Among Filipinos, the most common misconception about team building is that it is all about competitive games. So, that’s what people expect every time they do offsite team-building events.
Competitive team games make them alive. The bruises are badges of honor. But issues that the teams are facing remain unsolved. Team building is a great opportunity to teach, inspire, and strengthen teams. But the opportunity is often wasted.
Let’s discover why team building fails and how to make it right so you can 10x the results of your next event even without the bruises.
Team Building Is Not a Package
To build a 10x team, you do not need overly physical activities for team building. Not everyone is ready for military exercises.
Many managers have this mistaken belief that team building means an offsite once-a-year playing game package. It is not all their fault. Many team-building providers sold the idea that play works.
Wrong. You have been short-changed.
Only Purposeful Play Works
Having fun is great. Playing like kids once again brings happy memories. Playing makes us learn more about people at work.
But purchasing team-building packages only makes you do same-same. It is an easy thing to do for lazy managers. There is no mindset of growth. There is no behavior change. There is no goal. They are like headless chickens told to move as fast as they can until they find their heads and breathe again.
The fault is not in the games.
In the hands of professionals who care for your growth, games can be fun, intensive, result-oriented, and engaging.
What is purposeful play?
Purposeful plays are gamified learning experiences. The main purpose of these learning games is to strengthen the team and help individual members grow. Most learning games are fun, safe, and friendly. It’s designed for a different higher level of competition which involves communication, collaboration, and cooperation.
In truth, whatever you do with your teams must be done to help them GROW. For without growth, you are not building.
Without growth, you are disintegrating.
Without growth, your team is dying.
Do they need to win, learn or both?
The difference between team games and team-building games lies in the purpose.
In team games, the objective is to find the best and the fittest. There is only one champion, and all the others are losers. Examples of team games are soccer, basketball, and football. The nature of these games is win-lose. Or one winner and many losers.
This is why sports games, though can be used to show teamwork, isn’t always an apt metaphor for workplace teams.
Games like Amazing Race and Tug O’ War are examples of competitive win-lose games. If your purpose for team building is to show that only a few of your employees need to stay, these games will send that message.
On the other hand, team-building games are purposeful play. They are designed to help the team learn the value of collaboration, driving results, team decision-making, open communication, team problem-solving, growth mindset, and teamwork.
In a purposeful play, it is possible that no one team will win. Especially if the purpose of the game is to help the team see things clearly. Though this seldom happens, I emphasize that they are not fighting against each other but against a set of criteria. The purpose is learning.
In a purposeful play, all teams may win. This is just like you want all teams in your organization to win. This becomes clear to them when they don’t see themselves as competitors but as partners in creating quality products, delivering excellent service, and building your organization.
We live in a world where collaboration can bring us more positive results than cut-throat competition.
Team Leaders Must Grow Teams
Team leaders make teams play bigger without the bruises.
This job belongs to you, the leader of the team. You don’t allow any team building provider to offer a mindless and aimless activity for them.
Because whatever your team members experience must advance your team and business goals.
Team building doesn’t have to be painful.
You can grow your team You can encourage, enable, and engage champions each day.
You can put into action play bigger principles that really work.
This means that you will build a strong and trusting relationship with customers. That you will inspire and show your sales team how to bring in the money they have not imagined before.
This means that you make your people champions in what they do.