Over 2,100 students from 112 countries enrolled in Specialist Series classes by Katy Caselli since September, 2015! Updated in November, 2016!
Would you love to help team work better together? Take this course and increase your value as a Team Builder! This course teaches instructors, Human Resources Professionals and leaders to facilitate engaging team building sessions.
The course gives all needed tools, materials and planning guidance to implement an engaging and impactful Team Building session, complete with self discovery, team discovery, and activities and debrief for an effective session and follow up activities.
Taught by Katy Caselli, Industrial Psychologist and author, a 12 year team builder and 17 year Learning and Development Professional with certifications in Myers-Briggs, 360 Degree Feedback, a Certified Technical Trainer and Certified Change Manager.
Take this 18 lecture, 1 hour class and download the plan. By the end of an afternoon you will be ready to facilitate a memorable and impactful team building session! Money back guarantee and lifetime access to materials!
Often teams to do not quite get along, have you noticed? Some people dominate the others, with forceful communication, or by seeming critical in meetings. Others draw back and keep ideas to themselves.
Meetings seem at times painful because of misunderstandings and unresolved conflicts.
Tension can build amongst team members, at times, some members avoiding others, with key communication and collaboration going undone.
Often leaders of teams need help to get their groups to work more effectively together, and that is where they may need a professional to help out, with initial or periodic team building activities to remind their employees they are all human, there to reach common goals
The overall goal of team building in the workplace is to help teams to work more effectively together. The benefits of a cohesive well integrated working group are several.
Effective team saves time by generating excellent communication, make more progress in meetings and overall projects. Conflict is reduced in people understand and trust each other more.
Let's just reemphasize that point: Steven M.R. Covey found in his book, the Speed of Trust, that when people are in a trusting, and conflict healthy state, that they actually get things done faster. That built up conflict causes friction, which expends energy to overcome.
As a team builder, your value goes up and you can offer more to your clients, as either as an external or external resource to the organization.
According to research, at least 80% of United States companies use teams in some ways. A team is defined as having a common goal. What is important for teams is to have knowledge of team member roles and responsibilities, as well as the ability to self monitor their progress, and what is going well.
You can help teams by acting as an outside observer and helper. You then allow them to see themselves, see each, other and recognize an effective way to work together. The ability to refer back to what they know about working effectively together allows them to self correct, when things are not going well.
Keeping the awareness high of how to work together with respect and tolerance, appreciating differences and fostering inclusion is a valuable skill. A person who can offer this service will have requests for teams within the organization they support, and also, as a consultant or freelance instructor, this is a valuable tool to have in your tool belt.
Just to share a personal story:
Let's go on to discussing the need for each team. We will need to do some investigation as to the state of the team and where it is best to get started.
This is a plan to capture your notes in so that by the end of this class, you will know how to run your first team building session. Just print a copy and keep it nearby as you finish the class to write down your ideas.
Take stock of your team situation. This is important because you will have a different approach and angle for different team situations. You may have teams that are brand-new that's great. Then the focus would be to getting them to know each other on a somewhat personal level as well as on getting to know their types of working styles.
This serves to accelerate the speed at which team members can start to understand and trust each other. What happens when team members understand personality styles and how people tend to get under pressure? Then conflicts become non personal and trust increases.
A little about conflict: There is conflict that is constructive in which group members discuss ideas, argue "that won't work" and say "how about this" and "What about that?" Or "You forgot to consider..." This behavior happens in organizations all the time. As they say, several heads are better than one, and the end result is a stronger process, product or service.
Bad or damaging conflict is more personal, and criticizes or belittles the person. This also happens frequently in organizations, and it causes friction, bad feelings and obviously poor working relationships.
Now at times there can be a cross over. For example, what if two persons who have strong and challenging personalities. Let's say they dominate weekly meetings, butt heads with most people on the team and even start battles with each other, leaving other team members at the sidelines watching helplessly. This causes hurt feelings, as if it was personal. One person might say "He can't speak to me that way" after the third time being interrupted and made to think his ideas were dead wrong.
