Many companies inquire about "teambuilding" activities for their employees. It is always interesting to hear what they have in mind. Some envision trust falls, scavenger hunts, giant puzzles, high ropes courses and even boat building. While some of these activities are fun or even frightening, the essence of team building is developing relationships in which people who work together have confidence in themselves and in one another. Most of the time, that confidence is born of having gone through work experiences and learning how their colleagues behave under particular circumstances. Some believe that while "artificial game" scenarios are a shared experience, they are not indicative of "real life" challenges and therefore not as effective as working together over time. Others believe that any experience where people get to know one another better is beneficial. Perhaps the answer is somewhere in between.
In order to facilitate teambuilding among co-workers, there must be an understanding that everyone shares a common goal and that everyone's contribution matters. An appreciation of how each person contributes is helpful, so sometimes cross-training can strengthen a team. And, while we don't recommend manufacturing a crisis, it is amazing to see how coming through a trial together helps people bond. Sometimes, we can identify a threat to the viability of the group and in working together to eliminate it, become stronger than ever. Or we can just have some fun together and develop a common memory. What are your best team-building moments and activities? Share your stories with us.