|Team Building Information|
Team Building Seminars: Why New Teams Struggle
With over 25 years of research and experience, we have observed countless groups struggle with activities in our Team Building Seminars. These groups all had the same common denominators, whether they were strangers or intact work teams, that became apparent during the first activity in which they were asked to work effectively together.
At least four issues were found to inhibit these start-up groups from functioning as a team:
Individual members justify any behavior as okay if it contributes to achieving the end-product ? successful completion of the tasks needed in achieving the goal. Little or no concern was exhibited for how the group functioned during the (teambuilding) goal ? the process. We were able to magnify this view by placing time limits on performance of our exercises within the team building seminar.
With this view, any means justify the end, like sacrificing team members, forming sub-groups to the exclusion of others, or not getting the commitment of all team members, are justified under the rubric of getting the task accomplished: "We had to do that to get the job done." Who can argue with success, even if there were casualties along the way? You can, if you were one of the casualties.
In a new group that is fixated totally on task success, individuals focus on their own needs to the exclusion of the needs of others. There is no support, recognition that individual differences are a potential benefit, deferring of egos, brainstorming, seeking commitment, or flexibility. However subtle or covert, selfish competition is justified as necessary to expedite the achievement of the goal. Power Struggles
Internal conflicts generally make up part of the dynamics when establishing a new group. Leadership: do we need a leader, who is going to lead, or will we follow the appointed leader? Teams asked to perform leaderless tasks or act as a volunteer group struggle most with issues of leadership. In many of our team building seminars, groups explain that many of our exercises would have been easier if we had appointed a leader. Yet, after having experimented with appointing a leader, we observed the group's behavior remained the same. The only difference is that one person, the leader, becomes frustrated by his/her inability to get the groups cooperation and the battle for influence and power still continues.
Dominant individuals scramble to be recognized and gain influence with others. Disagreements over ideas quickly are positioned as win-lose alternatives. Accepting my ideas mean rejecting yours. We have seen high-achieving executives' egos keep them from "dimming their headlights" and deferring to other team members.
Who's in and who's out is another conflict which often exists as part of the dominant-individual struggle. Cliques, groups within groups, and "We" versus "Them" are terms used to describe this situation. In new groups this struggle is fostered by the need to find someone who will support your (teambuilding) ideas. Once found, the divisiveness of positions or lobbying for a majority vote starts. The "outs" resent the "ins" and will resist their ideas, sabotage their plans, or simply refuse to be fully functioning members of the team. Fight or Flight
Likewise, in many of our team building seminars, the following fight or flight behaviors were observed:
Regardless of the behavior, the result is the same: the team loses resources, energy, and creativity. Decisions are made and plans are implemented with less than total group input and support. It is frustrating to be a team member when fight or flight behavior is exhibited. Unless the team is organizationally mandated to remain in existence, this dissatisfaction and frustration among the members will cause it to perish. Stereotyping
New groups are particularly susceptible to this struggle when individual differences recognized and taken into consideration, or generalizations about motives and behaviors are made about the members of a group?
The first common stereotypical behavior to emerge, that we observed, was in male/female roles. More often that not, females are given a secondary role, are not allowed to perform physical tasks like lifting other, and are listened to only as a last resort. A more subtle stereotyping occurs when physical size is equated with strength, balance, and athletic agility. Often, the largest male is often forced into the position of lifting, carrying, or pulling others even when activities in later exercises prove this stereotype, equating size with strength, is false.
We are constantly amazed, after only a brief introduction, how quickly generalizations are made about individuals. These stereotypes serve as blinders and keep the group from using all the resources available to the team.
Action Items for Start-Up Teams
1. Jointly define how the group will function.
The challenge for a new group is to establish a way of operating that will allow process issues to be noticed, discussed, and taken into account as the group works on the tasks to be accomplished. New groups could profitably invest time in talking about some key issues:
Groups that become cohesive and maintain effective teamwork balance attention to tasks and to process issues. Effective team members do not fixate on either; they monitor both and openly discuss needed improvements.
2. Create a win-win atmosphere.
When teams are functioning effectively, disagreements or differing views are explored not to declare any one view the winner, but to seek the best decision. A team, where the free flow of information is promoted, creates not a win-lose environment but an environment encouraging discussion that leads to better decisions than any of the original positions presented.
The group will go through a phase when power struggles predominate unless the leader or a team member establishes a mode of operation and has courage to point out when power struggles are occurring within the team.
Functioning teams realize that leadership can shift from one to another member of the team depending on the task at hand. The designated leader knows that leadership can be shared or transferred without any loss of power.
