Team Building

What is team building? There is a lot of discussion about the difference between team building and team bonding. People like to point out that what is seen as team building events in the UK are actually team bonding and that the wrong word is used. Perhaps people in the UK do not like the word ‘bonding’ as it is seen as new age and not dry enough for business.

"A group of people applauding a team mate"

Team Building

Techincally team building is the act of taking an existing team and going through an ongoing process of building relationships between them. Social team bonding events may be one of the tools used, as will be personality profiling such as Belbin or MBTI.

Fun team building activities, of the type seen on this blog, are (if you want to be exact) social team bonding activities. The key to their success is that they are enjoyable shared experiences, and this is important not just in work teams but in all human relationships. Enjoyable shared experiences are one of the key drivers of friendship generally.

The work environment can be demanding. It is not always easy to build relationships in the environment people have at work. Therefore it is important to get away to a fresh environment and have a break together.

4 Comments

  1. Anne Thornley-Brown, M.B.A. · January 30, 2010 Reply

    Great post!

    Same thing happens in Canada:

    “that what is seen as team building events in the UK are actually team bonding”

    I agree.

    “Fun team building activities, of the type seen on this blog, are (if you want to be exact) social team bonding activities. The key to their success is that they are enjoyable shared experiences, and this is important not just in work teams but in all human relationships. Enjoyable shared experiences are one of the key drivers of friendship generally.”

    Recreational activities for teams are very important for team and organizational health. Many effective team building sessions do include recreational activities to break down barriers, help people feel relaxed and provide an opportunity to build stronger relationships. This is important. However, companies need to remember to call recreation for what it is “team recreation” and not team building. Also, when the pendulum swings and more money is being spend on recreational activities than true team building, something is amiss. Companies are off-track and off-purpose when they seem to be confusing their mission with that of country clubs and recreational centres. Business is just that business and that is where the bulk of the focus should be and, yes team building can be fun and still achieve business objectives.

  2. Guy Farmer · August 10, 2010 Reply

    Great tips. I like the idea that team building is about strengthening relationships because people work much better together when they feel a genuine connection. I’ve found it helpful to work with employees to build empathy and the ability to celebrate people’s amazing talents and abilities. When people feel included and valued they tend to perform better.

    • funteambuilding · August 11, 2010 Reply

      Thanks Guy. Empathy is a difficult skill to ‘teach’ because people often resist the idea as too wishy washy. It takes a light touch from the facilitator to avoid the question: ‘Are we not empathetic enough already?’ Perhaps it’s because I’m British, but empathy seems to be a difficult quality to build.

  3. achat cialis sur internet · May 9, 2012 Reply

    The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient….

    The struggle for existence….

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