Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Team Building in Business - What is a Team?

The concept of Team is vital to success in Business, and Team Building is part of every Manager's role. By building high performing Teams, an organisation can harness the power of many individuals to achieve even greater heights.

A good Team has benefits both for the Company, and for the individual members of the Team. Belonging to a winning Team is one of the most satisfying and motivating factors inside and outside of work. Team Building is an important part of working life. But what exactly IS a Team?

Defining 'Team'
To build a Team, it is important that a Leader has a tangible, clear vision of what exactly he or she is building, and that they have a good definition of what a Team is, and what it is not. It is equally important when discussing Team Building with the Team itself, that everyone has a shared understanding of the definition of Team.

A Team is 2 or more people, but so too is a Group, and the two are very different entities. There are 4 factors that differentiate a Team from a Group of people.

1. A Team is a Group of people who work together to achieve a SHARED purpose. By shared, we mean that all of the Team members have the SAME understanding of what their purpose is.

2. They are cohesive, they have a SENSE of being on a Team. They do NOT have to be doing the same tasks, nor do they need to be working in the same area, but they still feel as if they belong on this Team.

3. The way the work together ENABLES them to work better as a Team

4. They perform better as a Team than they would as a group of individuals

Comparing Team to Group
To get a better appreciation of the term Team, it is useful to compare this to the definition of a group in working life. A group is 2 or more people who work together.

They may get on very well and they may have coffee or lunch together. They may even work very close to each other.

However, the members of the group are not enabling each other to achieve a higher level of performance.

It may be that they do not have feeling of being involved together in achieving their shared purpose. Indeed, they often do not have a shared purpose at all, with each focussing only on their own, individual, purpose.

They may be very nice, high performing individuals, but they are not benefitting from buzzing off each other. They may have coffee, but they talk about social life rather than work.

In terms of Team Building, if the group is, indeed, made up of high performers, it is even more powerful to bind them together in to a Team. The performance will skyrocket!

A Bad Group and Groupthink
A bad group is individuals who are working together in a way that is not helping, and may even be hindering, the output of the group.

A bad group is not cohesive, there are individuals and small cliques. Some of these are trying to achieve, while others are not. The output of a bad group will be much lower than a group or a Team.

Groupthink is the opposite of Team, and is another very powerful entity. Groupthink does not often occur in the working world, but it is useful to be aware of this, and to be careful to avoid this happening to your Team.

This is where a group is very cohesive and they have a very strong sense of belonging. However, they are heading in the OPPOSITE direction to their shared purpose.

These folk have a shared understanding of their working world and their role in work that is working AGAINST achievement and success. Achievement to this group is bad.

They protect their views and they will reject anyone who tries to argue with them, often stereotyping and labelling them as an 'outgroup'.

For the purposes of your Team Building, this will give you a clearer definition of the concept of Team.

By : Kate_Tammemagi

What Are the Goals and Objectives of a Team Building Workshop?

In any Organisation, and at any level, a facilitated Team Building workshop can be a possible route to improve the Team and to foster high performance.

A Team is a powerful entity, as we know from sport. A high performing Team not only achieves success, but also has dynamism and an energy that nurtures individual high achievement and a high degree of job satisfaction.

The Overall Objective

The overall objective of any Team Building Workshop should be that your Team is further down the road towards achieving the status of a high performing Team.

This is a useful theme for the workshop, as it keeps the Team thinking forward to where we want to be, and planning how we can get from where we are now to the forward vision.

This fundamental objective gives us a framework that should be part of any Team Building Workshop -

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be?

3. How will we get there?

This framework can be used on a Team Build Workshop to address either or both of the 2 separate branches of the Team's goals and objectives -

1. The Team's objectives regarding our Team purpose, our Team goals and performance targets

2. The Team's objectives regarding our Teamwork, how we effectively we work together to achieve our Team purpose and objectives

Both strands will come together at the end of the Team Building workshop, in the form of strategies, plans and actions to take us forward.

Team Purpose Objectives and Goals

When addressing our Team Goals and achievements in a Team Building Workshop, it is useful to begin with a fresh look at your Team purpose and where it fits in the Organisation purpose.

It is also important to identify the Organisation' strategic goals and the goals the Organisation has given the Team, as this is our context.

The objective in a Team Building Workshop then is to ask ourselves -

1. How well placed are we to achieve our Team Goals?

2. What are our strengths as a Team? What have we got to achieve these goals?

3. What is blocking, or preventing us from achieving?

4. What do we need to improve or develop to achieve success?

Our Goals in terms of Teamwork

Teamwork is the way we work together to achieve our goals. It includes our values, attitudes, relationships, and Team processes. The key to removing blocks and moving forward in a Team is to identify what PROCESS can we use to improve on this issue? There will always be a Team process that will improve relationship issues, effective work practices or blocks to high performance.

