Friday, October 29, 2010

Team Building Helps in Binding A Group Together

Employees feel isolated and boring if they have to slog down the weeks and months with some monotonous and mechanical work. It is more concerning to get non-cooperative vibes from their colleagues and especially managers.

Team building events are some special occasions undertaken by most of the companies to initiate a boost of confidence amongst employees and letting them mingle and know each other. Team building activities do not fall under any school activity curriculum; it has more fun to it than just setting on a boat packed with people

Events for Amusement

It is not merely boat but you can call it a cruise where everyone gathers together to collaborate, speak, share their thoughts and also have fun. The objective is to bring different mind sets and personalities together and make them match and bring flavour of working spirit in their minds. Nevertheless, never think that the whole concept is merely about building teams and helping group of all kinds of employees to work together.

Building team means fostering a sense of responsibility among people to let them understand their objectives and strive together to achieve their target. It is like working in group and understanding how integration works for a mission to be successful.

Remember, the idea is not what one has to do and what is one's responsibility; but there lies more to it. At some point, each member has to understand what will be apt for the team and their sense of commitment that is required.

The program taken by a team should not be too confusing or out of competitive market strategy. The market has to be studied and pertinent to it the team has to study the demands of the company. Aggression can work in reverse at times and therefore there should more humility in approach and understanding.

Everyone should work cooperatively. The idea is not to overpower one's sense of ideas but to listen as a group and come to a conclusion as a group otherwise the weaker ones will feel threatened and stray from the team.

A strong spirit combined with awareness actually make a team Remember, a team can only win on the basis of professionalism, skill and talent. There should be fun events too like parties with intelligent twists to it that a team has to solve. For instance any murder riddle that a team has to solved, definitely the riddle or murder is all fictitious.

Besides, projects help group of people combine and work together. Else, companies can give a theme out of which a team has to build a cost planning for budget saving or if it is an advertising company then the team can be asked to build an advertisement for a particular company.

These above points will help to assess the strength and weakness of the team and once this is done team building will become a successful task for any company.

By : Brad_Marc

Team Building and Loyalty

Loyalty means a lot to me. I'm delighted to say that I believe that our team is loyal to one another and the company as a whole. Working for a professional team building company as we do, we get to see all sorts of teams and not all of them have the same degree of loyalty within them that we have.

Indeed, often the reason we have the opportunity to work with them in the first place is to help start the process of increasing the loyalty with a team. I thought I'd write about that.

What we can't do is to fix a loyalty problem at a single event. Loyalty is something that is built up over a long period of time, not something that can be wrapped up into a small package and delivered along with the mail. But we can make a start.

Step one is having the event in the first place. I believe that most people want to be loyal to their team and organisation from the moment that they join them. They join with high hopes and expectations and what happens is that, over time, little things chip away at that desire.

I remember being told on a management training course once that most people are naturally motivated from within and that a manager's job is, in part, to demotivate their reports as little as possible.

I think that is good advice, if somewhat different to the normal guidance that you can find on motivating people. So organising an event that people will enjoy is unlikely to demotivate anyone and can only increase move their loyalty in an upward direction.

Step two is all around the choice of activity. If step one is to be positive, then the option chosen needs to be something that everyone in the team will actually appreciate. That doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to be full of belly laughter from start to finish.

While a "fun" team building day might well be just what the doctor ordered, people often understand that all is not well with the team and can really appreciate a day spent tackling the issues they face. Providing the experience is a positive and constructive one, that is.

An activity that offers a combination of being something different to what people do at work and yet has plenty of parallels to the workplace is a pretty good one. That means offering the team a challenge that needs the same kind of skills and team methodology as they need to be affective at work.

Step three is the team building activity debrief. It needs an experienced facilitator and a structured process that encourages people to speak honestly and without fear of recriminations. The facilitator's job is, in part, to keep the focus on the team and not on individuals while at the same time ensuing all conversation is constructive and productive.

It also needs to specifically touch on loyalty as an issue and generate an action plan that the whole team is committed to implementing back at base.

By : Alan_Hunt

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Team Working - 5 Things That Destroy Trust

A team, if it is going to prosper, needs many things but one thing it needs in bucket loads is trust. Trust is one of those things that takes time to build but can be destroyed in minutes. So what do you need to be alert to in order to avoid trust being destroyed?

1. Not following up: If you have said to team members that they are expected to deliver something specific by a certain time and date, you need to make sure that you follow up. If you fail to follow up, people will interpret it as you don't care or what you ask them to do is not important.

2. Favouritism: If you are part of a team, there are going to be people that you connect with better than others. It can be really tempting to treat those who you connect with differently to others. Don't do this as you will create divisions.

3. Not delivering: If you, as the leader of the team, made certain commitments, then make sure you deliver on them. You set the tone for the rest of the team. If you have a reputation for non-delivery, others will follow suit.

4. Publicly criticising: The best laid plans don't always come off. There may have been several people who contributed to the poor outcome or whose lack of contribution led to a less than ideal outcome. Deal with this behind closed doors rather than publicly.

5. Not dealing with toxic behaviour: People will, if you allow them, take advantage. If their behaviours are toxic, they will bring down the whole team eventually. When you notice toxic behaviour, deal with it.

The Bottom Line: Trust is core to success on teams. So what do you need to pay attention to in order to achieve more success on a team?

By : Duncan_Brodie

Successful Workplace Teams - What They Look Like And How To Create Them


The team is the basic human unit in the workplace. And effective team development is essential for the success of small-medium business. If you employ people, they must be able to work together effectively.

What's A Workplace Team?

A workplace team exists where two or more people must work together to achieve business results. Even in relatively small businesses, an employee can easily be a member of more than one.

Characteristics Of A Good Workplace Team

In the workplace an effective team

* has clearly defined goals which each member accepts
* has a clearly defined roles for each member
* each member accepts the defined role and responsibilities of each other member
* team goals are more important than individual goals
* members willingly support other team members to ensure the overall effectiveness
* each member accepts that their contribution will be a major factor in measuring their personal performance
* the measure of team effectiveness is performance not behaviour
* co-operation with other teams is essential for effective performance

Effectiveness Not Affection

Notice that good interpersonal relationships is not a characteristic of an effective team. It's usually an outcome. People who work effectively together usually develop good interpersonal relationships. At the very least they learn to tolerate each other's personal idiosyncrasies.

But there's no guarantee that a group of people who "get on well" will produce effective results.

Teams Exist Regardless

Teams are the human core of the workplace. Whether admin, sales, production or warehouse or whatever, the team simply exists. As manager you have to deal with the teams as well as the individuals in them.

Dismiss Definitions

Forget the notion of what's different about a team or a group or staff versus functional relationships. That sort of thinking leads to paralysis by analysis. You have teams in your workplace. You need them to be effective. That's the reality.

Team Building v. Team Development

The team exists. Forget about building it too. It's there. Your job is to ensure it develops into an effective and important unit. It is the human cornerstone of your business success.

Team Development Tips

* Select and train for competence. Employees who are incompetent are the biggest threat to effective team development
* Establish goals: what the team exists to achieve. Each member must accept these goals.
* Clarify individual roles and goals. Each member needs to fully understand the contributions and roles of other members.
* Allow team members to develop relationships in a way that suits them overall.
* Emphasize the importance of co-operation and respect for other teams. Healthy competition between teams is desirable. Competition that attempts to denigrate others is utterly unacceptable.
* Ensure they develop effective internal systems to ensure that their goals continue to be achieved in the absence of members.
* Stress the importance of positive co-operation between teams.

Change Your Management Mindset

As managers, we're taught to focus on individual employee performance. This ignores the reality of the workplace. Each employee depends on other employees to be successful at work. Each employee is a member of at least one team. Their success depends on how effective they are as members.


Concentrate on developing effective teams in your workplace. Ignore so called "personality conflicts". They're almost always a result of role and goal conflicts. Focus on sorting our roles and goals. Help teams develop effective systems so that they contribute more effectively for business success. You and your business will be the beneficiaries in the long run.

