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Team Building

Team Building: this short article explains Team Building in a practical way. Next to what it is (definition), this article also highlights famous theories, the benefits, activities, exercises and tips. Enjoy reading!

Team Building: this short article explains Team Building in a practical way. Next to what it is (definition), this article also highlights famous theories, the benefits, activities, exercises and tips. Enjoy reading!

What is team building?

Team building is a collective term used to express the different types of activities that are used to strengthen social relationships within a team or group. Usually, these are tasks involving employees working together or trusting each other in order to achieve a goal.

These activities are not the same as team training. Team training is used to improve the efficiency of a team’s work.

The definition of team building

The definition of team building consists of a few important elements. First, team building is all about building effective work relationships. Teams with few interpersonal conflicts generally perform better than groups in which conflicts occur regularly. The uniting and coordinating of goals and the division of roles are also parts of these activities , as well as solving team problems. Team building is one of the most popular activities for group development within organisations.

A lot of research has been done into team building and working in groups in general. The foundation for these activities has been laid with Tuckman’s theories of group dynamics and the phases of group development. Other theories linked to team building and group dynamics are Benne and Sheats’ group roles, Bonchek and Steele’s thinking styles, Belbin’s team roles and the four dimensions of relational work.

Benefits of team building

The benefit of effectively working in a team has been confirmed time and again by experience and research. This can be pursued by, among other things, these activities. Below you will find an overview of the benefits.

  • Better communication
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved morale
  • Increased motivation
  • Leadership qualities are better reflected
  • Creativity is stimulated
  • Improved mental health
  • Respect in the workplace
  • Trust in the workplace

Particularly the positive effects on group performance are interesting for managers. A 2011 study by M. L. Shuffler shows that team building has a positive influence on team effectiveness. Goal setting and clarification of role distribution were found to influence cognitive, affective, performance and process outcomes.

The powerful impact on affective and process outcomes makes team building a valuable tool to help teams that are experiencing problems such as lack of trust and cohesion.

Team building activities and exercises

There are various activities and exercises. A number of examples can be found below.

  • Code of conduct
  • Campfire stories
  • Fox hunt
  • Trivia
  • Truth-lie game
  • Blind drawing
  • Company outings

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Team building tips & tricks

What are the best known and most effective methods for team building? How do these activities affect relationships in the workplace? How are these relationships formed in the first place? What does group dynamic have to do with productivity? The articles linked to team building are about group dynamics and different ways to optimise team work.

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