To move forward as a Team, it is useful to think in terms of Tuckman's Stages of Team Development. This will give us a good objective framework to identify where we are, and where we want to be.

In the Team Building Workshop, the Team can -

1. Review and assess their current Stage of Team Development

2. Identify their future vision, where we want to be as a Team. This involves both a vision and clearly identified goals.

3. Identify clear short term goals, the next steps we must achieve to move them to the next level

4. Plan how we will do this, strategies and actions to achieve those next steps.

Planning the Team's Way Forward

Taking the 2 strands of goals together, the Team can sift out the mission critical areas for future development. A good Team Building Workshop should finish with a brainstorm and planning session so that the Team has a plan for improving each specific issue. They leave with action plans and new Team Processes to enable the Team to work effectively together.

By Kate Tammemagi

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Importance of Building a Team

In many working environments there are many problems that are brought about by the employees, partners and in some other cases the clients not working as a team or not cooperating. In order to solve this problem it is advisable to organize an event.

Team building is a process that will develop the cooperation between the employees, partners as well as the clients of an organization.

This will in turn constitute a team that is effective in which all the members will now share a common goal. Apart from this it will also make all the members have respect for each other as well as become motivated to use their strengths to achieve their goals.

In team building each and every member has his/her own role to play so as to make the company a successful one. Most organizations are now starting to know the importance of this because of the rise of things such as morale defeating activities.

Other companies see the need to form different committees for various purposes and this means individuals can be members in several different teams within the organization.

For a specific team to be effective there should be adequate time for the members to get acquainted as well as exchange their ideas which gives the team members a sense of ownership as well as loyalty.

Team building events include activities where individuals can collaborate in different tasks, brainstorming, become creative, and give feedback as well as for trust purposes.

Majority of team building activities mainly focus on the most common issues that affect most companies that include conflict resolution, problem solving, effective communication, develop leadership, interpersonal and negotiation skills as well as organizational development.

Team buildings can also be organized for celebrating the company's achievements over a specific period or in some cases company anniversaries.

Other companies also hold team building events during the most common holidays to motivate their employees.

The activities that are most common in most events include ropes courses, having a field day of team games, scavenger hunts, meals as well as other sporting events. The planning of team building events can be a stressful thing to do but it comes with lots of benefits.

When choosing the event to host your team building event it is important to do it at an off-site location. And also be flexible by having back-up plans which make you prepared for any surprise that may arise.

It is also necessary to involve all the concerned parties when planning the event and here you are supposed to take into account that people are different and hence include activities that will be appropriate to each of them.

The activities that have been chosen are supposed to follow-up ones in order to promote collaboration. When choosing the appropriate activities that will be in the event it is necessary to do broad research on various books as well as internet sites.

There are also companies that specifically deal with team building that you can contract. Other things to consider when planning a team building include the number of people attending as well as the age group.

By Lily Morgan

Ideal Motivational Speaker For Your Team Building Event

It is important to find the perfect motivational speaker that will be appropriate for your specific team building cause. This is because different motivational speakers have specialized in different topics.

This means that before you start looking for a motivational speaker for your event, you must first know the cause or theme of the event to get the most appropriate motivational speaker. Motivation is known to be the foundation to the success of any task. This can either be both at work as well as in an individual's personal life.

Apart from delivering speeches to inspire people, motivational speakers also drive people to successful lives by helping them develop effective ideas that will help them experience personal growth and development.

Motivational speakers offer the services at different prices and it is necessary to research on several of them before settling on the one that will be at your event. Motivational speakers give keynote addresses at team building events mostly at the start of the event but some are also known to do so at the end of the event depending on the message of the day.

Most of the motivational speakers specify their topics and a majority of them choose topics that are related to their own personal experiences they have had in life as well as their responses to the challenges they have faced.

Motivational speakers can also be classified in two categories. The first category is for the self-motivator who motivates themselves to achieve themselves and these motivational speakers have backgrounds in sports or have overcome a big obstacle in their lives.

The other category is the leadership-motivator who motivates others to achieve certain tasks and these motivational speakers are known to have backgrounds in business, sports especially as coaches or managers as well as the military.

Self-motivators are ideal when you want to get the audience to re-examine or re-assess their personal situations both at work as well as their personal lives in order to achieve their goals and at the same time push to greater levels of responsibility as well as fulfillment.

Leadership motivators are ideal if you want the audience to learn things such as team-work, trust, communication, leadership as well as group dynamics.