By : Leon_Noone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Activity for Better Communication: Team Building Activities

As more and more people spend at least half a day at work, team bonding and Team Building has become the need of the hour. More and more people are realizing the importance of Team Building. Most people spend more than 9 to 10 hours at work and they need to release their stress.

Most projects and task involves a strong and bonded team that can perform well. Most teams end up with below par performances largely due to either lack of communication or co-ordination, this is where most big companies face problems.

Proper Communication and co-ordination is the key to a well-managed company. Hence, more and more companies are investing in Team Building Activities like team parties, picnics and other such activities to keep the environment friendly and stress free.

Team Building Activities need to be fun, but at the same time, they need to impart wisdom to your team. Your team should get to learn and understand the importance of unity and integrity. Team Building Activity must have a clear objective. The objective can be anything from communication to co-ordination or even efficiency.

With every team building activity, your employees/subordinates must progress as a stronger team that performs with much more efficiency. You must organize Activities that will help them overcome their weakness.

There are many Team Building Activities. However, you need only those activities that will make your team stronger. Here's how you start developing better communication between your employees/subordinates

Start with analyzing what are the pros and cons of your team. You do not require wasting your precious time on activities that will help improve their plus points.

The objective is to concentrate on the negative aspects. Most Teams face communication problems. The activity given below is easy and can be organized every week:-

The basic problem with communication is that most people are embarrassed to talk about their problems with others and at the same time it is very embarrassing for that one person to listen to his negative aspects.

Hence, the first step is to create an environment where nobody is scared to talk or communicate. You can have people write name or names of their team members with whom they are facing communication problems.

Now, collect the chits and play this game. Make all the other members talk about why two people in your team are facing a communication problem. As the other members talk, the two prospective members cannot utter a word and will simply sit and listen.

The other members of your team will also give a solution to how they can communicate better.

This game could be played every week with multiple team members and will help resolve many work related issues. You will also see an improvement in your team building and how everyone is making an effort to create a friendly and stress free environment. This activity will also help everyone learn about each other and know each other better.

By : Tom_Harry

Team Building Games: Improve Business Effectiveness

It is often said, team building games in fact play a crucial role to foster camaraderie among your team members. It is widely acclaimed; most corporate entities opt to choose these for a larger purpose. And it is of achieving business successes for their company.

Normally, such entities organizations are believed to consist of individuals of various mental frames, IQs, characters and attitudes. So, it is believed to be wise practices to indulge them work as a composite team to achieve twin-purpose, namely:

For achieving company's, and

Their personal growth.

It is thought that a growth story of any company indirectly also means efficiency and effectiveness of the human resources which are known to work under its tutelage. More than often, you will find more and more companies incorporating team building event days in their annual fixture.

This is primarily done with the idea that:

It will be a kind of an exercise to boost morale of their workforce within fold of a business entity.

Allow workers to have a fun day out at company's expense, so that they don't feel a pinch in their pockets

Workers normally are seen to bond better when such an event is organized.

Serves as a platform to provide more serious learning and personal development.

Extensive use of it helps corporate employee motivation and personal development.

It has been observed, when employers take such measures, it increases business effectiveness.

There are numerous games which might be used to imbibe a spirit of unified group.

Some of these games include:

Minefield: In this game participants are given a chance to talk on things that are believed to be detrimental to a group's functioning. An object is then thrown in the so-called 'playing arena' which is actually termed as minefield for each of the characteristic or action. The group then proceeds to select partners from other participants in their group.

One partner is then blindfolded at one end of field while those partners who aren't blindfolded stand at opposite end. The later then direct blindfolded partner to help him negotiate through the minefield. This way they ensure blindfolded mate doesn't fall into any of the obstacles.

Quizzing: These are basically quiz nights where participants can be seen answering general knowledge questions. This way they develop a healthy environment by competing among themselves.

Letters: Here a group of four or five people is formed and an English alphabet is then called out. The amazing feature of this game being participants are supposed to spell out letters only using their body on the ground. Scores are maintained and the group who succeeds to spell fastest is the winner.

By : Jeesh_Muake

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learning to Lead Organizations

A true leader is not only born it can also be developed through time and experience. Great leaders are charismatic, part of it comes since birth but most of it comes through the development of different skills that create a sense of confidence in the person.

Being charismatic is more than just simple charisma - it is something magical that makes other people follow, without a real true explanation. It motivates groups to fight uphill battles, go over their limits, weather storms, live on long after the leader is gone, or simply perform without a grouch.

Leading implies knowing and learning skills. The following list is a sample of patterns that can be applied while leading an organization:

Know your competition, not only the ones you know, know them well and know them all. Keep you eyes open to new competitors. Know their strengths and their weaknesses. Once you know well your competition you can only then improve and lead your organization better.

Try unusual and extraordinary things, why limit yourself. Spend time in being a better person, improve your ethics, your principles, motivate yourself and act appropriately. Know what you want and how to get there, just then you can show the way.

Constantly look at where you are and where you want to be. A clear vision is critical for moving ahead, but you have to know where you are before you can move forward. Regroup as needed, readapt and then move on.

Create a team and teamwork. Teamwork is key not only a concept believe it in. Everyone in a team is equal, everyone has responsibilities and obligations and the leader has to guide the whole team in the right direction. A well lead team is capable of setting its own goals. Is your team capable of setting their goals?

Lead by example, teams have to believe in their leader. Keep teams motivated and focused by being authentic, act accordingly, forget about "Do as I say, not as I do". In order for leaders to gain authority there has to be respect, followers will respect their leader if the leader respects them.

Leaders take care of their customers but most importantly they take care of their teammates. Leaders care about their team, they involve them in every step of the process and results are achieved. Every team member is important.

Organizations should be in the business of creating leaders. Leaders need to be found, placed in different levels and developed. When a team member knows they are performing and are being recognized for it, they will feel important and perform even better.

Leaders should know their team members. Leaders do not lead teams they actually lead individuals with different personalities and levels of expertise who together make up a team. Every person in a team has different strengths, weaknesses and needs, a team leader know that about each team member. A team will only be effective and efficient if their needs are known, recognized and grown.

Organizations have to constantly embrace change to be able to reach their goals. Leaders have to take necessary time to list the goals of the organization and to compare them to the list of principles. When leaders make sure their approach matches the organization's goals then they become better leaders.

By : Joaquin_Duenas

Six Different Types of Team Players - Which Type Are You?

Many studies are conducted every year to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of personality and type of team player. Do different types of team players have an edge? If they all possessed more or less the same skills, then multitude facets of the project or assignment will be hard to tackle and the whole exercise of assembling the team will be defeated.

A team is never homogeneous and it never should be for it to succeed. The essence of an organizational team is the variety of skill sets they bring to the table. Different types of team players, each chips in with their own individual skills or domain knowledge to bear on the task and to finish it with efficiency and expertise.

Analytical team members:

While one team member may be very good at analytical skills, the other may be able to organize and collate information and data in a cohesive manner.

Communication Experts:

Still another player may be very good at articulating and communicating difficult concepts and strategy to all.

Strategy & planning think tanks:

Some are very good at strategizing and making plans on the drawing board, and another very adept at executing and taking it off the ground.

Team leaders & captains:

Some are very good leaders, having great vision and projecting the goals and targets to be achieved, sharing that vision and at making the goal as a common goal for all in the team.

Hard workers & finishers:

There are team workers who are happy to follow instructions and work like a horse around an assignment and win hearts and appreciation with their stint of hard work.

Difficult & problematic type:

Their may be others who may be domineering, aggressive and go getter type riding roughshod over all others around them.

Much like a soccer team or a basketball team, the people working together on a job, must seamlessly and without friction gel with each other and constantly proceed towards a common end. The difference in skills, knowledge, mental composition, personal traits and personality type actually helps the project to reach its logical conclusion more efficiently and effectively.

The whole is only a sum of its part and to find a total or holistic solution, differently skilled team players are more of a necessity than a pain. The key player is the team leader who holds all the spokes of the wheel to the wheel frame and ensures that the destination is the goal and motto of all concerned.

