Can the Marketing Coordinators of Team Building Events, Please Stand Up?
By Christian Ruben on Aug, 30 2011
Fire spreads fast, and sometimes enthusiasm or egotistical rumors on the one who scored more points can spread just as rampant. Remembering team bungee jumping, paint-ball wars, whitewater rafting, and my favorite, zip lining across the Costa Rican jungles may lead to many high five’s in the moment, but are likely to cause a lasting impression in the quality of work and relationships around the office? Is all of his a big hoax and a reason to spend the employee’s bonus to later say, ‘Opps, the current economy didn’t allow for Christmas bonuses?’
Aside from the insane amount of money spent on these team building exercises, another issue called physical fitness can actually spoil the momentum for some and leave others’ egos blowing up like blow fish. Dejectedly, the issue of physical prowess is almost impossible to eliminate as a major contributor to success in these types of programs. What is “authentically” needed is guidance to remove the pecking order of physical stalks, in order to even out the teams in a new and atypical environment.
The belief that higher the adrenaline the more powerful experience is wonderful for a group of friends who actually enjoy these type of activities. What we don’t need is a deeper adrenaline experience to kill the rush and enthusiasm for the more serene team players. Why can’t our HR departments or leaders making the calls understand that the word “team” is derived from the words equal value? Teams should be made up of input tied together with smart debriefing around relationships; which truly moves a team to the fore.
Strategies can take place in a decorated conference room or at a community fundraising event or even a spa (yes, men like spas, too). The venue matters little; instead, it should be based on modesty and garnering the right information from the team players, in order to process information into the team members. This way provides humility and charisma toward each team member, rather than “ego-inflation.”
What happens when you return to the office? Watch and observe how the teams carry an attitude of personal attention back to work along with their new team skills. They remain attentive and on-guard for their “own” unproductive performance patterns, rather than evading into the typical patterns of “blame-storming,” which is oh-so-typical in every enterprise.