Uh-oh. It’s that time of year again.
When the boss sends out a chirpy email informing you about an upcoming team building event. You fear it could take some illegal stimulants to keep you from nodding off during yet another whiteboard problem solving exercise.
Yes, traditionally, team building exercises have consisted of little more than a dreary (or irritatingly perky) corporate coach drilling participants on what they would do if their colleagues were drowning. Hardly inspirational stuff.
But there’s a new breed of team building specialists in the mix. They take a different approach.
And you might be surprised to learn that team building can actually be fun – and of genuine benefit to you and your work mates.
How? Let’s look at some of the new wave of team building activities to give you an idea of what to expect.
Anyone Seen The Boss?
Kidnapping games are probably not the first thing that spring to mind when you think “positive team building exercise.”
But “Corporate Kidnap” is both fun and valuable in helping to promote good communication, problem solving, strategic thinking, leadership, and negotiation. This exercise involves team members working together to find and interpret clues while getting through a series of challenges to locate their kidnapped colleague.
It’s not a race or a competition. Groups work at their own pace and are each assigned roles to help solve the mystery. Every group has their own important role to play in finding the kidnapped director, boss or manager.
And who hasn’t fantasized about their boss disappearing at some stage in their working life?
Working or Working Out?
Another popular way of conducting team building exercises is through sport.
Here in Melbourne, kayaking adventures can be held right in the heart of the city.
This event includes an introduction to paddling techniques, lunch ‘on deck’ and a guided tour of the city by water. This activity provides a great forum in which to get to know your workmates better, while promoting fitness, fun, and inspiration.
Also in this new breed of team building exercises you can find Paparazzi Games, “Amazing Race” style events, rally driving, clay shooting, and corporate olympics.
Way more interesting than just having lunch together, isn’t it?
What’s In It for Me?
These kind of team building activities are a way to provide high-impact learning while increasing team skills and communications.
They can help break down barriers between individuals, and often, people who are not used to working together get a chance to participate and work as a team.
Additionally, they improve morale, productivity, and profitability. Which is why your managers plan them in the first place.
But individual team members get something out of it, too.
You gain a sense of accomplishment from working as part of the group to complete a challenging task. And you get to do it in an entirely different environment than your day-to-day activities. Maybe even see some sunshine while you do it.
And even when you really don’t expect it to, team building experiences send you back to the office reinvigorated, with a new set of problem-solving skills. We’ve seen some of the most skeptical participants learn, benefit, and even smile by the end of the day.
Sounds considerably more enticing than sitting on a plastic chair for an eight hour lecture, doesn’t it?
About the author: Belinda Darling is a copywriter and blogger for Uplift Events. She has studied at the University of Melbourne for 4 years and has worked with various Team Building agencies in her journey. When Belinda’s not blogging she still loves to write fabulous restaurant reviews, and regularly updating her Facebook is a must.
Image courtesy of ktylerconk.