By : Takuya_Hikichi

Monday, October 25, 2010

10 Characteristics To Explode Your Teams Success

As a leader, you are certainly looking for the best out of your team. However, it is possible that you still don't know the potential of your team. It is possible that you don't even know who the best players in your team are. If that is the case, it becomes difficult to set your team in the right direction when it is needed.

If you look closely at your team, there are a few characteristics that can tell you a lot about your team, including whether they are charged for success or not. The following are these characteristics that you must keep your eyes peeled for.

1. A team that gets to be truly successful is one that sticks together. Good coordination is a must and there shouldn't be petty issues like personal egos bogging your team down. Your team should be devoid of arrogance.

2. A focused team is what you should hope for. Such a team works with well-defined objectives and is geared for achieving end results.

3. Personal accountability is an asset for corporate teams. Instead of laying the blame on others, such teams shoulder their individual responsibilities and help each other.

4. Members are respectful of each other. They recognize that other people in the team have their specific talents as well and they are honored.

5. Members also realize that every member in the team is different. Instead of pulling each other down, they realize that every member is a vital link in the strength of the entire team.

6. Every person of a successful team has an innate drive to accomplish something. This is motivation, which is a vital ingredient of all winning teams.

7. Teams that are successful today have dollops of confidence in them. They take criticism constructively, but they are quite sure of their own skills and talents.

8. All teams that have stepped on the pedestal of success today are creative. They can find solutions to problems, often in highly innovative ways that others might even bill as a risky proposition.

9. A sense of humor might seem to be a weird inclusion in this list, but it is a definite characteristic of winning teams. If a team cannot laugh at itself, it will never take its shortcomings seriously.

10. Another important talent is to have an inquisitive mind, always. This is what separates a good leader from the also-rans.

So, these are the top 10 characteristics of winning teams which you should look for in your own team. If they are lacking, you can find suitable leadership coaching advice on the Internet to give you tips and pointers that could help you immensely.

By : Mike_Krutza

Improving Your Business Teamwork

There are many business teams in the business world where teamwork is not of concern and these business teams can usually only manage sloppy results. If you are looking to improve the quality of teamwork at your own business, there are several actions you can take to accomplish this.

First and foremost, a business owner or leader of any kind must be able to properly educate their employees on the meanings of team and teamwork. If you are working to teach members of your team about teamwork, you will need everyone to be on the same page.

You will want to explain that a team is a group of people constantly in a state of cooperation with one another and sharing their personal skills to help the group reach a common goal.

Explaining that open communication is essential for teamwork is also a must. If any of your employees wish to express their opinions about what makes a well-functioning team, be sure to listen and allow time for discussion.

Employees will always want to share their ideas as they are all working toward the same goal and all matters should be out in the open. In business, there are innumerable occasions where certain members of a team will not be exactly fond of one another.

However, you will need to let your team members know that just because they are on a team does not mean they must like everyone else on the team. Personal issues will need to be put aside at the work place at all times and especially when issues interfere with teamwork.

Employees will need to understand that each person is on the team to fulfill a certain role, and this role will not be able to be done by others. Teams are often composed of several different people who have different specialties.

This means if one person slacks on their job duties, another team member may not be qualified to complete these duties.

By letting your employees know how valuable they are to you on a project and at your business, you can cut down on employees getting far behind on their work. Also, letting your team members know that they are valued will give them a better workplace attitude, which aids in business teamwork.

By : Tony_Jacowski

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Different Types of Team Structures - Organizational Structures That Meet Specific Objectives

There is nothing like one size fits all type of concept at play when handling different types of team structures for specific goals in mind. Deep thought and consideration is required to identify, assemble and also convince the team members to work together on a variety of assignments.

Here are two major team structures that an organization forms to meet objectives.

Functional teams:

Some teams are like a shadow in the background - always there but not very visible, yet most essential to run day to day operations of the organization. These teams for most part handle finance, sales and marketing and are deemed to be the functional leg of the entire organization. Such teams usually work under broad guidelines and policies formulated by the top executives of the corporation and it runs more or less smoothly without much fuss and noise.

Largely they are left to execute and achieve the grand vision of the organization, until there is need to take stock of the situation. Such scenarios may arise out of market dynamics like competition breathing down the neck, technological shifts, and change in regulatory framework or amendments in the Law of the land.

These teams are recruited with due consideration and deliberation and they follow a routine and pattern laid down beforehand by the executives. They are more or less permanent and some team members may even outlast the organization.

Project teams:

On the other hand project teams are different animals altogether. They are put together to execute certain tasks, reach certain goals or accomplish a vision in a time bound manner. Once the target is achieved, these teams are in most cases disbanded and team members go back to their routine tasks. For example a project specific team may have ten percent increase in market share as their target to be achieved in a span of three quarters.

Such a team may comprise the marketing head, the advertising head, the financial controller and the operational supervisor, each contributing with their respective expertise and skill set to realize the common goal.

As soon as the market share goal is achieved within the time frame, they may hand over the reigns of maintaining the market share to the functional team. Some time the goal is too large to achieve by a single team, so it is broken down into smaller goals and set to be achieved by sub teams within a matrix of teams.

By : Takuya_Hikichi

How to Motivate Your Team (Even During Difficult Times)!

Dale Carnegie said "There is only one way to get anyone to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it!" That simple statement represents a profound shift in thinking for many of us. I'll admit that when I'm thinking about motivating my husband to wash the dishes, I'm really thinking can I get him to do what I want him to do?

That sort of thinking may elicit short term results (or not), but it definitely won't yield the longer term results I'm seeking. In many ways that is the exact challenge that team leaders, managers, and executives have with their teams - how to motivate in a way that is truly lasting?

Even more daunting is the thought of trying to motivate during difficult times. These difficult times often come in the form of a down economy, layoffs, organizational changes, etc. The good news is that many of the best motivation techniques still hold true even during these difficult times. In fact, in many ways motivation becomes even more important during these times. Let's explore a few secrets...

Secret #1 - Get to Know Your Team Members Beyond the Resume - Relationship Building is Key! It sounds simple and basic, but this principle is truly the basis for most motivation strategies. Motivation is very personal. What is motivating to one person might be viewed as a punishment to another. You simply cannot effectively motivate individuals without knowing them as a person - their likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, lifestyle, etc.

A friend of mine was trying desperately to launch a line of soaps and lotions out of her apartment. Although her heart was in her own business, she kept her corporate job to pay the bills while her business was getting off the ground. When she gave out some of her products as gifts during the holiday season, her manager asked her more about her business.

Although she initially was a little hesitant to discuss it, she eventually beamed as she talked about her new product line. Seeing her level of excitement and natural motivation, he asked her if they might explore some new responsibilities that she might take on that would build her skills in a few areas beneficial not just in the workplace but equally valuable to her as she grew her business.

This approach was amazingly effective. She attended a few courses in internet marketing and was able to not only use these skills in her primary job but also to help grow her business. She was highly motivated and also appreciated his taking an interest in something so important to her.

Indeed, managers will naturally vary in their level of focus on task and relationship in daily interactions with our team members. During difficult times, it can seem even more important to "crack the whip" so to speak and focus on task, but to truly motivate the team, focusing on the relationship component can often yield longer lasting benefits.

This does NOT mean that you should spend inordinate amounts of time socializing with team members or becoming overly personal. It does mean that in almost any interaction you can strive to strike a balance between task and relationship.

Secret #2 - Walk the Talk! As a management consultant, I often worked really long hours. But no matter how late I stayed up perfecting a presentation, I knew my director Jim was up just a little later. I also knew that he would never ask me to do something that he wasn't willing to do himself. That simple fact made me extremely motivated to do whatever he needed. In contrast, years later a new director joined the organization.

Shortly thereafter the company sponsored an all employee retreat and asked employees to room two to a room to reduce costs or pay an additional amount for a private room. Most members of our team roomed with someone, and a few paid a bit extra for a private room.

The new director decided that she didn't want to stay in the designated hotel at all (a four star hotel on the Las Vegas Strip) and paid for a room at the Four Seasons instead. That one decision caused irreparable damage between her and the team...indeed her actions spoke loud and clear!

A wise man gave his young daughters very sage dating advice, "Ignore everything they say, and just pay attention to what they do". That is exactly what team members are doing...watching what leaders do! If you're constantly telling your team that times are lean and everyone needs to do more with less, let them see you doing it!