When looking for the ideal motivational speaker for your event you are also supposed to understand the audience's needs as well as the goals or aspirations the audience has.

Another thing to put in mind is that you should make clear the message that is going to be given to your audience.

It is important to provide the motivational speaker you have chosen with some information and this is best done by preparing a document that includes any relevant history, the reason for the event, their purpose, the specific aims of the event, the theme, the challenges they might face as well as the aspirations and future plans of the company.

This information is meant to give them an idea of the things they can address as well as the sensitive issues. The other important thing to do is to get a background of some motivational speakers to find some of the events they have given speeches and their results.

Other motivational speakers have books where you can read some of their work and also you can get those who have been awarded for their work.

By Lily Morgan

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Company Team Building - How to Choose the Right Team Building Event For Your Company

So the boss comes to you and says, "We need a company team building event for the annual meeting coming up. Can you find a few options for us?" Sounds easy right? Until you look up "team building event" on Google and get 116,000,000 results.

You'll find everything from scavenger hunts to cooking classes to race car driving to fighter pilots to classroom programs. And of course, everyone is counting on you to find a program that doesn't stink. No pressure.

There are a few basics about team building that you have to understand to find options that are appropriate to your group. Keep in mind that most of the people who TEACH corporate team building programs don't know aren't privy to some of the information that I'll share with you below. However, if you keep this information in mind when you select a company team event, you'll have a winner every time.

First, you have to determine what result you are expecting from the event. There are two main genres of team building, and it's real easy to get the two confused, but understanding this key principle is the main key to choosing the correct program. The most common type of team building program is the "Shared Experience" type of program.

The main result from this type of team event is a fun experience where camaraderie is built between participants. The second type of program is a "Behavior Change" type of program. These are what some people call traditional team building programs and tend to be training events where information and skill development is the focus.

Very few team building organizations are experts at both types of programs, but a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that companies that specialize in behavior change programs tend to also be pretty good at shared experience programs.

However, companies that specialize in shared experience programs tend to not crossover as well to deliver effective training programs. Again, this is a general rule of thumb, but can help in determining if the team building company that you are hiring will do a stellar job.

Shared Experience Team Building Programs

Shared experience team events are most appropriate as a way to add entertainment or fun to another type of scheduled event. For instance, if your group is having a convention or annual meeting, and you are looking for a way add some enthusiasm and fun to the event, then a Shared Experience type of Team Building program will do nicely.

These also work well as a reward to your team for accomplishing a goal or as an icebreaker for new teams. A lot of companies use these types of events for interns or to welcome new members to an established group.

In reality, just about any type of fun activity can provide a shared experience, however, the bigger you group is the more challenging it can be to get a consistent result. For instance, if you have eight people on a team, you can easily create two foursomes and play golf together or go bowling.

However, if you have a group of 20 people play golf together, it will become more of a small group shared experience versus a team building event, so it takes an experienced facilitator to deliver an event that keeps everyone involved and having fun throughout the event.

If you have 100 people or 1000 people in your group, the complexity of the shared experience is increased exponentially. In this case, you'll want to do your research very thoroughly, because one misjudgment or moment of inexperience on the part of the team builders could make your whole event an embarrassment.

Behavior Change Programs

Behavior change team building programs are quite a bit different. These events, sometimes referred to as classroom programs, work best in situations where the goals are more results oriented such as if specific challenges have developed within the team or if the group is looking for ways to improve efficiency or productivity.

For instance, if a group has just gone through a merger and the two cultures are being melded together, or if a new goal has been set that is going to require changes to be made within the organization, or any other situation where we want our team to do thing differently than they have in the past.

Behavior change team building programs require a more experienced facilitator, because the ultimate goal of the event is to actually build teamwork, communicate more effectively, or work more efficiently together.

Those kinds of behaviors aren't going to manifest themselves by getting your group to compete against each other in a contest or by playing games together.

Instead, you'll want a team building company that specializes in assessing the root causes of the challenges within the organization and who can provide information, training, and exercises to get the participants want to work better with each other.

One of the big myths about behavior change programs or classroom style team building programs is that they aren't as much fun as the shared experience event. The reality is that folks who attend a really good classroom program will usually feel more of a sense of accomplishment and feel like the time that they spent was well worth it.

The key is making sure that the company that you hire to deliver your program is interactive and fun in their deliver of the program and that the content is appropriate for the results that you are looking for. If both of those things are true, then you'll get rave reviews from your team after the program.

The Big Mistake that will Guarantee that your Event Bombs

Understanding the two different genres of team building, here is the thing that you want to be the most careful about... If you have a group who is experiencing team challenges, and you conduct a Shared Experience event to try to fix it, you are likely to make it worse.