3. Manage fight or flight behavior.
Teamwork means managing fight or flight behaviors so they do not become counterproductive. All members take the responsibility for monitoring these behaviors and focus the group's attention on resolving them when they occur.
4. Test out your assumptions about team members.
Teamwork demands clarity with regard to what each member wants, needs, and is willing to do. No assumptions are made or left unchecked. Profitable time can be spent discussing each team member's answers to these three questions:
A. What should other team members do more of because it helps me be a more productive team member?
B. What should other team members stop doing because it hinders my productivity and contribution as a team member?
C. What should other team members start doing because this will help me be a more active and contributing member of this team?
An effective team building seminar will clarify the various roles of team members and prevent stereotypes and assumptions from determining the group's behavior.
WIIFM - Making the Whats In It for Me? Question Work for You
In the constantly changing world of Call Centers, asking agents to adapt to ever increasing demands, responsibilities and performance can be a challenge to even the most involved of managers. Being able to create buy in is always challenging, but if you can answer the WIIFM question you will be ahead of the game.
Feedback - Confirming the Good News
The feedback I'm talking about here isn't some sort of formalised appraisal that takes place with your team members every month, or every six months or once a year. This feedback happens continually and it happens when you see or hear something you want to give feedback on. The trick is - keep it simple.
Discovering the Truth on MLM
Truth on mlm
The 3 Secrets of Team Motivation
Are workers telling the truth when they say they are ill? This question was posed on the Money Programme on BBC Television in December 2004. British Bosses are reporting that more and more of their staff appear to be skiving off with faked illnesses and many firms are taking new steps to crack down on malingerers. Research by the Confederation of British Industry suggests that workplace absence is on the rise for the first time in five years. Last year we were off sick on average for 7.2 days up from 6.8 the previous year. It costs UK businesses £11.75bn a year, the CBI says. The CBI also estimates that 15% of all illness is due to people taking days off when they are not really ill.
Team Development in the Little Leagues
A grassy field, two nets, a soccer ball and some playful youth is the ideal setting for a little league soccer game. You may have recalled yourself of a time when you observed these little league events. You enter a spacious field of green, housing numerous miniature soccer fields all lined up next to each other, and young athletes running after a ball. You may have been more overwhelmed by the abundance of children playing, rather than the actual soccer game itself. But what you can appreciate from this is the sight of children utilizing their endless energy and their parents and relatives rooting for them from the sidelines.
Station Teams: Assembly Required
Too often teams aren't assembled. They just happen. A project comes along and a team is assigned to work it. The group gathers and attempts to figure out a solution, but trouble starts brewing almost at once. Only some of the people do any work. Some people don't get along. Meetings are frequent and mind numbing. No one is quite sure what the assignment actually is.
12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More
12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More
Finding The Leader Within (Keys To Zen Leadership)
Most believe that leadership is an innate quality that some have, not others. They believe that leaders are born not made. Nothing can be further from the truth. Each one of us has the potential to stand tall, be a light to others, clearly define a vision and mission and take charge. Within every individual an "Inner Leader" is waiting to be born.
Communication between franchisees in a franchise system
If you own a franchise you would be wise to stay in constant communication with your fellow and local franchisee counterparts. You should call up once a week and simply say; Hi. It is important to call up and just say hi to your fellow franchisees because it will remind them that you are always near by. You will get something positive out of the phone call such as:
Recruiting Government Workers As Franchisees
Many believe a leaner government promotes better freedoms with respect to free enterprise and the right to free contract. Leaner governments make fewer laws because of their enforcement capabilities. Under our current direction with high government debt loads and low unemployment we will begin to see a downsizing of government at every level. We see it in a few closures of military bases. The Federal Government is the United States' second largest employer behind Wal-Mart with about the same level of ambition, intelligence and energy. It employs over 900,000 people without including military, enforcement agencies, governmental administrators and or politicians. If the government (Federal) cut itself by 20% and we believe 40% is more in order: that would be 180,000 job cuts or about 3600 people per state at 20%. Larger states like California could be as high as 21,600 at a twenty percent reduction
Business Team Building Strategy In The Jungle
"Tak kenak! Tak kenak!" "Adak Orang sanak!????"
Feedback For Learning Can Turn Your Team Into Winners
Why Is Teamwork Training Important?