Secret #3 - Provide Support for Personal Crises Part of what makes leadership so difficult is the fact that team members aren't robots and are constantly dealing with personal issues and problems that impact them significantly (and can spill over into the workplace).

As a team leader, the reality is that you're wearing several hats and one of those hats is friend/mentor/confidant. Don't ignore the reality that sometimes crises strike, and at those times team members need support.

As a public school teacher in the Bronx in the 60s, my mom struggled with the daily challenge of how to motivate her students. She taught the "drop out" class - those who had performed the worst academically and were just expected to likely drop out as soon as they reached the minimum age required to drop out.

She'd decided to use the DMV's driver's permit exam prep materials as her course materials because her students were all 15 years old and VERY motivated to get their drivers permit. Her thought was that she could use virtually any reading material to teach reading skills; she just needed the right topic to really motivate them.

This approach was extremely effective...with one exception. One student (Melissa) seemed impossible to motivate. After using every motivation technique in her arsenal, she decided to have a heart to heart with her after class one day. She asked about her home life, and Melissa immediately burst into tears.

Evidently, her mother was gravely ill and needed a kidney transplant. Melissa's mom had asked her to donate one of her kidneys, but Melissa's own health problems made that option very risky. She was torn and couldn't concentrate on anything else. Immediately, my mom shifted from teacher to mentor/supporter.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs clearly indicates that a person's physiological and security needs must be addressed before higher level motivation tactics will be effective. As team leaders, we must remember this and check in with team members who seem to be particularly unmotivated or distracted. Whether the crisis is personal or generated by workplace difficulties, any real crises should be addressed proactively.

Secret #4 - Tell the Ugly Truth Remember that during difficult times, it's vitally important to be honest about the organization's health/current state. Most managers make the mistake of decreasing communications during difficult times when just the opposite is what is really needed. In the absence of information people create their own information, and it's usually not positive (think rumor mill).

If the group's project is really an "ugly baby" or if budget/headcount cuts are likely, be honest about it! People are motivated to work in an environment where leaders will be candid and honest...even if the news isn't good.

Motivation is certainly one of the keys to effective leadership, but figuring out how to do it in the midst of a difficult environment can certainly be challenging. The reality is that there isn't a bag of tricks - just a few proven secrets that will enhance your ability to motivate your team in virtually any environment.

By : Dana_Brownlee

Friday, October 22, 2010

Helping Teams Reach Consensus in the Midst of Conflict

The Problem:

Do you ever feel that you're herding a group of feisty cats instead of leading a meeting because your team members simply can't agree? Well, take comfort in knowing that this common problem plagues most meeting facilitators at one point or another.

Indeed, if your group is disagreeing vehemently (but respectfully), that's a sign of healthy conflict...congratulations, you're likely on your way to some great ideas and solutions! Unfortunately as meeting facilitators, we often need to guide the group towards a consensus decision and oftentimes that just doesn't seem possible.

The good news is that reaching a consensus decision does not mean that a two hour session must turn into a two week session...or worse, a real knock down drag out. Let's explore a few tips you can use the next time you're faced with this situation...

Consider these suggestions....

* Remember first that consensus does NOT mean everyone gets exactly what they want. It does mean that everyone can live with the decision and support it outside the team.

* Develop a ground rule with the team about how the group will make decisions BEFORE you need to make those decisions. If the group has already reached agreement on the decision process, making those subsequent decisions becomes much easier (and less emotionally charged). For example, if the group has already agreed on the decision criteria and selection process before initiating the discussion of which employee gets the "Employee of the Year" award, this decision suddenly becomes much easier.

* When you get bogged down in disagreement, separate areas of agreement and disagreement. Clearly identify and document areas of agreement to continue to move the group forward. For areas of disagreement, clarify the range of disagreement. (e.g. Mike, it sounds like you and Beth both agree that the current cycle time of 5 days is too long. It sounds like the area of disagreement is around just how much that should be reduced. Mike proposes 2 days while Beth thinks 1 day is a better target, so we have a difference of opinion of 1 day. Is that correct?)

* Sometimes we can't agree because we don't have enough information and we're operating based on poorly informed assumptions. Inviting key stakeholders to participate in the discussion (e.g. IT experts, members of the leadership team, HR or Finance subject matter experts, etc.) can often shed light on critical issues and help the group more easily expose the best alternative.

* If you have a tendency to think the group may be quibbling over trivial differences, consider suggesting that they conduct the remainder of the meeting standing (until a decision is reached). This technique is sometimes used as an "out of the box" method for encouraging brevity and a spirit of compromise.

* Use a facilitation technique that encourages collaborative decision making (e.g. affinity diagramming, dot voting, etc.) These techniques typically offer each participant a certain number of votes; then participants vote simultaneously and the option(s) receiving the highest numbers of votes overall is typically selected.

* If you sense that the disagreements may be driven by personality conflicts or other personal reasons, address those issues offline in a more private setting with the individuals involved.

By : Dana_Brownlee

Team Building for Specialist Teams

Specialist teams tend to have less diversity within them than your average team, if there is such a thing. Highly specialised jobs tend to attract quite similar individuals to them. As a result, teams of people who all have the same core speciality, whatever that might be, often face a similar challenge.

It doesn't matter whether the team is comprised of fire fighters, software engineers or nurses. The chances are that all decided to move into that line of work for similar reasons, with similar interests and similar talents.

For diverse teams to reach their full potential, the individuals within them need to work in such a way as to harness the different strengths with them. For the more homogeneous specialists teams the challenge is almost the reverse.

Whereas diverse teams tend to have plenty of clashes within them due to the differences between the team members, groups who are full f similar people can instead suffer from something that is called "groupthink". That is, they all are happy with what one or two people are saying over something important, so they settle for what is being said.

When everybody is happy with something, why should they try to improve upon it? Well, without a contrary viewpoint, they lack the natural, inherent team ability to challenge ideas and challenge is a key ingredient in effective team working. Without it, great strides in team improvement is unlikely in the extreme.

Professional team building activities will often be structured in such a way as to help the participants identify the team strengths that exist within the individuals and also show how the team's favoured processes do not always enable those strengths to be utilised as effectively as they could be for the benefit of the team.

While that makes the ideal for most teams, specialist teams of all kinds need something different. They need activities that highlight such a group's tendency to accept the first idea that someone comes up with, the lack of challenge within the group and the lost opportunities that are the inevitable consequences of such an easy-going team environment.

More than that, they also need to structure a debriefing session to help the team identify ways in which this groupthink issue can be solved. All teams need processes to support them and add strengths to what the team does and how it does it.

Specialists teams often need some of these to be targeted at effectively adding a dissenting voice. It's simple enough to add an item to the agenda for each and every meeting that the team has collectively, for example, that stipulates that no decisions can be made without someone suggesting an alternative that is then discussed for at least five minutes.

It may sound a little change, and it is, but it can make such a difference to what the team produce at the end of such a session.

Tools like lateral thinking techniques can also be added to the mix to help a team really come up with quite different alternatives. Add those to the challenge added procedurally and specialist teams will find that they really can improve significantly in a short space of time. And well-chosen team building activities are well placed to help them see that and implement those improvements quickly.

By : Alan_Hunt

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boss Gifts - What To Get The Boss This Year!

It soon will be that time again, what to get your boss this year? Regardless of how you feel about him or her, there's no denying your boss plays a significant role in your life and a major role in your working life. Besides, simple workplace etiquette says you have to get your boss a gift.

Actually, gift giving is an important part of the modern workplace and can be used to benefit both bosses and employees. Used properly, corporate gifts can do much to both motivate and reward a hard-working workforce. That's why any gift giving in the workplace should not be taken too lightly, it can be a great morale booster and motivator.

Likewise, giving a good practical and well received boss gift, can go a long way in creating a good working atmosphere in your company or workplace. Truth be told, we do all have to get along with our boss if we want to advance in our jobs. Most employees try to please their boss in order to create a good working relationship with them. It simply makes your life a lot easier.

So what gift should we get the boss this year?