Some people really dread team meetings, or speaking to team members they have conflict with. This is a problem because it causes poor interactions and things slow down.
So discuss with the customer what their hopes are for their new team, what kind of ways of working are expected and what they might foresee with the personalities they have on the team.
Are their layers of oversight and approvals that seem unneeded?
Is there shared grumbling and other types of negativity such as arguments that are never resolved?
Starting a team off with an exploration and discovery of personality differences and working styles can make a great foundation for determining team rules that sustain respect and good feelings, no matter how intense the work situation gets.
So discuss with the customer what their hopes are for their new team, what kind of ways of working are expected and what they might foresee with the personalities they have on the team.
Have more than a few people worked together before? Or all they all brand new and starting out in a work team or project?
Plan to start off with some get to know you type of fun exercises, like an introduction of a fun and engaging type. This works even for people who know each other at least somewhat. For example, here is a "Get to Know You BINGO" card, that exposes teams to unique stories outside of the job. Look in the supplementary materials for this and other "getting to know you" exercises.
How about experienced teams? Some customers of yours may request a team building activity periodically such as a kickoff to an annual strategic planning event or as an activity to round off the finished milestone. How do you find out where to focus?
Here are a few suggestions: Ask the team leaders for their perception of what the teams do really well and what could be improved for the future. Do a few team members dominate meetings or discussions? Do some of the team currently stand back with low contributions– or roll eyes or seem to make personal attacks to others?'s Did the group get hung up on detail and not move forward? Capture the information when discussing the request with their leader.
You may see similar trends as indicated with the new team, sometime groups go through hard times together in the form of a stressful project, and things get pretty tense. When they come out the other side, they may need reminders of what they are there for, how to work well together again after the big stressors are relieved. Just looking backwards and having a fun time together can relive the stress and strain and people become friendly once again. The key is to have people look at themselves and repair any damage done in the past.
In the next section we will look at one very key tool to team building, and that is self-discovery.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
When individuals know themselves, they have the chance to recognize their own behavior and to discover your differences from others.
A researcher named Gardner (see complete bibliography in the supplementary materials) first described self-knowledge in two distinct ways.
Intra-personal intelligence is the correlate of ability turned in word it is a capacity to form an accurate vertical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life.
Gardner also described interpersonal intelligence as having the ability to understand other people and what motivates them. How to work cooperatively with them. Successful sales people, politicians, teachers, clinicians, and religious leaders, are all likely to be individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence.
Together, these two attributes have been grouped together and the term Emotional Intelligence was coined and popularized, though researchers may never agree if this is a “true” type of intelligence, it was heavily referenced as a skill that was teachable by leadership training providers through out the late nineties and two thousands.
The summary is, that the people who seem to get along with others the best both know themselves and know how to interact with others, while making modifications to behaviors to enable the most effective interactions possible.
To give you an example of a well known difference between group members, let's pick the introverted and the extroverted. As you likely know, extroverted people active reach out and engage others, while introverts hang back, watching and gathering information when they are in groups. They may wait some time before contributing, as they are thinking things through and gaining insight as they watch and listen.
Extroverts tend to mix and contribute more, speak more and make their thoughts known quickly and easily. They, in fact, gain insight while they are speaking.
Now imagine what each of these groups might ask each other when they notice their differences?
The extroverts might say: Why are you so quiet? Why do you not jump into the conversation?
When are we going to hear from you? Do you want to leave?
The introverts might say: When are you going to slow down, you have been talking for 20 minutes! How can you be so relaxed and at ease speaking out like that?
With self and group discovery together, there are some significant ah ha moments that help people to explain their behavior
Just a quick story about introverts and extroverts...
Now I know Us
It is worthwhile to identify the personality differences on the team so that the group can see whether one style dominates over the others and in which way. Diversity is ideal and appreciation of the differences on the team are also very valuable.