"When teamwork kicks in, nobody can beat you." Don Shula, Head Coach, Miami Dolphins Only NFL team to attain a perfect 17-0 season
Building Teams -You see it everywhere
A college football team has it. A corporation has it. Even a growing family has it. These three organizations share a common desire to build their prospective teams. For example, a college football team continually needs to bring in new players to replace the graduating players. A corporation builds its team to help it grow and meet the needs of clients. Young, married couples who are having children are building their own family teams. Each of these results has a different outcome. In the end, the goal is to work together, help each other, and collectively reach a higher level of performance. Whatever team you are currently involved with, it is surprising at how much organization is needed to build a great team. Furthermore, the following teams have their own equally important approach as to how they successfully build their prospective teams.
How the P.R.I.D.E. Team Changed my Call Center
Several years ago I took an assignment as a Manager in an outsourcing Call Center. Shortly after I started it became clear that several areas within the department needed improvement; absenteeism was high (19%), call takers lacked the enthusiasm about the programs to deliver quality customer service and seemed unconnected to the goals and metrics. With the overall morale of the center in a less than pleasant state the management team weighed our options. We determined that any new rules rolled out by management may be perceived as "us vs. them" by the call taking teams. Rather than try to manage down with force we decided to get the people who were doing the work involved in the improvements. It was clear, in order to make positive changes the call takers had to embrace the existing goals and embrace any changes we tried to make. What better way to do that then to include them in the process of making the changes. From this idea the P.R.I.D.E. team was formed. People Really Involved in Developing Excellence The first step was to roll out the concept of the P.R.I.D.E. team to the supervisors. I explained how the team would work and what we hoped to accomplish with it. The supervisors then rolled out the concept in their team meetings. Basic Roll out: Each team on the floor votes for a representative from their team to attend the P.R.I.D.E. meetings. P.R.I.D.E representatives gather issues, concerns and ideas from their teams and present them at the P.R.I.D.E meetings. The P.R.ID.E. Team will take action for improvement based on the ideas and discussions from each meeting. Meeting minutes will be distributed to the floor. Once the roll out was complete and the teams elected representatives, the first meeting was called to order. We congratulated the new P.R.I.D.E. team representatives for being voted in by their teams and broke the ice by getting to know each other. The group agreed on some ground rules and established time limits for discussion. I reiterated that the meetings will not be a gripe session; we will focus on improvement. We began discussing the issues challenging the center. The high rate of Absenteeism (19%) was the issue we chose to bring to the table first. We asked the group why absenteeism was so high and asked what we as the management team could do to help. The representative's answers provided insight and ideas to improve attendance. Suggestions ranged from things as simple as being welcomed to work in the morning, to more challenging tasks such as supervisors building better relationships with their team members. The ideas and thoughts we tapped into gave us direction to improve this metric. Instead of pushing an elephant up the stairs, we were following the lead to reach our destination. After listening to and acting on the P.R.I.D.E. Team's suggestions we started to see some very impressive changes. Over a three month period Absenteeism dropped to 3%! People were more excited about doing their jobs and finding ways to improve. There was a general buzz around the center. Communication was one of the keys to our success. In addition to the P.R.I.D.E. Team members discussing the meetings with their team members and other co-workers, we documented the conversations from the meeting then distributed them to the floor to ensure no "behind closed door" perceptions. If time allowed supervisors would bring the P.R.I.D.E meeting notes to team meetings for discussions as well. The meetings evolved. The more meetings we ran the more root causes we discovered. We listened to every issue big and small. We created subgroups to focus on large issues. Sometimes there were issues we could not do anything about, but we always provided an explanation on why action could not be taken. Listening to the representatives' ideas and making changes based on them created buy in for change. The call takers were more apt to make the ideas work because they came from them. After the P.R.I.D.E. program was well in place, I turned it over to the senior supervisors to run. It was a great development opportunity and helped build relationships throughout the group. Overall the P.R.I.D.E Team created a paradigm shift in the center. The existence and actions of the team sent a message that everyone in the center was part of the same team. The representatives realized their importance. There was only "us" instead of "us and them". The program created involvement, strengthened commitment to the company and opened communication gateways.
How To Help A Sick Team Become Healthy
Team Building Question:
Effective Team Building for Stronger Teams
TEAM LEADERS WORKSHOP
Building The Winning Team
Winning teams aren't created by accident. Rather, the team or project leader functions like a coach who recognizes special talents in people and, at the same time, gets them to work together toward a common goal. The following steps will help you select a cohesive team and set it in the right direction.
Empower Your Trainees
One of the most memorable quotes that I heard from a trainer came from a man I knew named Rizal:
Building Your Dream Marketing Team
The Fantasy: Your marketing budget is packed to the brim with money to help build your dream marketing team. You hire nothing short of the best and life is good.
|home | site map|