A "bag of bedbugs" is out of the question, and you can also rule out a "one-way ticket" to Siberia! Let's try to keep the discussion civil and consider some possible gifts for your boss.

First, have a quick employee get-together to discuss the major interests or hobbies of your boss. You really want to make this a group effort so that everyone can take the credit or blame if the gift doesn't please the master. You need to discuss your employer's favorite pass-times as this will probably give you some clues on a practical gift that will please the boss.

Second, many employees go for a gift which is work related, yet can be personalized. Desktop sets, office furnishings, laptops, pen sets... can be engraved and personalized with your employer's name and a personalized message from all the employees. Regardless of what gift you get, personalizing that gift with a special greeting or message will make the gift more meaningful for all concerned.

Third, many people like giving and receiving the latest special electronic gadget or gizmo - especially something that is hard to buy because of overwhelming demand. Getting such a gift will show you have gone out of your way to please or satisfy the boss. Besides, many of these gadgets such as an Apple iPad, RIM PlayBook can have a good practical use in the office or for business.

Fourth, don't forget that a sense of humor can go a long way in breaking the ice or mending fences, but don't over do this with gag gift that will back-fire on you. Sometimes it is good to give both a gag gift in addition to a really nice practical gift as well - separate the two and your gift giving will generally go much smoother.

Fifth, sometimes a thought or message can get lost in translation. So make sure the gift that you do eventually give your boss, whether it be the latest electronic gadget or a practical desktop set or a pair of engraved golf-clubs, just make sure that a clear message is included from all the employees that the boss is appreciated and respected by everyone. This sign of respect and appreciation, in the form of a simple token, is probably the best gift a boss can receive.

By : Titus_Hoskins

Team Building Corporate Events

Corporate events take more forms than a simple day out at the races. Using them to build the sense of unity in a sales team, an office unit or just for all your employees, is a great way to mix business with pleasure - and get outstanding results at the end of it all.

The opportunities for creating, displaying and using untapped skills in the workplace often manifest themselves first in the corporate events environment: which is why using an agent to source the best of the best can rally pay off for a company.

Going direct to a single events supplier is usually a bad idea - simply because that supplier is going to do its utmost to convince you that it is right for the job, whether it really is or not. Using an agent, which cannot afford to be associated with anything other than the best, guarantees you a much greater chance of finding corporate activities and entertainment that really fit the bill.

Plus, with an agent you're looking at a much wider variety of corporate events in terms of type: from sporting days and team building loopiness all the way through to five star treatment at a VIP sports dinner, a film premiere or a gala performance.

The thing about agents is this: they have their fingers in all the pies, and they make sure that the pies they keep their fingers in are the tastiest ones on the market. So a company can go to a corporate entertainment and events agency with an idea of what it wants, and have the perfect bespoke package put together from a wide range of sources, contacts and locations.

Try the same thing direct with a single hospitality company and you'll get shoe horned into whatever they happen to have on their books at the time.

Corporate events take all sorts of forms and have all sorts of ways of building a team spirit. A good old fashioned drinking session in a swanky environment is as good a way of building team feelings as a five a side tournament or corporate golf day - it all depends on the reason for the event and the personalities of the people going on it.

Taking a sales team out for a top dollar night at a show, or to a sports person's gala dinner, is an excellent way of rewarding performance, and will strengthen team spirit through a sense of shared achievement. Activity days work better for building new relationships within a team and testing the limits of people's work skills.

Depending on whether you are looking to train and teach, or reward, the corporate events you choose will differ - and only an agent can give you a truly unbiased selection of events and occasions to choose from. Use them wisely and use them well - they can bring out the best in your employees.

By : Shane_Piter

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Building Team Trust - Activities That Build Team Cohesiveness

Successful teams build trust while understanding and accepting team members and their work ethics. When team members open up and cooperate, they slowly build a routine and system of trust and expectations. This process is enhanced through social activities, defined goals, and experience.

Through social events: Social activities, such as dinner parties or sports, help teammates collaborate outside the work environment. Team activities such as paintball, bowling, or capture the flag also instill team spirit and encourage loyalty. Interacting in less stressful atmospheres allow them to express their personalities and feel comfortable around each other.

When team members are enthusiastic about being a part of the group, they are likely to put in more effort and work harder, earning the respect and trust of coworkers. A common enthusiasm amongst team members will increase efficiency and morale in a healthy manner.

Celebrating the strengths of team members: Celebrating the strengths and skills of individual team members and rewarding overall teamwork will build respect for each other and for the team. It is also informative for team members to understand each others' expertise so expectations are not kept too low or too high.

Promoting fairness: Defined goals which are communicated uniformly to the team will help build trust. If there is more interaction between superiors and one person of the team (unless a team leader), the team will feel unfairly represented and respected. Contact with superiors (which aren't personal in nature) and rewards should be a team experience, not individual.

Team goals and ideas should be expressed so that everybody understands and feels comfortable with the expectations. An expectation of work quality, if possible, should also be included, so that teammates can expect a certain standard of performance from each other. Granted, team trust cannot be built overnight.

Trust is built over time, as the team mates learn each others' capabilities, habits, and work quality. However, open-mindedness, acceptance, and enthusiasm from social interactions and shared goals will help speed up the process.

By : Takuya_Hikichi

Team Building - Watch Your Profits Soar!

A motivated and enthusiastic team can literally turn your business around, but how can you achieve such an awesome result. Actually it is quite an easy process and will cost you absolutely nothing.

These days there are many stressors in our lives and just surviving can be a monumental task. So to ask an employee to turn up and be motivated to achieve great things is a tall ask indeed. Except - if you provide an environment that is:

* Fun
* Supportive
* Encouraging

Research shows that employees respond well to encouragement, constructive feedback and personal development opportunities. You will also find that your business will benefit from incorporating some fun activities into otherwise dull training sessions, workshops and conferences.

It is a great opportunity to introduce exercises for team building and motivation which will strengthen the connection between individual employees, and also between employees and management.

OK, so how is it done? It really is quite simple; you just need to find ways of integrating fun activities into your business.

This can easily be achieved by adding some simple games, puzzles and quizzes to the mix. They can be utilised in all kinds of meetings to inspire unusual ways of thinking, which usually leads to some great unexpected positive outcomes.

Games and quizzes have a way of assisting the brain to think quickly and they can often result in amazing levels of heightened motivation, enthusiasm and participation.

You will probably be familiar with the popular 'Trivia Night' concept that is often held as a fund-raising activity for charity groups, schools, community groups, aged care facilities, sporting clubs etc.

The format for most Trivia Night functions is to choose a broad range of general knowledge questions as a base for quizzes; but just imagine the results if you could adapt your Trivia questions to focus on specialist subjects pertaining to your own business!

Staff would be rapidly skilled in all aspects of the business and you would know instantly, just by their answers, where their individual interests lie and who is best suited to which department.

Don't forget to reward the highest scorer in some way, perhaps with a cash bonus or generous discount voucher to use within your business. If held on a regular basis you will find that product knowledge, customer service and business knowledge will increase beyond your wildest dreams because everyone loves to have fun and be rewarded for their effort.

By : Sharon_Tappenden

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How To Improve Team Work

Several businesses have a sales team of which others can only dream at their disposal. These teams are steadfast, stimulated and successful, even when it is necessary to work with limited budgets and under time pressure. A major theme throughout all good leadership training courses is team spirit which has many benefits.

Even the famous French army general and military strategist Ardant du Piq knew what worked better than the principle "order and obedience" - "a mutual social control which rests on trust in comrades and the fear of having no chance alone in a dangerous situation. The desire to go wherever the others go and what is more without quaking more than the others... the unit spirit."

In an extensive study of 800 businesses, scientists looked at the phenomenon of team spirit.

In businesses with a strict hierarchy and clear command structure, team spirit scarcely exists. However if the employees have an opportunity to make their own decisions, they work significantly more productively.

Employees' freedom to make decisions when expressed in terms of percentages improves team spirit by at least 17%. The balance between control and empowerment regarding decision making is a very challenging skill which is covered on good leadership training courses.