If the team is mostly made up of a single very dominant personality style then there is no one on the team to put on the brakes and have them consider other ways of progressing or gather some data or stop to think about the people impact for project etc. So it's really important that the team understands what that diversity brings to their overall working style.
A non-diverse team can get stuck and not understand what is holding them back. The best outcome of a team building exercise is that a team works effectively together. That means having a full understanding of the value each member brings to the group and understand conflict as non personal, differing points of view. This is critical to anchor in the use of a fun activity to illustrate how the team works on a brief (and fun) project together. More on this in the Tools Section and the lecture on Debriefing.
When things do become personal, then that needs a special bit of attention. More on that in another lecture.
What happens when people understand each other?
There are many great tools out there for helping people to understand themselves. One of the best-known tools is the Myers-BriggsType Indicator. The original research was done by Carl Jung. He first described differences and personalities in the interested him the most was introverts an extroverts. Carl Jung did his work in the early part of the 1900s and he brought to light some very fascinating and enlightening information. But it was mostly useful to other researchers and psychologists. It was Myers and Briggs, A mother and daughter team who took Carl Jung's work, and developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator a tool that was now an extremely useful tool to be use at the individual and team level.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Also known as the MBTI has been use now hundreds of thousands of times
Now you can find and take something like the Myers-Briggs assessment online, it is similar to but not official. To take the real MBTI in you need someone who is certified to administer it and can explain all the results with the participants. If you do not have access to a person like that, you may decide to go get certified yourself. I recommend it because the certification teaches you so much about people and yourself.
However it may not be feasible to do that right now and so there are other tools. Disc is another tool that helps explain peoples personalities to themselves and to others. There are many other types of tools and there still are probably hundreds of tools on the market to help people understand themselves, you can talk to a salesperson, and you can try some out. There are some really great products.
But you really don't have to go out and buy anything I'm going to provide materials that will help you do a team building including a personality assessment is just not terribly detailed it's going to determine which of four personality styles are you and maybe if you're on the fence between two of them to help people see their differences and that's exactly what you want in a team building exercise.
It is great, it's easy and detailed enough that people can follow along and do their own self-assessment so let's look at that next.
The work styles tools I'm going to share with you are easy to use. They are attached in a PDF form because I cannot upload them as slides in this platform. However you can take the material and arrange it however you like in whatever visual form you want, you can even distribute them as handouts to team members. Go over each style and have them circle the words that seem to apply to them the most. You will see that there is enough information for people to diagnose themselves into one of the four categories. Go over the general characteristic, and the behavioral and verbal clues. Get familiar with the material by picking out your own style, and those of the people you know best, a spouse, children, parents, your boss. The source for these is the work of Merril & Reid, 1981 (see the reference section).
My favorite activity to use with these work styles is to go through the four of them and explain the differences between each of the groups and those groups are the analyzers the controllers the supporters and the promoters. Now these categories are different enough for people to identify which group there in and then analyze that group as an insider. So after going through each type in giving people a chance to identify which one they prefer I asked the groups to divide into the four groups one at each flipchart which is already set up in the room.
And I have already labeled them controller promoter supporter and analyzer. Now I asked the group at that flipchart to decide on a group T-shirt. They are asked to draw a T-shirt and use pens to decorate it with a team motto that reflects their personality style . Now I ask the group to identify with others in the same category the top three strengths and the top three weaknesses of each category. Meanwhile, as a facilitator, I walk around and make observations and take notes on how each group is doing. Generally each group is acting out their personality styles. The analyzers tend to put the most detail in their T-shirt and take the longest with that task for example. The promoters often times make their activity very fun and exciting, searching out the brightest color marker. The supporters are more about the team in the team effort and the output and the processing used so they tend to help each other the most and celebrate together at the conclusion. The controllers might show some behavior that shows competition and dominance.. Often their motto is forceful and competitive, such as "Let's Go" or "In It To Win It" It is always fun to see how each team identifies their strengths and weaknesses. Following this is an excellent opportunity to debrief. Also to ask questions of each group. The supporters can ask the controllers: How do you prefer we speak with you?
