Team building

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Team building

  1. 1. I. Interpersonal Team Norms Author: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective: To identify interpersonal skills that support team success How the author has used the activity: Successful teams find a way to interact in a productive and effective way.I like to use this activity to encourage participants to not only identify interpersonal skills that lead to team success,but also to make a commitment to core interpersonal norms. Activity: Divide into small groups. Each group should have a Team Interaction Chart (see below). The groupsare directed to do four tasks:A. Make a list of key interpersonal skills that teams must practice in order to be successful (one example is listedon the Chart).B. From the skills listed in column one on the Chart, the group should write three core team interaction norms (oneexample is given on the Chart).C. Have the group brainstorm to identify things that individuals can do to practice or reinforce each norm.D. Have a spokesperson share the small groups interpersonal norms with the full group. From the norms presented,the full group can compile a master list of team interpersonal norms. This list should be printed and subsequentlygiven to all team members. The team may even want to have a poster made of the norms to be placed in the teammeeting room. Team Interaction Chart Key Interpersonal Skills Norms Some things to work onExample: “Think before you “Listen to learn” “Be aware on NOT interrupting asspeak.” others speak.”1.2.3.4. Added thoughts or considerations: It is always a challenge to translate training content into actual behaviorchange. This activity moves from brainstorming to concrete behavior. Return to Activity List II. Musical InsightsAuthor: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective (s): To gain insights into the overall “personality” of a teamActivity Description: This activity is a good introduction to team building. Before the workshop prepare three tofive different musical clips to represent different team “personalities.” For example, music that portrays the teamthat is quiet, stormy, indifferent, excitable, icy, divided, aggressive, disjointed, etc. List the musical titles and playthe clips. Ask individuals to explain to the group which musical piece fits the team they are on and why. Thisshould open up some enjoyable introductory discussion about teams and how team members interact with oneanother.
  2. 2. Added thoughts or considerations: I like to transition out of this activity by asking the group if teams havepersonalities and how these personalities are shaped. Return to Activity List III. Assessment BuilderAuthor: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective(s): To identify team preferences, opinions, and/or expectationsActivity: This activity asks small groups to build a team interaction assessment (or another topic of yourchoice). This will require the group to explore the topic in detail and ultimately identify those things that are mostimportant. Have each group fill in the blank assessment form below:Your purpose is to construct an assessment for team members to complete. The purpose of this assessment istwofold: 1. To help clarify characteristics that shape a team, 2. To help participants identify team characteristicsthat are both strong and weak.Assessment title ______________________________________Assessment Objective: _________________________________Assessment rationale or justification or purpose: ___________________________________________Directions: Complete the assessment below using the following continuum: 5= ________; 4= _______;3=_________; 2= __________; 1= _________ . Scoring Team Characteristic5 4 3 2 1 1.5 4 3 2 1 2.5 4 3 2 1 3.5 4 3 2 1 4.5 4 3 2 1 5.5 4 3 2 1 6.5 4 3 2 1 7.5 4 3 2 1 8.5 4 3 2 1 9.5 4 3 2 1 10. Scoring Directions:Scoring Interpretation:Added thoughts or considerations: I feel that it is always a good idea to tap the wisdom of a group. This activitydoes that. You can leave it up to the group to decide if they want to use their assessments and, if they do, how theywant to use the results. The logical transition from this activity to the next step is to challenge the group to come upwith strategies to strengthen the characteristics in which they are scored low. In short, challenge them to identifywhat makes a team strong and how a team can become stronger.