The more detached the individual functions in business and sales are from each other the less communication there is between the employees. The so-called departmental thinking barely gives employees the chance to peep over the edge of the plate to recognise greater community of interest. With this, variety is missing in the job.

One statement from the study: "It is precisely the different demands of my job which I experience as stimulating. These keep my interest awake. I could not imagine doing the same routine work every day." Purely in terms of calculations, this aspect improves team spirit by 34%.

The existence of strict rules, like for example, work times or procedures in the business, decreases the chances of development of team spirit by 18%. However it depends on the way rules are set out by the person in charge - if they permit their employees more room for maneuver than is allowed, generally morale increases.

Also important for team spirit are the criteria by which new employees are chosen and existing employees are promoted. All those questioned want competent and successful colleagues in their team. In this their career to this point is less decisive, the actual performance much more so. But overall this point only contributes 10% to improvement of the team spirit.

Of considerably greater significance is the question of whether employees are treated both within the business and also outside with the customers in a way that is business-like and impersonal or human and personal - anyone treating an employee as if they had no personality, no soul and no emotions can not expect any team spirit from them. On top of that it is important that personal friendships develop between colleagues.

Apply the following eight statements to see whether team spirit reigns within your team:

1. My employees give mutual help to each other, even when they will not profit personally from this.

2. When my employees are together they usually have a good time.

3. In our meetings you feel that the people really want to achieve something.

4. My employees also help colleagues outside sales if there are problems.

5. Other departments readily help us if we ask.

6. My employees feel a mutual obligation to each other, they stand up for one another

7. My employees pursue common goals.

8. In my department there are common conceptions of values and basics of behaviour, a kind of code of belief of the field salespeople.

If you have answered fewer than five questions with a "yes", team spirit still needs improvement. To develop a greater understanding of team spirit attend a good leader training course.

By : Richard_A_Stone

Team Building for Wide Age Range Groups

One of the most challenging characteristics of a group when it comes to selecting an appropriate team building activity is if it has a wide age range within it. A wide age range is almost certainly going to mean that you will have a very diverse group in all sorts of ways.

The most obvious of these is that you will also have a wide range when it comes to physical ability and indeed willingness to engage in anything that is physically demanding in any way.

The youngsters in the team are likely to be up for anything that involves them breaking into sweat while the older members of the group will probably be dreading the day just in case they will be expected to run about a lot. They'll be thinking that they might as well be asked to leap tall buildings at a single bound.

However, physical differences will not be the only issue. A wide age range is also very likely to mean that the group will have a huge gap in general knowledge. Older colleagues will likely know facts and figures about things that their younger counterparts have never even heard of.

They may also have many practical skills that were once taught to children, either at school or at home, that seem to have fallen by the wayside these days. On the other hand, younger members are more likely to be up to date with current trends, fads, music and the like.

Keeping everyone happy with such differences within the team can, as noted right at the start of this article, can be a challenge. However, the challenge is one that all "proper" team building options should cater for already. Why do I say that? It's all to do with what makes a team effective in the first place.

The highest performing teams are those that manage somehow to turn the differences within them into their biggest strengths.

For example, if a team has someone within it who is good at painstaking attention to detail (with the danger of taking too long) and another who prefers to get things done in the fastest possible time (with the danger of not being done as well as it could be), then one possible outcome of this from the team's point of view is a big argument between the two.

A much better outcome though is where those two individual characteristics are combined so that the job gets done both quickly and to a satisfactory standard.

So if developing a team is at least in part about putting in place mechanisms and processes that help the individual differences that exist within the team members become team strengths then good team building activities should help facilitate that kind of development.

That is true whether the team tackling the activity is comprised of near identical individuals or is instead a widely varying collection of people.

So the answer to the challenge is really quite straightforward. If you want real team development from the time that you choose to invest in team building activities, then keeping that at the forefront of your mind in narrowing down the options should automatically mean that it will cope with a wide age range in the group.

Anything that will not do so easily will probably be less developmental and more purely about fun for one section of your group. Developmental, however, is not the opposite of fun. Most options that you will be able to find will be designed to offer the participants a lot of fun as well as offer the team a real boost in its attempts to become ever more effective.

By : Alan_Hunt

Monday, October 18, 2010

Physical Team Building Exercises For Business

Physical team building exercises are a means to teach members of an organization to work together horizontally and vertically. Building a high performing team is a goal in most corporations, because a team that understands how its members work and think is more likely to increase production and efficiency.

In order to achieve the goal of becoming a high performing team, physical team building exercises have become quite popular in within corporations around the world. Commonly most corporations hold some sort of business event at either a company or department level at least once per year.

Physical team building exercises are designed not just to teach the members of the team to work together as a unit to reach a goal, but also to teach the members of the team how each other think and work to solve problems.

These types of exercises should be monitored and evaluated by an experienced professional that can give feedback to the managers and team members so that they are not reduced to just a corporate trip to a posh resort for an afternoon of games. It should be a learning experience for everyone involved.

A lot of these exercises are military in style. While military style team building does teach a group how to work as a team in order to complete a task, such games have limited value to a corporation.

Military techniques are great for building trust in the team and teaching members to work as a unit, but they do little to help the team members to understand how one another think.

The best types of group building games for corporations are initiative games that focus more on the process than the end. By presenting the team with a problem and then observing how different members of the team approach the solution, the team gets a better understanding of the thought process of its members.

In these types of physical team building exercises, succeeding at the task is not as important as the decisions being make by the team members and their reactions to one another.

By : Joe_Sloan

Teambuilding - Foundation for Good Business Practices

It is a well-founded belief that good team morale is good for business. Whether you run a small business or are the manager of a team, team-building activities will help to encourage a harmonious and productive working environment. These activities will emphasise the importance of communication, cooperation and the value of having shared goals and commitments.

Ranging from a simple meal together to a full-scale survival challenge, there are many ways to get your team or staff together for an enjoyable experience that will teach them the vital elements of a sucessful team.

These elements include self awareness, team awareness, how to improve unity and cohesion within the team. Activities such as sports days, sailing lessons, paint ball, cooking lessons, trivia nights and creative pursuits can help to teach these important values.

It doesn't really matter what activity is chosen, it is more about what your staff will learn by spending time and achieving something together. Activities with a competitive edge can work in three ways. They help to:

* Establish stronger unity within a group
* Isolate weaknesses
* Capitalise on strengths

The emphasis for the team building activities should be on fun. Ideally you want people to look forward to the event and feel good about the event. A positive, enjoyable experience will have a deeper impact than a boring, sterile seminar. Activities should help to generate feelings of togetherness, shared goals, shared commitment and good spirited cooperation.

Building a strong team equals good business practice. Team building teaches your staff the importance of delegation and hierarchies. When everyone understands and accepts their place within a group or team, they are more likely to feel secure in their job and better able to recognise their value.

Team building works by emphasizing the value of each and every member of the team, no matter what their position is and this will improve individual and team confidence. It is also good for business because it will help to recognise each team member's strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Strengths can be taken advantage of and utilized within the group situation. When an individual knows his or her own strength, this can have significant improvements on self-esteem and confidence.

By identifying opportunities for improvement, the vulnerable links in the team chain can be addressed and improved. Improving the weaknesses will improve team success. Identifying weakness can also be an affirming and positive step.

It can relieve an individual of feeling the pressure to disguise a lack of skill and it can give them an opportunity to improve. These improvements benefit self-esteem and confidence.

Team building aids the self-awareness of a group. It identifies group dynamics and works to use them in a positive light. Team building activities can educate your staff about methods to overcome friction. When the team's group dynamics are better understood, the social and political issues within the workplace can be minimised.

The strength of your team will become the strength of your business. Strength and confidence generates better results in all areas of business. Team performance will improve because the team members will draw strength from the group to perform at their best.

By : Tim_I_Millett

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Teamwork In The Workplace

Teamwork should be exhibited by both employers and employees. The key to a successful team is the ability to work together toward a common goal. When projects are assigned, each member of a team will be assigned their own specific tasks.

Though the members will work individually on some of these tasks, there will most likely be much working together, hence the actual team 'work'. This is where each member will be forced to focus on the team goals instead of the individual aspects.