For instance, if you sects within your group who are antagonistic about other sects within your group, and you force them to team up with each other to compete with other groups, guess what? It's likely to backfire.

However, if you want to experience the camaraderie of a shared experience program and still get the team building skills developed in a classroom program, I have good news. You can do both.

Do a behavior change program in the morning, and then use a shared experience program in the afternoon as a laboratory to use the new skills in a controlled environment. Then you get the best of both worlds!

Doug Staneart is the President and CEO of The Leader's Institute Team Building Organization. He invented philanthropic team building when he created the world-famous Build-A-Bike(R) team event and has trained over 120,000 people in team building programs over the last two decades.

By Douglas Staneart

Re-Energize the Company With Relevant Team Building Events

There are several essential facts about Dallas team building events that every business officer, supervisor and leader must realize before starting any organization development initiative.

Fail to observe these essentials and you are inviting trouble and an assortment of problems once your Dallas corporate events are underway.

It is imperative that you evaluate and consider all these facts about organization development and group dynamics so that you will have a hassle-free and trouble-free business activity.

What are these facts and how do these essentials affect the conduct and success of the organizational development activities? You may be surprised at the simplicity of these major principles.

This article shall discuss the critical issues about group dynamics and organization development and why these issues are so are important in developing a strong and cohesive business working group.

This is what is most critical. The facilitator of the business activity must be able to reduce his or her assessment of the business group down to its individual members. Individuals have the general tendency to keep personal issues and information from their peers.

In fact, even within the family, the level of intimacy is not absolutely personal as there are instances where a member of the family tends to be selective of the information and sentiments he or she is willing to share with the other members of the family.

This attitude is even more pronounced when it comes to the workplace. Most of us are inclined to be more reserved with colleagues. In fact, we even exert extra effort so that we are able to maintain the barriers between us and our colleagues.

As far as we are concerned, the relationship that exists between us and our colleagues are strictly on the "professional" level. We abhor any attempts by others to pry on our personal lives and in the same token; we choose not to involve ourselves with anything we perceive as personal.

This is the main reason why most of us don't feel any strong attachment with anyone in the organization and that the bond that ties all of you as one is purely motivated by your appreciation of your responsibility and role in the organization.

This means, that a supervisor will be oriented to have ascendancy over his or her staff. The staff, on the other hand, has to tendency to become subservient to their supervisor.

In conducting the relevant group dynamics and organizational development activities, the group shall be able to dismantle this invisible barrier and develop a better perspective of each of the member of the organization.

You will no longer see Philip as the guy who is always late in submitting weekly reports. You will now see Philip from a different perspective and hopefully appreciate and understand the person better.

This process, once properly implemented, shall foster trust and faith among each of the members of the group. The individual will also develop a more positive attitude not only towards his or her peers but also towards the organization as a whole.

Once all of these issues are clarified, each member will better appreciate the other members of the group and will also gain the trust of his or her colleague. The group dynamics shall help achieve two critical variables of a full functioning working group - trust and respect among the members.

Chuck R Stewart recently researched Dallas corporate events for his company's retreat this summer. He also arranged Dallas team building events for his staff.

By Chuck R Stewart

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Want to Make Money Online? 8 Simple Steps

The internet offers great opportunities for making money in your own business. The beauty of this business is that there is no limit to your income.

1. If you will put in the time and effort to get your business up and running, you can start making money working part or full time.

2. A full time job will not stop you from building an internet business if you truly want to make money online. It's simply a matter of how dedicated you are to either developing a successful part time venture or having a goal of eventually quitting your job.

3. I have learned the hard way to stick with what I do the best. There are many methods of making money on the internet and jumping from one to the other will slow you down and result in frustration.

4. You don't need to spend money to develop a successful business with the method I use. You don't even have to have a website or a blog to be wildly successful.

5. I found that affiliate marketing works best for me as it's a simple and clean way to make a great income online. You simply promote other merchant's products and get a commission when your customer purchases a product through you.

6. You don't have to deal with the customer's purchase, any problems associated with the purchase, a website to display product or any sales related problems. I find this to be a really attractive way to make a living.

7. The only thing you need to get started making money on the internet is knowledge. You need to know how to go about it without making too many beginner mistakes.

8. I've made many mistakes and I learned from all of them. Looking back it would have been much easier and faster to avoid those mistakes and to have just cruised along from the start. An honest mentor who is there for you is vital.