  3. 3. Return to Activity List IV. Fill in the BlanksAuthor: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective(s): To focus team thinking and identify key ideasHow the author has used this exercise: In order to encourage participants to think about teams (or anyprofessional development topic), I often ask them to complete fill-in-the-blank cards (see sample below).Activity Description: Have participants individually complete the fill-in-the-blanks card (see samplebelow). Then have them meet in small groups of five to seven and pass the completed cards around thegroup. Once all the cards have been read, they should reach consensus and complete a group card that selects theirbest responses. These cards are shared with the full group. This is a good way to identify ideas that are importantto the group.Thinking about Teams • The main benefit of teams is ________________________________________. • One important reason teams make sense for an organization is ________________________________. • In order for a team to work the team leader must _________________________________. • The number one thing that weakens teams is ___________________________________. • The key factor for a team’s success is _______________________________. • In order to make a team effective, team members must agree to ________________________________. • An important indicator of team empowerment is __________________________________. Return to Activity List V. Any Questions?Author: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective (s): To use questions to focus team thinkingActivity Description: A big part of team success is the ability of its members to ask good questions. Goodquestions shape a topic and focus thinking. In this activity participants will explore five basic types of questions.List the five types of questions and provide a brief definition for each. Then have the team identify a current topic,issue, or concern. After reflecting on the selected issue, the team should generate one to three questions for eachquestion type. See the chart below…Issue/Topic/Problem: _________________________________________________ Question Type Type Definition Group Questions1. Open-ended questions Questions that encourage broad discussion
  4. 4. 2. Clarification questions Questions that help focus a topic or issue3. Detail questions Questions that request facts, details, or yes/no4. Explanation questions Questions that request descriptions or explanations5. New direction Questions that move thought into new areasquestions Once the questions have been articulated, select the key questions and answer them.Added thoughts or considerations: We make a mistake when we assume that groups or teams know how to askgood questions.Good question asking is a skill to be learned and practiced. Team meeting facilitators must beparticularly good at asking questions. Return to Activity List VI. Define Your TermsAuthor: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective: To explore the various dimensions of teamworkHow the author has used this activity: I have used this exercise to encourage teams to understand how theyinteract.Activity Description: Write the following terms on the board or on flip chart paper: cooperation,collaboration, and collegiality.Have the group discuss how each of the terms are different and how each of the terms works within successfulteams. The goal is to move team members to understand that they must connect with one another on various levels.Option: You may break the group into three small groups and have each group define one of the three terms. Thenin full group pool their responses. Return to Activity List VII. Situation BrainstormingAuthor: Tom Siebold. Tom is a writer and consultant in Minneapolis. He is editor of two websites: 1 CollegeGrazing -- Free college planning tools for college bound students, 2. Teachers on Target -- Free professionaldevelopment ideas and classroom activities.Objective: To stimulate new thinking, best practices, and mutual team support.How the author has used this activity: I often use this activity format to help teams work together to findpractical solutions and, at the same time, uncover patterns of problem solving.Activity Description: In this activity team members bring to the team a “real work situation” that they haverecently encountered. One at a time, members relate their situation as objectively as they can, being careful not toreveal how they handled it. After each example the full team brainstorms for strategies asking themselves “Whatwould be the best way to deal with this situation?” This activity should help the group to formulate best practicesand draw to the surface core team values.
  5. 5. Options: The team may divide into pairs to do this situation exchange. You may also want to stretch this activityout over several meetings by doing only one or two situations a time. Return to Activity ListFour Team Self Awareness Discussion ActivitiesHigh performing teams have a high level of group self-awareness. Four team self-awareness discussion activities are presented belowSnapshot, X. Enduring Values, and XI. Functional Team Strengths VIII. Core Team Dynamics: Team Self-Awareness Discussion #1 Self-aware teams are tuned in to three core dynamidentity, 2. The team is connected to new information, and 3. The team is connected with all parts of the organization. Below are twodynamics. It is often helpful for a team to discuss these questions to help solidify who they are as a group. 1. As a team, what do we stand for? 2. What do we aspire to become? 3. What else do we need to know? 4. Where can we seek out new information? 5. Who do we need to involve to achieve our team goals? 6. Are there ways for our team to work differently with others in the organization? IX. Team Snapshot: Team Self-Awareness Discussion #2  If we were asked to identify the three key factors that led to our team success this year, we would select the follo  If asked to capture the essence of our team in one clear and meaningful statement, it would be the following…  We understand that our team is rooted in meaningful values. If asked to summarize what this means we would o X. Enduring Values: Team Self-Awareness Discussion #3 Members of one high performing team developed a slogatheir offices. The slogan read “Dynamic action built on enduring values.” As a team, discuss what this slogan means and how it coquality. Then develop a slogan for your own team. XI. Foundational Team Strengths: Team Self-Awareness Discussion #4 Use the discussion questions below to id • Are we good at confronting and eliminating team weaknesses? • Are we good at seizing opportunities? • Do we hold together when facing complex problems? • Do we work hard at building the strength and endurance of our team? --Return to Activities Listing--XII. Action ResearchAuthor: Tom Siebold is a writer and business consultant in Minneapolis. He is also co-owner of Collegegrazing.com--a site to help cwhat they need and want in a college.Objective (s): To focus a teams energy on a challenge or problem.How the author has used this activity: Sometimes teams spend a great deal of time discussing issues or topics without the necessaryattempts to structure an organized approach to researching a topic. I have also used this activity when a team is deeply divided on anfind some level of common ground.
