Team Bonding Activities

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Engage & Build Trust With Team Bonding Activities

One of the most important things a successful leader does to foster engagement during the early stages of a team’s development, is to build trust and relationships. Here, trust is the confidence among team members that their peer’s intentions are good, thus they need not get over-defensive within the group.

Building trust requires shared experiences over time, resulting in a deeper understanding of the unique characters and attributes of each team member. Ultimately, team members must become comfortable with each other.

Team bonding activities can help to accelerate this process. Through specific team building activities, events and games, members learn to build relationship and trust, and get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The 4 Stages Of Group Development

Tuckman’s Stages is a group development model proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. He postulates that in order for a team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions and to deliver results, it needs to go through 4 stages – FORMING, STORMING, NORMING, PERFORMING.

Stage 1: Forming

In the forming stage, team members meet and learn about the opportunities and challenges. They discuss about goals, roles, and begin to tackle the tasks. Team members are anxious and uncertain, but may be reticent to ask questions or to share ideas.

Here, it is important for the team leader to define and clarify team and individual goals, roles, expectations, and practices. Members should start assessing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and identify ways which they can help each other improve. Team members should start spending time together to build relationships and rapport, and engage with one another via team building activities.

Stage 2: Storming

As team members become more familiar with each other, they become comfortable enough to state their true feelings and beliefs, which inevitably leads to disagreements and conflicts. They may feel frustrated about the team’s lack of progress. They may quarrel over responsibilities and roles. Power struggles or office politics may ensue. Commitment, morale and productivity will dive.

The team leader should quickly make sure team members engage in constructive debates, resolve conflicts with open discussions of issues and emphasise the importance of balancing individual needs with team needs.

Stage 3: Norming

Here, turbulence subsides and things begin to smooth out. Commitment, morale and productivity improve. Team members develop self-esteem and become more comfortable expressing they true intentions, feelings and ideas. They develop mutual trust, respect and confidence in their co-workers. They understand accountabilities and expectations better, hence reducing conflicts. They start addressing themselves as “we”, instead of “I”.

Stage 4: Performing

During this stage, team members are excited, engaged and exhibit high levels of confidence. They demonstrate a sense of true collaboration and shared team leadership. Conflicts are resolved promptly with active listening and creative problem solving. Members are highly committed and productive. They are focused on the team’s results, rather than on individual results. They understand the power of leveraging on each others’ strengths to create an even stronger team.

Common Challenges Faced

Not all teams can transition successfully to the Performing stage. Leaders play an important role in creating a favourable climate for teams to function cohesively. The easiest and fastest way is to conduct regular team bonding activities, which are designed to align and engage your employees to work towards a common goal.

However, running a successful team bonding activity can be challenging. Time constraints, venue booking, logistics, suitability of activities, level of participation, implementation and facilitation etc.

Why not leave these problems to the professionals?

Our consultants at Join Teambuilding can help you organise a highly interactive team bonding workshop, which mixes team dynamics analysis, process improvement, group problem solving, action planning and goal setting. We help your organisation achieve your objectives, while letting your staff enjoy a fruitful team building session. Contact us today!

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