Challenge your participants’ imaginations with TeamBuilders: 10 Adventures in Working Together, a new collection of learning events that encourage the exploration of team skills through the use of fantasy scenarios. The TeamBuilders adventures, based on Experiential Learning Methodology, guide participants through five phases of learning:
Experiencing: Formulating ideas and gathering information during the learning experience.
Sharing: Articulating the learning experience to other participants.
Interpreting: Understanding the skills and behaviors experienced.
Generalizing: Developing testable hypotheses from the learning experience.
Applying: Bridging the present and future by understanding how generalizations can be used in the workplace
TeamBuilders enhances the development of five fundamental team skills:
You are a member of a space crew who has crash-landed on the planet of Acrab. After being taken captive by aliens, the only way you can escape is to rebuild your transformational girospeckter. But can your team solve the alien’s puzzles quickly enough to repair your spaceship and get away?
TeamBuilders also addresses critical secondary skills such as trust, managing diversity, assertiveness, influence, conflict management, negotiating, and more. Activities may be used independently or paired together as part of team training.
Organized in a 3-ring binder, each TeamBuilders simulation contains background information and facilitator instructions, as well as reproducible participant materials including role-specific briefing information , observer instructions, discussion questions, and a team skill handout. TeamBuilders also includes a CD-ROM containing printable files of the reproducible participant materials.
You can find Teambuilder at HRDQ. Click here to visit HRDQ
Pulling Together...10 Rules for High Performance Teams,
by John Murphy
Consistent application of the 10 rules of high performance teamwork ultimately generates trust, respect, unity and power within any team. Conversely, consistent violation of any one rule destroys this bond. While the author of the following is unknown, "Lessons From the Geese" is a powerful illustration from nature of the rules of high performance teamwork. As you read about the natural unity that exists among this species remember - this same unity can exist in your organization!
As geese flap their wings, they create an uplift for the bird following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if any bird were to fly alone.
If we share a common direction and a sense of community, we can get where we are going more quickly and easily because we are traveling on the thrust of one another!
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go, and we will be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to others.
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies at the point position.
If we take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership as with the geese, we become interdependent with one another.
The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. If we "honk," we need to make sure it is positive and encouraging.
When a goose gets sick or wounded or is shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies. They then launch out on their own, with another formation or catch up with the flock.
If we have as much sense as geese, we too will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong. Let us all try to fly in formation and remember to drop back to help those who might need it!
BEHOLD THE POWER OF TEAMWORK:
The greatest accomplishments in life are not achieved by individuals alone, but by proactive people pulling together for a common good. Look behind every winner and you will find a great coach. Look out in front of every superstar and you will see a positive role model. Look alongside every great achiever and you will find caring people offering encouragement, support and able assistance.
Rising to this level of interdependent thinking can be challenging and difficult. Looking beyond oneself, asking for help or accepting help can feel risky. But people are not given life to simply take from one another. We are here to give. Our mission in life is to offer our gifts to benefit one another, to create mutual gain in the world. This is called teamwork, a win/win mindset stemming from a genuine commitment to the rules that allow it to happen.
Learn more about this book at Simple Truths,
Pulling Together captures the essence of teamwork better than any book I've read. It takes what can be a complex topic and presents the ten rules in a way that anyone can understand. If you have each member of your team read it, and then discuss how each rule applies to your organization, your chances of "pulling together" will be greatly improved!
Go to Simple Truths now
Introduction to Team Building Techniques helps increase motivation, promote unity, strengthen corporate and team culture by using proven team building activities.
Teambuilding Events Everyone Will Enjoy
Copyright 2011 TIGERS Success Series
By Dianne Crampton
Last year I posted a discussion on Linked In regarding teambuilding events. Welcomed by some – other “managers” recoiled. They associated the word, “teambuilding”, with worthless, touchy-feely experiences that lacked merit and were a waste of money.
When I lived in Spokane, one of my part time college jobs was facilitating ropes courses and I often joined my female friends for lunch in ad hoc teambuilding events to play laser tag.
My friend, Jenny, who was normally very reserved and composed in her role as a bank manager took the high score our first day out.
Once the game set was over, a towering teenage boy thundered into the reception area to demand the identity of “Raven” who has bested his score by 15 points. Jenny, at 5 foot 2 inches, had just changed out of her jeans and tennis shoes and was back in her heels and two-piece business suit. She tossed a glance over her shoulder and said, “That be me.” The astounded boy gasped, “Noooooo!”
Later Jenny shared that the event was unbelievably fun as the girls began to form strategies around consistently achieving high scores.
So what separates a fun “teambuilding” event such as playing laser tag with friends whose relationships grew from a teambuilding event judged worthless and too touchy feely?
The first step is to identify your teambuilding objective before plunging ahead on a teambuilding activity. And, unfortunately, many leaders forgo this step thinking that something fun will pull a team together. Then they ponder why there is no return on their teambuilding investment when issues that initially faced the team continue.
In my experience, there are three types of teambuilding structures.
The first type is to provide fun and an opportunity for team members to learn more about one another. These events are best scheduled when a team is first forming. The design is to loosen people up and to create some common ground understandings. They are structured for fun. Examples are barbecues, laser tag, white water rafting, scavenger hunts and problem solving games that break down personal space barriers one small step at a time. Unfortunately the one small step at a time rule is often disregarded leaving reserved managers with the icky feeling that their personal space has been touchy-feely violated.
The second form of teambuilding is for fun and discussion over a commonly experienced learning event. Learning about team personalities and how to communicate better with one another is one example. I have been sharing other examples in our TigerTracks Newsletter under the topic of low cost training events that teach leadership principles. In our last issue, I discussed the kick back with some popcorn learning outcomes for the movie, Secretariat.
The third form is teambuilding with problem solving where workforce healing or employee engagement and commitment to an outcome is expected. These events follow a retreat format with laser-focused facilitation and clearly defined outcomes. These events include pre-event team discovery so outcomes are well developed.
The TIGERS Team Wheel exercise is an example of this type of event and provides measurable performance benchmarks as one of the outcomes. It can also be used for a focused learning outcome and for fun with no icky, touchy-feely after taste.
The bottom line is that not all teambuilding events are created equal. Knowing the difference is the first step to creating events that everyone will enjoy.
Reprinted from "TigerTracks Tips Of the Month," an ezine featuring tips, articles and tools for building high performance teams. Subscribe at
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