Most of our clients have first called because they needed ‘team building.’ After we ask a few questions to get a sense of how we can to to support their team, we usually discover that ‘team building’ is code for something like:
“We’re not getting along.”
“The (person’s role here) is causing issues.”
“We have unresolved conflicts or disagreements.”
“We’re not communicating well.”
“We’re not listening to each other well.”
And so on…you get the idea, you’ve probably experienced similar things. After 30 years of doing this work, we do know at least one thing. The essence of good team building is behavior change. Easy to understand, sustainable behavior change.
Think about it. In any team process, if you want the best results, there are behaviors to start or keep doing, and there are behaviors to stop. This is behavior change.
And it doesn’t happen if the training is based on just good ideas and talk. It only happens from re-wiring thoughts that lead to action. And that only happens with experiential training. Not cheesy trust falls, but robust activities that help people see, learn, change, and practice new behaviors right then and there. This provides the context for personal accountability, feedback, and the opportunity to truly explore and disassemble barriers to change.
So next time you engage team building, make sure it effects behavior change. Make it experiential.