  6. 6. Activity Description: When a team faces a challenge where the solution is not readily apparent, it may be a good exercise to engageto organize the exercise…Define the challenge, discuss it, and then divide it into smaller pieces. In other words, break the challenge down into subcategories, qdata. Take each of the brainstormed parts and divide them between team members. Depending on the topic, you may want to take thresearch together. This way team members can give each other leads, check resource validity, and help each other interpret the informAt a subsequent team meeting, each team member reports what he or she has found. This collective research information then will bemaking.Options: Not everyone has to research. The team can designate team members to do the work.Added thoughts or considerations: One important lesson in this exercise is to talk about the validity of research sources: What invaparticular bias? Is the source cross referenced and validated? Does the source have its own sources listed and do they check out? etc. --Return to Activities Listing--XIII. Choosing the Best OptionsAuthor: W.Marty Marzolf has been an executive coach and organizational consultant for over twenty years. A former corporate execMarzolf has helped many organizations increase their productivity through the knowledge and application of martial arts principles.Objective (s): To help a team or organization evaluate alternatives.How the author has used this exercise: In my opinion, productive teams have learned to exercise a high level of discipline when deccan discipline itself by using exercises like this. As is often my method, I used a design group (this time with a senior marketing teambefore the full team meets.Activity Description: After clarifying the problem or issue under consideration, I give the team time to brainstorm openly for ideas. Atell them to narrow down their choices and focus on only a few. I then introduce a pre-established set of focusing filters created by thfilters as a way to evaluate and narrow the brainstorming ideas.The filters that I use are typically like those listed below. Note, however, there are many that can apply, depending on the organizatio • Cost---is it too high or within our budget? • Time---can we complete the project by the target date? • Availability---do we have the resources in house? • Practicality---is it reasonable approach?Options: It can be very helpful to have handouts made up with the criteria, including a scoring method for each (one to five). Each gscoring for each option being considered. --Return to Activities Listing--XIV. Stop Doing ListAuthor: W. Marty Marzolf has been an executive coach and organizational consultant for over 20 years. A former corporate managerhelped many organizations increase their productivity through the knowledge and application of martial arts principles.
  7. 7. Objective (s): To apply the martial arts strategy of “best use of energy” to help team prioritize activities.How the author has used this exercise: I often find that organizations simply take on too much…or as in the words of one CEO I waplates.” This exercise helps a team or organization consider how time and effort (thus energy) is being used; to consider whether theyon the right things rather than placing too much emphasis on doing things right.” The point is to eliminate activities that no longer addActivity Description: Whether working with teams or an organization, I almost always use a design team to help insure that any toolneeds. Generally I introduce the Stop Doing List in the following way: “Undoubtedly you have made hundreds of ‘to do’ lists. Perhaplist of outmoded procedures to discard.”The questions developed by the design team are then introduced. A partial list created by one operations team is listed below:What tasks could we simplify or eliminate without affecting quality?What activities do we justify with the phrase, “That’s how we’ve always done it.”What methods do we currently use that don’t work well at all?I close the exercise by writing the responses on a flip chart and asking the group to create a list of “inaction” items. Make sure to specidoing, who will stop doing it, and when they will stop. --Return to Activities Listing--XV. Building TrustAuthor: Bill Gjetson is a consultant and coach specializing in leadership development for Senior Leaders, Managers, and High Potentaction learning and storytelling.Objective(s): Use this activity to initiate a trust-building dialogue in a group or teamHow the author has used this exercise: I have used this activity in the initial stages of group formation to highlight the importance oamong members.Activity Description: The facilitator starts by explaining that one way to start building trust is to enable group members to share theirwhat they find difficult to talk about in a group setting. In order to initiate this process, the first step is to ask each member to completthey would feel in each of the following situations: • Asking help from others in addressing a work-based problem • Asking for feedback from group members regarding something I have done • Making a statement that might anger someone else in the group • Expressing a difference of opinion or a conflict I have with another group member • Giving another member critical feedback • Being the center of attention of the group • Expressing confusion or uncertainty in front of other group members • Expressing dissatisfaction with the group leader • Admitting I was wrong about something I said or did • Admitting to the group I was wrong about an idea I had or an initiative I promotedParticipants rate their responses on a three-point “risk” scale (1 = Low Risk, 2 = Some Risk, 3 = High Risk). When they have compleprocess their findings with their partner—how they rated themselves, their reasoning, what they found out about themselves, what theyThe facilitator then reconvenes the full group and asks each pair to report on their findings. The full group is then asked, based on the