Then the promoters may ask the same of the analyzers and on and on.
Just in case you have a sort of situation where two people are feeling bitter and have a low level of team stewardship and communication, it should be dealt with. These two are adding considerable about of wasted time to the team because they cannot work collaboratively together, and the friction may be causing negativity to spread.
A best case scenario would be to have a conversation with them each alone and encourage them to next talk with each other.
The first conversation could go like this: " Pat, your leader and I are concerned about your working relationship with Gina. In addition your peers have noticed some tension and harsh words. It seems you have to rely on other people to get you information that he has first hand. Do you have any thing to say about this?" (Let's say Pat goes into a long complaint against Gina). "Pat, I understand, it must be hard when you get a sense that Gina doesn't like you and said some things that hurt your feelings. What I want to focus on now is how to help the situation, because the poor working relationship is effecting the rest of the team. I'm asking you and Gina to get together and reestablish a working relationship and agree to better ways of working together. If I were you I'd start by discussing some of the things you value about Gina and ask her for anything that she values about working with you. Lets meet again afterwards to see how it went" (now they have to go through with the meeting).
The second conversation would hopefully go like this:
"Hi Gina, thanks for meeting with me. I was hoping we could talk about how to make our working relationship more effective..."
If you are in a position to offer this type of intervention, the leaders who need help will very much appreciate it!
A quick look back to check your knowledge of the four types of personality skills presented.
Remember, the best outcome of a team building exercise is that a team works effectively together. That means having a full understanding of the value each member brings to the group and understand conflict as non personal, differing points of view.
So plan an activity after a personality self discovery and discussion to drive home the awareness of personality styles. Pick something fun, you can find dozens of great activities on the internet, or use what is attached in the supplementary materials-The Great Egg Drop, in which teams use materials you provide to protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of about 8-12 feet.
So the way the debrief works is, you let the teams do their activity, and stir up a bit of a competitive spirit with a time limit, the promise of a fabulous prize or bragging rights in some way. Then let them get to it and watch the urgent activity by each team. Are some holding back, are some charging forward? Is someone stopping the action to implore that people think another way? Is the outcome stronger as a result of collaboration, are some stating their brilliant ideas to the person next to them instead of to the entire team?
When the activity is over, do the debrief and get some meaningful discussion going...
How did the controllers act- did they remember to hold back a bit and draw others in?
How about the analyzers, were they able to have any concerns heard?
What did the supporters bring? Ect.
What happens a few weeks after a lively, energetic, AH HA filled team building session? Well, much of this information will fade until next year or the next project team forms. Unless you keep it alive! Here are some suggestions.
Take pictures of the team building event, including the flip charts and the team near their own chart. Then draft a poster to hang in meeting rooms with their top three strengths. Title it something like Team Strengths!
If you, as a team building want to ensure lasting results, invite yourself as an observer to periodic meetings. Do a plus delta after group interactions. This is a simple tool done on a flip chart or dry erase board. It looks like this:
You can make the focus of a Plus/Delta the personality styles and team project together as in this example.
This exercise reminds groups to use what they have learned. You can even do appreciation, shorter team building games and other exercises periodically to keep this knowledge alive.
All of these have been observed from the inside, and I love to learn and teach from personal experience and in learning from others mistakes. Enjoy!
Help Your Customers to not make these mistakes:
1. Bury conflict hoping not to see it again-be sure to be careful about conflict I need to assessment is really necessary here as to what seems to be causing conflict in the team. It may be just a few people and not the entire group. Two people who really don't like each other may help others to behave badly as well. And the negativity can spread. If you do determine that it is two or three people who are in a bad blood sort of conflict style situation. Then deal with it at their level only, first.