It is important to keep in mind there is an end result that everyone is working toward, and it is up to all team members to work together to get the job done.

Working together is absolutely essential. Teamwork is a collective effort and it is absolutely necessary that everyone involved do his or her part so no one person will be stuck doing the work that is left over.

The project still needs to be completed no matter how many people work on it, and this is always much easier to accomplish when everyone pulls together to do their part.

Companies use teams for a variety of tasks from problem-solving to manufacturing. It is important for each member of a team to possess a clear understanding of the team's purpose or goal and the various tasks each member must perform.

This can be especially relevant when one member is, for whatever reason, unable to perform a certain task. If the other members of the team understand the task and are familiar with how it is to be accomplished, they will be able to step in the absence of the other member.

Teamwork is a concept that will only continue to grow in the workplace. More and more companies are finding it necessary to set up teams to accomplish a number of vital tasks. Knowing how to work with others will help immensely when searching for a job these days because it is an aspect employers look for when conducting interviews.

By : Tony_Jacowski

Building Team Morale - 8 Tips to Gear Up for Success

A drop in the confidence quotient of the members of a team can prove to be costly, since it can largely affect the team's performance and productivity. Only if heads are held high can there be expectations, and expectations escort a man to victory.

Building team morale is of primary importance, and here's what you can do to make sure your team doesn't get bogged down by pressure.

1. Divide work appropriately. Be certain of every member's capabilities, and assign work suitably. It calls for detailed understanding of their potential.

2. Trust your members with the work you give them. Have faith in their capabilities, and treat them the way you would like to be treated.

3. A team that eats together always look forward to working together. Book a pool-side table in the best restaurant in town, and watch your team mates bonding over pasta.

4. When you feel blue, please put those brains and muscles to rest. Your project is likely to go off-track at some point of time, which is quite normal a thing to happen. Meet off-site, relax and talk it out with your team mates. Arrive at a conclusion, as to what you can do to bring your project back on track.

5. Make it clear to your members that achieving their personal goals at work will be possible only if they perform to the best of their abilities.

6. Ask them to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything is part of the learning process, and the misery is only for the time being.

7. Appreciate, and acknowledge their work, even the tiniest success. This helps them realize success better, and can boost up their morale.

8. Train them and accentuate their skills prior to the commencement of the project. Untrained skills cause more trouble than you can imagine. Get the help of a trainer if required.

Remember, when you are paid for a job, results are expected out of you. You wouldn't have been hired for the job if they found you incapable of performing, which undoubtedly means you have it in you. Buck up, and go get them all.

Most importantly, ask what your team would rather do for team building activities to boost morale, you'd be surprised how simple some of their wishes are. Sometimes, corporate want to look too professional and try too hard at coming up with activities.

By : Takuya_Hikichi

Friday, October 15, 2010

Team Work Is the Key

Not having a strong team will jeopardize the success and growth of a company. Putting together a successful team is key; selection, management and leadership are crucial. These three points will lead the growth of a company.

A good team believes and follows its values, its mission and its vision and incorporates them into the business plan supporting the company and accelerating its growth. A team should be able to manage three very important roles: leadership, operations and execution.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Team:

Each and every member of a team should be capable of following duties and responsibilities. Everyone has to be clear in this concept:

* Manage their operations and the resources allocated to them.
* Recruit and retain great employees.
* Effective communication so that everyone, in their department, understands what the company stands for, its values, mission, vision, business plan and how their jobs relate to the success of the company as well as the results expected of them.
* Manage the implementation of the company's business plan. Each leader should be a role model for innovation, teamwork and problem solving.
* Coach and help other team members succeed.

Team Evolution:

For a company to grow, leaders must focus on strategic planning. Only effective teams can focus on strategic planning and run a company. Improvement should happen on a daily basis. Each team member must operate as a team and as leaders of growth. A well-integrated team will help create new and better perspectives as the company grows.

Building a Winning Team:

Building a winning team starts with promoting and hiring the right people. During the recruitment process, make sure candidates are scrutinized and are trustworthy. Hire candidates that can handle new duties that are delegated to them, and who will follow through in a timely manner. Select people who use good judgment, who treat other with respect and that exceed performance expectations.

Teams are the central axis of a great company. Challenges in building and aligning different personalities towards a common goal, is the key for the development of a company. Those who master the development and leadership of team building are the ones that will succeed and sustain a company's growth.

Practice what you preach, guide and lead your team in good and challenging times, recruit properly, promote wisely, coach and train your team. Success is in your hands your company depends on you and your team.

By : Joaquin_Duenas

Event Planning - Corporate Bonding - Creative Venues

What do you do for corporate bonding? Is your team more suited for golf, games or bingo? Well, whatever your team likes, it is important to get out of the box periodically and do some team building. Plan a time and a place to take the whole group or just your immediate team and let loose.

Here's what I recommend. Plan something to include an activity or activities, time for some social bonding and last, but not least, time to have something to eat and drink. Here's one idea that incorporates many options.

The other day I spent some time at indoor sports facility. Some would call it an ice rink, but is more.

Under one roof they have a full size Ice Rink for team competition, training and open public time. Also, they have two Indoor Soccer fields. One is 65 yards long and can be used for soccer, lacrosse or flag football. The second one is a little smaller and is perfect for team members that prefer less running.

What makes this special is the opportunity to give your team a choice and let them have fun.

Packages are offered that will fit any budget. Pick the type of sport you think will fit your team and then select your package. An example is their Turf package designed for Soccer or Flag Football. Sixteen guests get to play for an hour on their small turf field and have a private area nearby for those who get winded.

Three large pizzas plus two pitchers of soda are included. Obviously, time of day and the scope of your team might necessitate additional food or beverages. This covers roughly an hour and a half for physical bonding and then another one half hour to wind down, eat and drink.

But if that package is not enough or you need to expand your numbers, or add more food, they are more than willing to accommodate. Lastly, they have a Sports Bar where you can relax and watch all the indoor action.

It's right next to their soccer fields for those that want to continue bonding and has three large screen televisions on the wall with plenty of seating for everyone. In fact, the local Chamber of Commerce recently held their networking event in the Sports Bar area.

So, if you are looking for something different and out of the box, think activities, social bonding time, plus food and beverages at a facility like an indoor sports facility. It is all under one large roof and gives you the option to be creative and give your team something they will remember. By the way, take a camera along. I am sure you will get some great pictures of your team.

By : Greg_Carter

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Team Building For Success

Conflict or confusion can seriously damage productivity and workflow in a team - any manager worth having will tell you that. And, of course, the opposite is true. A team that bonds, gets on well together and works FOR each other will have a high quality of work and volume of output.

You can bring out the best in your team, both collectively and individually through team building exercises.

These can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but they will promote a healthy team ethic.

The reason that you build a team is to achieve success, strive for a shared goal. It doesn't matter if that is a business goal, a sporting goal or different kind of goal all together.

It might be a big project or it might be several small projects that make up a finished product or ending. It doesn't really matter, what matters is that a productive team will be able to work together, fully focused on reaching the goal and achieving success.

Creating a sense of ownership for everyone in the group over both the project and the finished product will help the team feel important, breeding a shared feeling of responsibility.

Start by making clear what your objectives are right at the start and how you intend to go about achieving them.

This will breed a shared commitment within your team and it is also the best time to address any issues or concerns they may have about the project. To help deal with any issues that may arise further down the road set progress indicators - if they're not met, you will know and you can sort it out, if they are, a sense of achievement will spread through the team, spurring them on.

The type of project you are working on will ultimately determine what team building strategies you will use. It may be a group-based project in which everyone pitches in, or a management run project in which there is a significant proportion of direction or it might be the whole business working as one team.

The group-based project will need more focus on an individual's strengths and abilities as there will be a good amount of working both in a team and as an individual, and you will need to boost morale as well as dealing with poor attitudes.

You should look to build your team building strategies into the daily tasks of the project. A group-based project will naturally create a sense of team purpose but by adding in your own strategies you will ensure this is continues and that each individual retains their own voice - and their own tasks - while continuing to work with their fellow team members.