  8. 8. future meetings, to encourage and sustain an on-going open dialogue.Options: The group can be asked to use the information reported out, to establish written norms for the group to follow, in all their suAdded thoughts or considerations: This is just an initial exercise. Individual members may set specific goals for themselves to increauthentic in a group setting, and create a contract with another member of the group to provide on-going feedback and support, to help --Return to Activities Listing--XVI Sports Team AnalogyAuthor: Bill Gjetson is a consultant and coach specializing in leadership development for Senior Leaders, Managers, and High Potenaction learning and storytelling.Objective(s): The purpose is to enable a team to come to a consensus on how interdependent team members are when working to accHow the author has used this exercise: This activity is useful when working with teams during their start-up phase or when the teamproceed. Once a team is clear on the degree of interdependence that exits, they can make decisions on how they want to organize to aActivity Description: The team is divided into two or three sub-groups. Each sub-group is given a description of 4 different sportsbest describes their team and why. Each group is to come up with one answer and explanation—everyone in the group must agree. Tcomplete the task. The four teams: • Golf Team: members all function independently of each other, working to promote as high an individual score as possible so into team scores their team wins. • Baseball Team: Members are relatively independent of one another and while all members are required to be on the field tog all at the same time. • Football Team: Members are divided into three sub-teams—offense, defense, and special teams. When the sub-team is on th play, but each has a set of specialized skills required by their individual position. But the teamwork required is centered in th • Basketball Team: All members play on the team as a whole. Every player is involved in all aspects of the game, offense and shoot. When a substitute comes in, all must play with the new person. True teamwork is like a basketball team where divisio coordinated result: where the whole is more than, and different from, the sum of its individual parts. The full team is then assembled and one individual is randomly selected from each group to report on the group’s conclusions. Thesub-groups can agree on which sports team fits their team.Once this task is complete, then the information obtained can be used either organizationally (“knowing what we now know about ourorganize?”) or diagnostically (“knowing what we now know about our interdependence, what insights does this give us to understandteam?”)Added thoughts or considerations: The Sports Analogy concept can be used when training Team Managers on how to organize andmanaging. --Return to Activities Listing--XVII. “What I Have Learned”Author: Sara Carney. Sara works with non profits to train both employees and volunteers.Objective (s): To isolate interpersonal strategies that help build strong teams.How the author has used this exercise: I will use this activity to help a team establish ground rules for working together.
  9. 9. Activity Description: To tee up this exercise I first ask the participants to state their years of experience. Then I ask them th by sharing a key lesson that they have learned about working effectively with people in work place groups. This usually d strategies that I list on a flip chart. When they are done identifying what they have learned, it is an easy step to developin fundamental ground rules for working together as a team. Added thoughts or considerations: I also use this activity to help a team work through team issues. It frequently gives a team an id should behave. --Return to Activities Listing-- XVIII. Peak Team Experiences Author: Sara Carney. Sara works with non profits to train both employees and volunteers. Objective (s): To help teams articulate how they should work together effectively. How the author has used this exercise: I often use this exercise to help new teams find a working definition of they are going to fun Activity Description: To set up the exercise I ask each participant to estimate the number of groups in which they have par number should not be restricted to work groups or teams, but also include groups, teams, or committees at church, their n etc. Usually the number surprises the participants. Then I ask them to relate a “peak experience” that they have had in an experience is defined here as some action, change, insight, or solution that the group experienced as a team. As the partic to explain why they thought it worked so well: In short, what was the “magic” ingredient that made it work? When they are done, I ask them to discuss how they can use the information to support their work on this team. --Return to Activities Listing-- XIX. Team ExpectationsAuthor: T. Leonard. T. Leonard is a business consultant and coach in the Twin Cities. Objective (s): To clarify the relationship between team leader and followers How the author has used this exercise: I have used this approach in both leadership and team building sessions. Successful team lea expectations that define how the team operates. Activity Description: I begin by outlining five vital team expectations. Then I ask the group to elaborate on each expectation. In oth means in their work environment. Then I have them brainstorm for strategies to strengthen each expectation. See the chart that follow