I found a mentor that for less than the cost of a steak dinner for two has shown me how to make a living online. It costs me nothing to run my business and I don't need websites. If you want to make money online easily and with the guidance of someone who really cares about your success, please visit

By Gabe Jackson

Make Money on the Internet - Simple and Free

I dreamed for years about making money from home. I had the fantasy of not going to a job, not having a boss and working my own business. The fantasy became reality when I discovered how to make money on the internet.

All things seemed possible when I discovered affiliate marketing. I do stay home, I don't have a boss (except for my wife), and my income is only limited by how hard I want to work.

Affiliate marketing is simply promoting other merchant's products and being paid a commission when there is a sale.

You might feel like you don't know anything about the internet or how to go about starting a business online. Believe me, I felt the same way.

What would I promote and how would I do it? I've been there with all of those questions and doubts.

Desire to not have to drive to a job that I really wasn't thrilled about motivated me to look into how I could make money on the internet.

I tried building websites and found it frustrating and not much fun. I learned how to spend money advertising for other people's products. Their had to be a better way.

Yes I know how you feel entering this journey as a beginner. I finally found the answer for me and it had been there all the time.

Affiliate marketing requires no website and you don't have to spend a dime to be wildly successful. The only thing you need is motivation and knowledge which means learning the basics. I found that it's easy even for someone like me that doesn't have a sales or marketing background.

The knowledge I needed as a total newby came from a program that cost less than a night out to dinner with my wife. My mentor taught me how to make money on the internet without spending a dime. If you truly desire to build a successful business starting today, visit

By Gabe Jackson

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do Modern Day Problems Impact on Your Team's Performance?

These days we all have so much to live up to. We try to be perfect parents, perfect partners, have the perfect social life! Something has got to give or stress starts to creep in.

Do you take the time to listen to your staff member's problems or issues?

Do you show them that you understand, show you care? You may think that it is not your place to care, that they should leave personal issues at home and not let it affect their work. However, it is not always that easy for people to compartmentalise their lives in this way and personal problems often interfere with work performance.

Their negative behaviour and moods can impact on the rest of the team. They either bring everyone else down with them creating an awful atmosphere, or they alienate themselves, making them feel even more depressed. As a manager, you have a duty to yourself, your boss and your team to deal with these issues in a compassionate manner.

Take the time to help your employee with their personal problems.

Coach them to look for solutions and they will feel closer to you. In turn, they will perform better because you showed them you care. People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. This is an important employee retention and employee motivation discipline.

Continually offer them positive feedback whenever possible.

From this point on you will notice that employees will go out of their way to do a great job, because you took the time to include them, empower them, to thank them and to show them that you care.

Yvonne Bleakley is the manager's mentor, director of and creator of The Silent Motivator System, the proven step-by-step programme to maximise staff and gain true respect and commitment.

Download your free e-book "How to Maximise your Staff and Gain Respect" at

Team Building in a Tough Economy - How to Build Your Team While You Build Your Brand

Sales are down, budgets are being cut, layoffs are looming. In tough economic times, building a strong team environment may not be the first thing on most managers' minds. But according to some experts in a recent Harvard Business study, it's in times like these that team-building exercises are needed most. Whether employees are nervous about the prospect of being laid off or the team is learning how to operate with fewer employees, group activities designed to encourage collaborative problem solving can be especially productive.

Once you've realized the importance of team building in a slow economy, consider these options for creating a strong team environment in your workplace:

Community Service

Volunteering with coworkers not only builds a strong sense of community, but also strengthens relationships between colleagues. Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, help build houses in a forgotten neighborhood or even just participate in a blood drive, community service projects create shared experiences that bring teams closer together. Consider including logoed products to commemorate your volunteer experience, such as logoed hammers for home projects or custom aprons for soup kitchen activities.

Field Trips

With luxury corporate retreats getting such a bad rap, many companies are opting for smaller, low-key field trips to build a stronger team. Getting out of the typical office environment and going to a park, zoo, museum or other relaxing location can help employees get to know each other better and create a better working environment. If you want to incorporate subtle team-building activities into your company field trip, try a getting-to-know-you ball toss with custom stress balls or a scavenger hunt with a logoed flashlight or other fun little prizes for teams.

Take a Class

Whether it's work-related or simply a shared hobby, taking a class with coworkers brings colleagues together and provides a shared learning experience. If your team needs to be CPR-certified, take the class together. If you discover many of your coworkers enjoy pottery painting as much as you do, suggest attending a class once a week. Whatever class you take, be sure to honor the accomplishment with a personalized certificate frame or other simple award.

Staples Promotional Products offers you a wide selection of products to help with your team building efforts while subtly promoting your business and building a strong bond between employees and your brand. Visit to view our wide selection of items available for customization online.

By Laura Daniels