Saturday, April 17, 2010

Team Building, Without the Blah!

When you talk about team building, many people roll their eyes. They picture blindfolded "trust" walks or lame "get to know each other" activities around the office.

While it is true that team-building can be a waste of time if it isn't carried out well, it can also be a fun and useful part of boosting company morale and improving communication and productivity. It's as simple as a group of people and a fire pit.

Now, I know what you're thinking and no, I'm not about to tell you how to conduct a fire walk! What I'm going to suggest is that true team building can be done by hosting your own get-together campfire-style around a fire pit. You'll need a park, a safe campfire area, lots of food and beverages, and a sense of humor.

Team building is best done outside of the office, away from the bland atmosphere of desks and cubicles and miles removed from work concerns. What better way to do this than to get out in nature, sit around a campfire, eat and drink, and enjoy conversation and games?

You might hire a popular local singer-songwriter to play, or organize some light sports (like Ultimate Frisbee, sand volleyball, and horseshoes). Have a raffle or prize giveaway.

Whatever you do, make sure to keep it light-hearted. Don't force team building with speeches or forced dialogue. Instead, let it develop naturally, as team members begin to see each other outside of a work-related environment.

When it gets cold or dark, it's time for the campfire. Once again, don't rush or force things. Full stomachs, "adult beverages", and relaxation will take care of the rest!

There's something ancient and primal about being huddled by a fire that brings out the best elements in us: playfulness, camaraderie, reflection, a sense that we really all are made of the same basic stuff.

Let the fire pit do the talking, and if relationships develop and moral improves, great! If not, well, you still had a great time, and when's the last time you could say that about an office-mandated team building activity?

By : Geoffrey_Moore

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