  10. 10. Expectation Define/Elaborate Strategies to Strengthen 1. Team members are expected to be contributors 2. Team members are expected to communicate honestly with one another 3. Team members are expected to cooperate with one another 4. Team members are expected to problem solve together 5. Team members are expected to be learnersAdded thoughts or considerations: After the group has wrangled with this exercise, I try to move them toward the following concluby their principles of involvement, work to help team members find a level of confidence, trust, and cooperation so that they can achie
  11. 11. can’t rely exclusively on pressure, rules, and punishments to inspire a coordinated work team. Rather they must become principled lethat allow the team to take responsibility for achieving success." --Return to Activities Listing--XX Appreciations ExerciseAuthor: Nick Heap is a facilitator of development and change. This is with individuals, teams, between teams and with large groups awith permission from Nick Heap.Objective (s): To strengthen a team by sharing individual strengthsHow the author has used this exercise: In a good learning event, people give of their best and often show more of themselves than tinsight into each others strengths. When you hear about your strengths from others and acknowledge them to yourself, this builds youIf you do this at the end of a workshop, you go away feeling good about yourself and your colleagues too.Activity Description: This version works best in groups of six to twelve; outside these limits you will probably want to adapt it, perhavery easy and sounds much more complicated than it is. 1. Have people sit in a close circle, including the facilitator(s). 2. Explain the value of feedback about strengths, as above. 3. Give everyone a sheet of A4 paper, including the facilitators. 4. Ask them to write their own name on the bottom of the paper CLEARLY. 5. Pass paper to the person on the left 6. That person writes a phrase or two or a few words, at the top of the page, to describe what she or he has most valued about th sheet. 7. Fold the paper neatly so the comments are covered 8. Pass the paper on to the next person and repeat steps 5,6 and 7 until everyone has had a go and has the paper back with his or 9. Everyone reads their own comments quietly. 10. Ask each person to mark the one he or she likes the best. 11. Ask people to stand up in a close circle, and ask everyone to say the strength she or he liked using positive words like "I am.. 12. Remind people to take their pieces of paper home and treasure them.We had a very dour manager called Tom on one course. Some months later I was chatting to him. Out of the blue he pulled open a dra"You know I was very cynical about that exercise, but every time I am a bit down I look at the paper and it lifts my spirits!Acknowledgement: This is an adaptation of an exercise I learned from Barry Hopson and Mike Scally.Added thoughts or considerations: I have used this a lot and have a lot of these "warm fuzzies" in my files. This is good! --Return to Activities Listing--XXI Strength BuildingAuthor: Nick Heap is a facilitator of development and change. This is with individuals, teams, between teams and with large groups awith permission from Nick Heap.Objective (s): To build team/group cohesion.How the author has used this exercise: People develop in confidence and self esteem as they discover their achievements and skills
  12. 12. other people and want to know more. The shared and rather intense experience builds group cohesion. People enjoy it too.Activity Description: The participants are in a small face-to-face group. In a larger group when time is short, demonstrate the processbreak people into groups of four and five.Each person has a turn as the focus of the group. 1. She or he describes an event in which she or he achieved something they felt good about. It does not have to about work. Eve 2. Each group member tells the person above two or three strengths she must have used to achieve it. The person adds one or tw 3. The person states the one strength of all the ones she has heard that she /he likes the best. If people are ready they may own th each person in turn "I am resourceful!" 4. The facilitator may encourage further growth by encouraging her/him to use a clear and positive tone of voice and posture wiAfter everyone has had a turn, ask people how they feel about themselves and the group and what they have learned.Added thoughts or considerations: Use this exercise for building mutual trust. --Return to Activities Listing-- XXII Interpersonal ConnectionsAuthor: Sara Carney. Sara works with non profits to train both employees and volunteers.Objective (s): To help teams identify productive interpersonal behaviors.How the author has used this exercise: I like to use this activity to get a team thinking about how they work together.Activity Description: Write the following terms on the board: collaboration, collegiality, and cooperation. Have the group discuss heach of the terms works within successful teams. This should set a tone for the development of norms or ground rules of how they waseven interpersonal team norms. List them. XXIII Team ExpectationsAuthor: Sara Carney. Sara works with non profits to train both employees and volunteers.Objective (s): To identify key team expectations.How the author has used this exercise: I use this simple activity when a team has some tension around their roles and their expectatiActivity Description: Have the group develop a team expectations checklist—“what we expect from each other and our performancechecklist for individual members and another for the team as a whole.Added thoughts or considerations: You can vary the format—have them work in pairs, small groups, or even individually. --Return to Activities Listing--

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