"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it."
- H.E. Luccock, American Bishop
Poor team performance is one of the foremost reasons given by organizations as a cause for their poor business execution or outcome. Therefore, it becomes imperative to enforce a cohesion among employees, and at the same time, maintain the concept of healthy competition among them.
Following are a few important characteristics of an effective team:
- A positive approach is required while dealing with conflicts.
- Respect towards each others' personal life
- Though unavoidable, a constraint on practice of office politics
- An open approach to others' views and opinions
- Priority given to team success, as opposed to individual success
- Understanding each others' limitations and capabilities while assigning jobs
- A good measure of "sportsmanship" within all the employees
Activities for Team Building
For this aspect to work, in the true sense, requires the mentioned characteristics ingrained in people who are, or who will work together. As markets go global, the number of diversified people who work together is ever-increasing and so is the need to build them into a unified, effective force.
Team building training through games and activities is an essential component of breaking ice among people and bringing them together. Here are some useful ones for this purpose:
Everyone is familiar with this activity; we all have played it at some time in our school and college life. This simple rope game teaches the most basic element of teamwork: motivation to win and win together.
Tallest Paper Cone Tower
This activity requires four people in each group. Resources such as paper, scissors, paper clips, and glue sticks are provided. Each group has to compete against the others to make the tallest paper cone tower that has to stand without any external support.
From each group, one member's right hand and another member's left hand is tied, while the other hand is left free for cutting and using the resources. The third and fourth members are blindfolded. The members who aren't blindfolded have to give directions about building the paper cone to those who are.
The group that manages to build the tallest tower together, wins. This game puts forth challenges to all the participants to make optimal use of their skill sets and resources collectively. The skills of communication, coordination, and optimal utilization of resources are tested and improvised in this activity.
The skills tested here would be creativity and completion of the task within minimum possible time, with the available resources. Besides these skills, one would also improve skills of communication, coordination, and resolve conflicts for completion of the task.
Though most common, these games bring out the team spirit at its best. The teams are made of people who can, as well those who can't play the sport. Hence, it helps in bringing out the quality of leadership, and the concept of "strengthening the weak link."
Most of these activities broaden the spectrum of goals and responsibility, from self to team, and work towards jointly achieving their objectives. The idea to incorporate from them is, "No individualism over team."