The Worst Team Building Exercise I’ve Ever Experienced.

It was an awful experience; it wasn’t intentionally this bad but that’s what happened. With no planning I wasted 48 hours and for my leader at the time, it backfired. Learn about the worst team building exercise I experienced and how to fix it.

My boss flew all of their direct reports in from across North America. We had blocked our schedules, moved meetings and were ready for two days of intense team building. When we showed up there was nothing planned.

Hosting a team building or brainstorming event takes planning and practice. In this blog you’ll learn why learning how to properly plan and run a team building exercise is important and I’ll share some tools to do that.

We were asked to “brainstorm”. Over the next 48 hours our boss left to join other meetings, we were left to our own devices and we all bonded. We shared horror stories about our boss and we exchanged concerns for the direction of the team. We had a common “enemy”.

Under pressure in a crisis, teams bond.

That’s why military teams or teams under extreme circumstances like miners are so close. Teams in these situations problem solve together, for the greater good.

It doesn’t take a crisis to build a bond within a team.

You can develop a team building exercise that brings together a team the same way a crisis does. There no replacement for team bonding during a crisis, but we can come close.

What I realized over that 48 hours was that a properly planned team building exercise can have measurable benefits.

The wrong team building activities are not beneficial to you, the team or your business. The facts show team building activities do work. I’ve seen the power of team building activities in action. There is science behind why some team building activities work and others don’t.

Stop wasting time with team building activities that don’t work. Start creating engaging events that bond team members.

Bring mindfulness to team building. Think about your outcomes and goals. These five factors are needed in your design and planning for a team building activity.

1. Define the goals of your team building activity.

2. Focus on building communication channels within the activity.

3. Create activities that build on psychological safety.

4. Become a Charismatic Connector.

5. Persuade collaboration within team members.

To help you build a successful team building activity, the Converticulture team and I have created a step-by-step guide. Click here to get our step-by-step guide to creating team building activities and a special blog with an exclusive advice from Simon Sinek.

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