.

A good team building is drawing a new starting line for the team. It’s pressing on reset. It’s buying into a new story about who we are as a team and what we want to do differently this time. It’s a process. It can start with a conference. It can happen through an offsite. But in all cases, it has to be translated into change. Otherwise, it was not a good team building.

Maxime Boilard,
Keynote speaker, Coach & President of CANU