Team building refers to the process of establishing and developing a greater sense of collaboration and trust between team members (Wikipedia, 2007). Interactive exercises, team assessments, and group discussions enable groups to cultivate this greater sense of teamwork. Team building is used in many contexts, for example in sport and work organizations. Need for Team Building
Modern society and culture continues to become more fluid and dynamic. The effect of this environment is that individuals are now required to work with many different groups of people in their professional as well as personal lives. Joining a new group and immediately being expected to get along with them is somewhat unnatural - historically humans have worked and lived in close-knit, stable societies. As such, people have had to develop methods to help people adapt to the new requirements. All kinds of people face the same difficulties. As of yet there are no generally agreed solution to the problem it may not even be possible given the thousands of years of cultural evolution that brought society to its present behavior patterns. Team Building Ingredients
There are many ingredients that are seen as important to the successful set-up and launch of a team effort. These ingredients are selecting participants, establishing goals, assignment of roles, matching personality types, support
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within the team, and communication between team members and leaders (Lafasto, 2001). Selecting participants
The first important ingredient for team building is selecting participants to be on the team. The team leader usually looks for specific skills in his or her members in order to ensure success in the project. It is important to have members who have confidence and are able to build trust among the other participants. A participant must also break out of his or her shell and become a leader. Most important, the participant must have a positive attitude at all times (LaFasto, 2001). Sometimes it is helpful to have an assessment that each member has to fill out at the end of the project to help in future team building experiences. The authors of When Teams Work Best collected 15,000 assessments that team members had to fill out about their fellow teammates. In the assessment there were only two questions asked: (1) what strengths does this person bring to the team? (2) What might this individual do to contribute more effectively to the team's success? (LaFasto, 2001) The assessment revealed six factors to help distinguish between the effective and ineffective team members. The factors fell into two groups: working knowledge and teamwork. Working knowledge consists of two factors: experience and problem-solving ability. Teamwork consists of four factors: openness, supportiveness, action orientation, and personal style (LaFasto, 2001). If each member has these qualities, the outcome of the team building activity will likely be successful. Team Building 4
Establishing goals within the team is essential in team building. It is important for the team leader to establish goals early so the members understand their purpose for participating. If the goals are clarified, the participants are motivated to excel in the activities and develop trust in their leader (LaFasto, 2001). Goals give the team direction and provide a feeling of value and importance. One common mistake of teambuilding is to assemble a group of people, call them a team, then give them nothing to do or have then continue to do the same things they did before they were called a team. Another common mistake is for the team leader to decide what team's goals are. Team members must be actively involved in their outcomes (Temme,1995). It is important for a leader to make sure the team knows how the work will be done and how they will accomplish their tasks (LaFasto, 2001). Without goals, the team has nothing to strive for, and many...