Can Introverts Enjoy Team Building Events?

A man with a sheep blindfold on sitting on the ground.

Shepherd Team Building Activity.

The sort of fun activities that are associated with team building often have an extrovert image. The participating group interact and there’s sometimes an element of role play in the activities. If someone is of a strongly introverted preference the idea of an awayday may seem daunting, or something that they would generally prefer not to have to do.

One of the main aims of a well organised team building event is that there should be something for everyone. The choice of activities should appeal to as many different people in the team as possible. Experienced event instructors are very good at judging who in a group wants to get involved and ‘be seen’ and who would prefer to approach activities in a more detatched way. Introverts can bring unique qualities to an activity. Their strength might be in observing and giving feedback, for example. So, as an extrovert might be the first to start working on the challenge the introvert might hold back and work out a better method.

With personality profiling tools such as Belbin and MBTI the introvert / extrovert dynamic is discussed. So, team building events where one of those theories is included will often bring this out when activities are used. This can be very beneficial in helping individuals and teams to understand different attitudes.

Introverts can enjoy and benefit from team building events provided that they are run by an experienced provider who understands the different needs of the individuals in their group.  It can be very beneficial for teams to discuss and understand differences in personalities and this can bost trust and improve communication when the team gets back to work.

The Team Building Company’s website has further information on this.

7 Comments

  1. patchalot · June 29, 2012 Reply

    I like this blog. I am an owner of PCRS Computers so I would love to learn more about team building activities. Teamwork is key to anything in business.

  2. Harold Gardner (@haroldlgardner) · June 29, 2012 Reply

    I am certainly an introvert who survives in an extrovert world; because that is where the cash is. I survive team building events, but I am much happier if there is some warm up before I have to jump all in.

    • James Coakes · June 29, 2012 Reply

      ‘Where the cash is’ is an interesting point, Harold. I’ve heard that western culture tends to reward extrovert types and eastern culture rewards introversion more. It’s a broad idea but there may be something in it.

  3. milieunet · June 30, 2012 Reply

    Yes, in my experience introverts can enjoy teambuilding.

  4. The Blogmistress (@blogmistress) · July 1, 2012 Reply

    There’s little point in the team building if an experienced instructor isn’t on hand to bring out the best from everyone. Too often the introverts are not heard and the times I’ve seen that wasted in my corporate days (as an introvert) were one of my reasons for leaving.

  5. jackiebarrie · July 4, 2012 Reply

    That’s a really interesting point, James. I’ve noticed that introversion seems to be ‘coming back into fashion’ with a new book ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain and her great TED talk on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

  6. Jane Hatton · July 6, 2012 Reply

    This blog demonstrates the difference between a team building event that can be a nightmare for some people – an event to be dreaded and to feel bad about for months afterwards – and a team building event which will leave everyone feeling they contributed something of value and come away with a greater sense of understanding about how different people work.

    The only way to guarantee that your event is one of the latter is to ensure the team building company you use has a full understanding of these quite subtle and complex issues. It’s such an important issue (getting it wrong can have dire consequences whereas getting it right can create powerful and longlasting benefits in performance). I would only ever entrust something as valuable as my employees to someone like James and his team, who don’t just put on “fun times” but are constantly evaluating the group and ensuring everyone has a role where they can thrive and contribute, no matter how introvert or extrovert.

Leave a reply