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Team Building That Takes

Fun Corporate Team Building

The good news and the bad news for corporate employees when it comes to teambuilding programs: those programs are designed to persuade people to change, and people generally dislike and fear change.

In fact, according to Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate, “While the notion may ruffle some feathers, all presentations have a component of persuasion to them.”

When you speak, she tells presenters, you’re moving an audience:

  • from being uninformed to being informed
  • from being uninterested in the subject to being interested
  • from being stuck in a process to being unstuckWhen team building duo Christian and Katalina are tasked by an organization or a company with helping strengthen teams in the face of change, they know their first challenge lies in “getting in tune” with the group. Duarte calls this process “resonance”.  “Resonance occurs when an object’s natural vibration frequency responds to an external stimulus of the same frequency,” she explains. “If you adjust to the frequency of your audience so that the message resonates deeply, they will display self-organizing behavior,” she assures presenters.

In order to achieve resonance, Christian points out, team building leaders must get people “out of their heads”.  As Duarte says, people are conditioned to generate content from their heads, and institutions reward those who spend most of their time in their “analytical region”, avoiding the emotional. But big ideas emerge from hunches, hypotheses, and passions.

The key to getting employees “out of their heads and into their hearts”, Katalina explains, is challenging their perceptions and violating their expectations about life. Through the mechanisms
of humor and surprise, members of different committees and different departments interact, questioning reality while laughing together. When minds are more open, morale is boosted, change can find acceptance, and real problem-solving can begin.

In team building, Illusions can be used as tools, showing how incredibly creative and innovative our human brains can be if we if we allow ideas to flow and provide an environment of support and encouragement, says Dr. Scott Simmerman of Performance Management Company.

Company and organizational heads tend to have one of three motivations for engaging team building professionals to work with their members and employees:

1.  Conflict resolution. (There are conflicts among certain individuals that are hampering the effectiveness of the department or of the project.)
2.  Getting people out of their silos (Interpersonal and inter-departmental communication skills need improvement)
3.  Change-mongering (employees and managers are resistant to needed changes in the marketplace and in the organization and the group isn’t able to move forward)

In a sense, all three of these motivations have to do with change and resistance to change.  All three evidence a need to “get people out” – out of their silos, out of their own pet projects, out of their departmental concerns, “out of their own heads”.

No simple task, this team building, nor is forging teams that can work together on redesigning the future a one-event or one-day affair. But when successful team building results in better-informed, more interested people engaged in getting themselves and their organizations “unstuck” and moving towards a better and more productive future – well, you might say the juice has been well worth the squeeze!

by Rebecca of the Corporate Events Indianapolis blog team


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