This is something that can be done with the help of the direct leader and it can be done before a group team building exercise and my suggestion is: take the people who are having the most difficulty and sit down with them explain that they work together in the air required to treat each other with respect and settle their differences so that they can function professionally. Ask them to tell each other what they appreciate about each other and make agreements as to how they will work professionally in the future.
2. Being mindful when choosing the activities for your particular team. For example there are some amazing activities out there to do with the team. There is laser tag, there are ropes courses, there are resorts on the beach or hiking trips in the mountains. But be careful that you take a close look at the physical abilities of your team mates. For example I was once part of a large group meeting of several remote teams coming together in a beautiful resort in Puerto Rico and one of the famous things in that area was the bioluminescent bay and a favorite activity of visitors was to go kayaking through the mangroves and into the glowing bay at night. Several group members were very uncomfortable about traveling through dark mangroves in a small boat. And felt even worse about being in the open water. Although it was a fun activity for most, and we were recently reminded of our personality styles and were noting all the differences as we paddled through narrow channels between the trees and then open bay, some team members were grinding their teeth and holding on for dear life throughout the entire trip.
And another team building I was included in when I was very young in my first real job in the pharmaceutical company we were in the ropes course in an effort to get us to work well and capably together. Some people just could not make it across ropes and jumping backwards off of stumps and being passed through a web of ropes to perform a task on the other side. And I think this can keep the team from really getting the benefits of the exercise. So just be careful and thoughtful about the capabilities of your team when you are thinking through physical activity.
3. Target any particular personality type as the “wrong way” to act. People cannot help the personality styles they have and the preferences they have for behavior although they can't help that they don't showing disrespect and they always act professionally so it does no good and it does not help the thing to target or seriously tease wonder or more members of a group who are in the minority so for example be careful of how you talk about the extroverts don't say “oh they can't shut up” and be careful about how you talk about the introverts “oh sorry I didn't see you there”. Also be careful about targeting anyone a personality and rather treat groups as they are that they how have strengths and they all bring value.
4. Trust a certain amount of disclosure generally happens when which some people are sensitive to based on their past experience, or the perception of the team or organization they work for, they maybe afraid that they might be penalized for their personality style. For example, if the organizational culture rewards hard-hitting, fast, emotionless action with employees, then one leader might have a hard time disclosing their preference for people oriented empathetic approaches.
Keep tabs on this, and asked the group if they are okay with discussing their styles openly before the class. In person, also emphasize that all personality styles are important and valuable, and that teasing should be lighthearted and part of the team's efforts to understanding each other
5.Hold hands and sing/pray together-this method may make people uncomfortable and it it may just cause people to tune out so be careful with the style of team building exercises the result may be the same if you do it right.
The BINGO Card is in the resource section, along with some icebreakers for team who already know each other, as well as the truth and lies exercise.
I just wanted to share with you that of all the ways I have learned about my profession, by far what has helped the most is feedback. Feedback is a training professional, and instructor's best friend. You should ask for it after training of any duration. Now if your audience is in the thousands, ask a select group. If the class was of short duration, ask to speak privately with a few participants after class. Or, give a "Smile Sheet" with targeted questions- Were you understood clearly? Were the activities helpful for students to succeed with the class objectives? What sections would students have liked to go over more, or less?
Feedback is a gift you hope your students will give you.
Katy Caselli has been in professional training roles for large, global organizations for 18 years and has experience in solving complex organizational problems through excellent people systems and solutions. Certified in Change Management, 360 Feedback, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Instructional design and a Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+), Katy has used this skill and knowledge extensively in organizations to both lift the overall workforce skill levels and to apply learning solutions for specific problem areas, resulting in positive changes to the business and short time-frame return on investment. Katy Caselli has her master's degree in industrial/ organizational psychology and uses it to frame hiring and on-boarding systems that are effective and compliant. She is the author of Building Giants: A Proven System to Transform Your Workforce Through Effective Training. A constant learner, Katy's current hobbies include stained glass, kayaking and photography.