Team Building is an intervention designed to improve team performance and to bring out the best of a team. Depending on the team, its situation etc. the focus of the intervention is on self development, communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to solve problems. Summarizing, a Team Building session gets everyone on the same page. This involves building alignment, increasing awareness for team issues and developing a shared understanding.
In the next paragraphs you can read more about:
To start with, we differentiate Intra from Inter Team Building:
Here we look at the topics, issues, challenges from within the team. Some topics within a team include the following:
- Cooperation (How do we work together?)
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Team Rules
- Allocation of Team Tasks
- Diversity in a Team (Type of personality of Team Members)
- Ego Issues in a Team (Need for recognition; Feeling better or inferior as colleagues)
- Trust building
- Feedback process to improve relation
- Team Values
- Shared understanding and alignment in the Team
Another form of teams often found in international context are Virtual Teams. Here team members or employees work together across time, space and organizational boundaries on projects. Virtual Teams have specific challenges for their team performance. Team Building for virtual teams needs to address particular questions like: How to cooperate over distance? How to deal with different national and cultural backgrounds? How to build trust remotely? How to setup and implement a shared and fair recognition system?
Today’s division of labor in organizations makes the cooperation and interaction of teams to an important daily routine. The functioning of an organization depends to a great extent on a good inter team performance. Inter Team Building focuses on improving the relation and interaction between teams. It addresses issues such as:
- Clarification of interfaces
- Cooperation between teams
- Dependencies between teams
- Embedding Environment of the team
- Building commitment to a mission beyond a single team
- Aligning teams to a greater purpose
In our Team Building interventions we look at the central relevant aspects and derive from there the necessary corresponding approaches to apply.
When dealing with a team TCI which is the basic analysis structure of our choice. Applying TCI we focus on four key aspects to the performance of a team:
1. It = Task:
2. We = Relationship:
3. Me = how am I in the interaction (team)
4. Globe = the context the team is operating in
TCI is a powerful model that facilitates/supports the discovery of limitations, unbalances and distortions of a team. TCI is the starting point in the preparation, development and design of our Team Building interventions.
When it comes to building up alignment and a shared perspective or context and understanding the backbone process, we chose an approach adapted from the nowhere Group Ltd. A team going through the backbone process develops a profound shared understanding and commitment to central cohesion building elements. The Backbone covers the following five areas that are crucial for a team’s vigour and power of impact.
3. Team-Purpose and Values:
4. Team-Ambition (Vision)
5. Team-Pathway (Strategy)
Aligning all team members behind the Team Backbone and its elements sets free a team’s full potential of vigor and power of impact. The sound bite `There is nothing which can’t be done with a dedicated team´ becomes attainable.
A team building without considering the team leader and his/her particular management or leadership style will not be very effective. It is the team leader who has generally the strongest impact on a team. He or she consciously or unintentionally influences the team in its best or worst. The strengths and weaknesses of a team often mirror where the team leader puts his/her attention. In the following we have a quick look at the relationships that a team leader is focusing on.
Cartwheel with Leadership Wheel Hub
This category of team leader puts his attention on good relationship amongst the team members. He knows that the team’s performance highly dependent on the relationship quality inside the team. He leads the team focusing on good communication, cooperation, trust and mutual support in the team. He keeps up the momentum in the team to progress in these areas.
Star with Leadership Hub
This team leader has a conscious or unintentional need to be liked, accepted and in control in a team. He therefore puts a lot of focus on individual relations to each team member. He does not put attention on fostering good relations among the team members. Often this corresponds with the team members having no need to cooperate extensively with each other. This is a soft form of the ancient “divide et impera”.
No Leading in the Team
Here the team leader puts little or no focus on relationships among the Team Members nor does he concentrate on bilateral relationships to his Team Members. Therefore there are little or no relationship-ties among Team Members other than the most necessary ones and those based on personal sympathy. It is probably more correct to speak of a group than of a team. Everyone works for him / herself and there is no felt need to enhance communication, cooperation, trust and mutual support in the team.
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