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Big Ideas about Team Building (& Life)!

10 Team Building Characteristics

There are many characteristics that bring success to an organization, but what specifically makes for a successful team? Team Higher Ground’s Adventure-Based Learning and Team Building Activities are designed to reveal, through your own experiences and insights, what actually works! Not based on theory, not based on opinion, but what actually works based on your shared experiences through our Team-Building and Adventure-Learning programs!

While Team Higher Ground’s Team-Building and Adventure-Learning programs create a high-impact in a short duration (most of our events are about 3 hours in length), there are many activities you can participate in that can develop your people and team’s over a longer period of time!

Here’s 10 Ideas to help with long-term Team Building:

1. SHARED GOALS

The most important aspect for creating a successful team is ensuring that each member of the group is fully aware of the team’s shared goals and how they are to be achieved. Many businesses surprisingly do not even setting targets, or if they do they aren’t clear, therefore employees are left guessing their roles and responsibilities without clear goals to work towards.

2. “THREE P” MEETINGS

You may have heard the old joke, “meetings are where minutes are taken, and hours are lost!” Unnecessary meetings often result in undermining the key meetings that actually matter and have a purpose. Never hold a meeting unless, and until you can answer the “Three P’s.” What’s the Purpose of the Meeting? What’s the Process for obtaining the desired outcomes? What’s the Payoff the meeting will deliver? If you can’t answer these three critical questions, do NOT hold the meeting!

3. ALL IDEAS MATTER

It's crucial that we respect and value the ideas of all team members! It’s a proven that if you gather a group of diverse team-members with varied experience, autonomy to share their opinions, and have a way of inviting the entire group to participate freely, that the wisdom of the collective group will always be better than the opinion of any one person in the group! Use this “wisdom of the crowd” to engage all team members and arrive at smarter decisions and solutions!

4. ENCOURAGE INITIATIVE

For a team to truly succeed to its true potential, individual initiative needs to be encouraged. When individuals take initiative, regardless of the outcome, always acknowledge their initiative and encourage more of this key behavior. The difference between a team of individuals who take initiative and those that wait for instruction may be the difference between achieving your goals or not!

5. TRUST

Trust impacts virtually all aspects of an organization! Low trust within a team leads to damaging behaviors like withholding information and resources, secrecy and gossiping, and inevitably leads to greater friction and lower results. Higher trust leads to greater empathy with the team, more willingness to share information and resources and makes it more likely you will achieve the results you’re after with less wear and tear on your people!

6. TEAM DECISION MAKING

We all have different opinions and ideas but this can create several alternatives when it comes to making a decision as an entire team, and importantly it allows members to all voice their opinions. Develop the habit of making shared decisions and you’ll not only make better decisions, but you’ll increase employee buy-in and engagement!

7. TAKING RISKS

Leading your employees out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to take more risks can be scary. But over time, teams that learn to take thoughtful risks have a grater ability to create breakthrough results! We coach our client’s to look at risk-taking as being win-win regardless of short-term outcome. Be thoughtful, engage your people, make your best decision then Take The Risk! If it doesn’t work out as hoped, take the result as “information” not as failure. Then, simply incorporate the new information into the next iteration of risk-taking!

8. TEAM DIVERSITY

Teams that are consciously built to be diverse have a head-start on teams that are more homogenous. In this era of economic globalization, many companies are making efforts to achieve workforce diversity, which aims to employ workers from different backgrounds to provide tangible and intangible benefits to the organization. Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge. This can include employing workers with cultural and language skills that can lead to greater reach for the business. Diversity experts believe that heterogeneous groups can contribute more creative ideas to the mix.

9. INVITE FEEDBACK

Getting feedback from team members is an absolute must. When you think about it, feedback is always there whether we want it or not. Every time you ask or receive a question, we communicate by answering with feedback. In a sense, it’s almost impossible to not provide feedback. We find our clients often do well at planning, picking solutions, implementing new approaches but then often fall down on creating the feedback opportunities that help them adapt and “tweak” their approaches once they’ve been tested in the marketplace. Inviting feedback also engages employees are all levels of the organization and helps connect the frontline with leadership.

10. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES

All too often, at the pace of toady's business we see our client's achieve extraordinary results but NOT stop to reflect and celebrate! The best way to encourage future successes is to pause, reflect and harvest the lessons learned, and celebrate your current successes!