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|Thursday, May 30, 2013|
BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR
I was asked, “Some employees resent ‘forced fun’ outings. Is there a better way to help team members connect? What are some examples of innovative ideas for teams to connect?”
If you really want your team members to connect, there are few worse ways than “Mandatory Corporate Fun” that’s too obviously aimed at manipulating them.
Good bonding events share a few attributes:
Bad events will be focused on:
Why “equally uncomfortable?”
The real point of effective team bonding activities is to get the group out of their collective comfort zone, doing something they wouldn’t ordinarily do. This forces the brain to build new links, and allows team members to re-assess each other and build new mental pictures of each other.
Focus on the Goal – to Build Trust
The whole point of all this team-building is to grow team trust.
Trust is built up when people do a little extra for each other, voluntarily. (The four elements of trust are Reliability, Openness, Competence and Compassion.)
Getting people out of the office into a new space with a new activity, allows them to have new experiences of each other — and break negative stereotypes that can build up in the office.
When boring old George has a great idea, I can no longer pigeon-hole him in my head as ‘boring old George.’
When ‘lazy’ Chris shows initiative and works hard at the team goal, I start to see Chris in new ways.
The gold standard for team formation through experiences comes from my former employer, IBM, who would send small groups of middle managers on 6-week volunteer trips to impoverished African countries. Between the discomfort of camping and the novel surroundings, plus focusing on work that’s utterly different from their normal work, the groups bonded very tightly. IBM would select people from different departments and countries, and those groups stay connected for years afterward. It’s a highly effective anti-silo technique.
What You can Do
You can create team-building activities, or hire a specialty firm.
Group problem-solving is superior to independent action or team competition, though some amount of competition is good, especially if you’re playing “against the course” (i.e. fastest time through an obstacle course) and not “against each other” (football, baseball, etc.)
Tom Cox is a Portland area consultant and executive coach. He helps leaders exceed their business aspirations.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
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