Outside of the working environment it might be worth taking time out to further develop your team through team building events and weekends. A corporate event management company is the ideal way to organise this sort of team building exercise and there are plenty of them around.

Team building days incorporate all sorts of events that force individuals to work together and have proven to be a huge success for many companies.

By incorporating your ideas into a fun, productive and interesting environment you will foster a more productive team. All it takes is a little time to consider the goals you wish to accomplish and the skills that you wish to instil in your team so that they can realise the potential you know that they have.
Justify Full
By : Ian_Grainger

Team Building Activities for Youth - 5 Engaging Ideas, Games, and Activities

Building a team of young people might look simple as the young tend to flock together, but in actual fact it is quite tricky. Team building activities for youth have to be fun and at the same time we should keep in mind not to veer away from the actual objective, that of team building.

For a typical team building program for youth, be ready to have multiple games and activities to mix things up. Creative ideas come in handy to keep their attention span.

1. The Name Game: In this game everyone will sit in a circle. One person will say his or her name and a personal characteristic starting with the same alphabet as the name. The second person will utter the name and characteristic of the first and add his own to it. In this way it will continue till everyone has participated. A good game to start with, it opens up everybody.

2. Two Truths and a Lie: This game requires each participant to say a two true things and one lie about himself. The others in the group are supposed to guess the lie. This is another very popular activity of the youth.

3. Bingo: Here everyone has to write three facts about themselves. There will be a leader who will put two of the facts of each member on a Bingo board without any names. This is then photocopied and distributed in the group. Then in ten minutes each member will interview the group and try to correlate the facts with the names. The leader declares the winner.

4. Line Up: In this activity the members are asked to line up according to their age. The best part is it has to be done silently. So knowledge about your fellow team member is a must.

5. Rain: To round up a session the Rain, which is relaxing and sublime is a perfect game. All the members sit in a circle. All are supposed to close their eyes. First of all everyone rubs their palms together to make it rain lightly. Gradually they snap their fingers for it to rain harder. And finally they clap loudly to bring a downpour. They then gradually go back to a light drizzle.

There are numerous other activities that can be utilized to build and bind youthful teams. The main criterion here is that they have to be entertaining and varied.

By : Takuya_Hikichi

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Team Building for All Female Groups

From a team building perspective, nothing offers a greater challenge that when the group you are charged with delivering a great day for is, in some way, homogeneous. It might be that they are all accountants, or all fire fighters, or all trainers (one of the most critical groups as you can imagine!), but the most interesting and most demanding of all, in my experience, is when the homogeneity comes from the gender. And I'm not talking all male groups, here. By comparison, they are much easier to satisfy.

Without doubt, my experience is that the female of the species tend to be better at most types of team building. They are more naturally able to cope with multi-tasking and most of the best team activities demand that particular skill in abundance. They are often far more practical too when it comes to anything involving design and construction.

Yet, more often than not, the males always think they can build things better. So a team may have to wait until the males give up (something they are certainly better at!) for a female to take the reigns of that kind of task before real progress is made. and I am speaking as a fully paid up member of the male gender here, folks!

So when the group is one hundred percent female, we usually find that we have a very capable group indeed. And, given the increased level of multitasking capability in such a group, if it suits the activity and the type of day they wanted, we expect the laughter and the sheer level of involvement to be a step increase of a mixed group as well.

But that doesn't mean that every kind of activity is of equal interest and value to a single gender, all female group by any means. Activities that are mostly about construction tend to be of less interest. That might not always be the case, but in general bridge building or raft building just holds less fascination for women than it does for men.

Activities that include construction as one element among many are fine. Again in my experience, activities that appeal to a large variety of interests go down well as do ones that have a musical theme. Themes that you might think wouldn't appeal, such as an activity that we have that is set in the American wild west, go down extremely well indeed.

Even in mixed groups, the women are often the better builders of wigwams and their dexterity level easily matches the men when it comes to learning and showing off their gunslinging skills. Tasks such as gold panning, that require great patience to do well at, are again a female forte and a huge number of women are themselves surprised at how much enjoyment they get out of something like that.

When it comes to the full-blown fun activities, the level of competition and sheer noise that an all female group usually makes turns an event into a fabulous experience, even (perhaps especially?) for us as facilitators.

So my advice to anyone organising an all female team away day or similar is this. Pass on any team building activities that are dominated by some kind of construction and instead look to those with great variety within them.

By : Alan_Hunt

Fostering Behavioral Style Diversity

When considering the concept of workplace diversity, most think in terms of ethnic, gender or cultural differences. There is an equally important perspective to consider: Behavioral Diversity. Within every ethnic group, gender and culture we find diverse behavioral styles. These differences in style can result in synergy and/or conflict. Most likely both.

What is Behavioral Diversity?

Here are some examples.

* Some people are more more comfortable with other people than with things and data. For others, the reverse is true.
* We know people who can be forceful and sometimes angry while other are patient and reserved.
* While we have those who are optimistic, enthusiastic and trusting vs. the their skeptical counterparts from the Show-Me state.
* We have those anal folks that tend to the most minute of details while their counterparts fly above at 30,000 feet.

Are any of these styles especially good or bad? Are any unnecessary? It depends on their job requirements and their surrounding culture. Is your organization or your team dominated by any one type of behavioral style?

Why Foster Behavioral Diversity?

We can likely agree that an over-dominance of any of these different styles has potential downside. Untethered cautiousness or optimism or forcefulness can lead to either flawed decision making or vacillation. Behavioral diversity provides an oft needed tether for effective execution.

The Challenge

In mixing people with diverse styles, there is inherent conflict that is difficult to overcome. The result is can be draining expressions of emotions that range from anger to fear to impatience to frustration to indifference.

In order to make behavioral diversity to work for us instead of against us, we need to help our people to understand and value the need for diverse styles and viewpoints and realize that conflict, when properly managed, conflict is a vital and necessary component to achievement for any team or organization.

Enhancing Your Awareness

* How well can you describe the behavioral styles of your team's members?
* How do their attributes serve to enhance decision making and team performance?
* To what degree to the members of your team respect and value those with opposite tendencies?
* If you could improve your answers to these questions, how would things be better or different?

By : Tom_Lemanski

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sales Training and Company Planning Meetings

Every Fall many companies, law firms, and other organizations start to look at the reality of their numbers, and resolve to do more the next year. Too often they write off the final quarter and begin making excuses to cover up the cold hard facts of the current year.

There is a lot of rationalization that takes place:

"It is the economy"

"We had turn over"

"Our competitors cut their prices"

"They 'moved my cheese'"

"Nobody returns phone calls any more"

"Our parent company wont invest in social media"

"The team is lazy"

"Customers don't know what they want"

"People are waiting until next year to buy"

But rationalizations will not put money into the bank. Actions are the only thing that can turn things around and get the ball rolling for the rest of 2010 and move you into 2011 with momentum.

The end of the year is an ideal time to hold sales training, team building, planning, and other company-wide motivational and educational events. Waiting until January means more wasted time, and plays into the mistaken view that November and December are non-work focused months.

Countless businesses stopped doing company meetings over the last two years. They were hoping to "save money" in a down economy and thus find prosperity. But you cannot save your way to success,.... it takes commitment, hard work, and sales!

The good news is that these company meetings are coming back. Businesses are again investing in their people, hoping to inspire and motivate them, but also to equip them with the tools and skills necessary to make things happen.

Not everyone is embracing the power of training their people: I spoke to a lawyer last week whose office is below the firm's annual projections. He fears cut-backs. When I asked about training, he said they were too cheap to spend money on the attorneys business development skills (meanwhile they are staring at lousy numbers, hmmmmm?). He is personally investing in business coaching, as he wants to make sure if they close the office he will have a portable book of business and a reputation to ensure himself a future.

If your company is not committed to training and including the team in planning, then your people may see it as a sign that you are not committed to their long term success. Thus they could be looking around at other options. You can't win loyalty when you do not invest in your staff. You either lose their productivity or the people (or both) when you run from educational and motivational events.

Now is the time to plan your team meeting for the end of the year and ensure you start 2011 with the best foundation for success.

By : Thom_Singer