“Your business is called L & S Teambuilding, so, you must have a construction company?” Tom asked. He was holding my card in one hand and reading it while holding a drink in the other. We were standing next to the bar at a business card social hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
“No.” I said, “we are in the people business, we help organizations build better teams. Like, builders of teams. Hence team builders.”
“Oh!” He said, “so, what is it you do, exactly?”
I explained how we use fun, interactive, hands-on, problem-solving activities to help teams improve their communication, planning, trust, enthusiasm, cooperation and leadership.
WE ARE ALL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This conversation made me think about how closely related construction is to teambuilding. Every team I know is undergoing some sort of construction or is in some stage of remodeling.
**Maybe they are building a new team from the foundation up.
**Maybe they need to reinforce the weakened inside structure of the team.
**Maybe the roof or leadership of the team needs to be patched up.
A team, like a construction project, must start with a good plan. The blueprint for a good team begins with a vision, some goals and plan of execution.
POWER TOOLS TO BUILD YOUR TEAM
*An interactive teambuilding activity that teaches planning is called Key Punch.
The object of the game is for a group of people to run from a starting point to an area where 20 numbered placards are laid out on the floor or ground at random, each member must touch all the placards in numerical order and run back to the starting point as fast as they can.
It takes most teams at least 2 to 3 minutes the first trip down. However, after they have done some planning, explored a few ideas, fine-tuned their plan, set goals and made several attempts they will improve their time to only 11 to 15 seconds.
Most organizations would love to improve their operation by 99%. Proper planning can help a team achieve extraordinary goals.
*The bricks and mortar of a team, what holds it together, is communication, trust and enthusiasm. An interactive team building activity that helps with communication, trust and enthusiasm is called Group Juggle. The group arranges themselves in a circle. They must toss balls to one and other in a sequence around the circle of members without dropping any. Each time a ball has been thrown and caught by every member, a new ball is introduced to the sequence. The object is to get as many balls going in sequence in the air as possible. If they drop a ball they start again.
They must effectively communicate with each other. They must trust each other. They must use enthusiasm to keep the balls going.
*The support beams and trusses of a team are its leadership, positive behavior and creativity. An interactive team building activity that stresses leadership, positive behavior and creativity is called Bull Ring.
Fifteen strings 14 feet long are tied to a metal bullring. The other ends are laid out like the spokes of a wheel on the ground. The bullring is set on a cone. A small ball the size of a golf ball is set on the bullring. Each member picks up the loose end of a string.
The object is for the team to lift the bullring and ball off the cone, carry it using just the strings to a place a distance away and deposit it on another cone without the ball dropping off. If they drop the ball they start again.
This game teaches that someone has to be the leader to anticipate changes and keep the team on focus. Members of the team must have a positive behavior and hold up their end of the string. The team must be creative and flexible to maneuver past obstacles.
Each one of these activities is fun and teaches planning, communication, trust, enthusiasm, leadership, positive behavior and creativity. These attributes will build a group of people into a team.
I am no longer concerned that our business name makes people think of a construction company. I just go along with it explaining that what we do is construct stronger teams. Strong, sturdy teams know how to have fun and are able to withstand the stress of changes, reorganizations, downsizing, and budget cutbacks. Every team needs some reconstruction or remodeling so every team needs teambuilding. Why not make it fun?
Larry and Sandie Westfall are teambuilding experts! They improve teamwork in organizations.
Larry is retired from the National Guard. During his career he conducted interactive team training for the Guard and community organizations.
Sandie raised their three children and retired from the school system. She relates teaching and family experiences to better teamwork.
Their fun hands-on activities and processing afterward will change just a group of people into a real team.
L & S Teambuilders
“Discover the fun in teambuilding.”
Helena, MT 59601 PH: 406-442-5000E-mail: email@example.com On the web at: www.montanaspeakers.com