Team Outbound-Harnessing the power of Teamwork
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”.
This quote of Michael Jordan is very apt for the corporate world too. As businesses get more and more competitive and work pressures increase, individual brilliance though required will not win the day. What is required is a motivated team which is hungry to achieve goals and works like a well oiled machine in tandem with each other. Of course this is easier said than done. Teams consist of individuals who come with their own baggage. Each one is unique and has a different agenda and personality. The person who manages a team has his or her task cut out. The main objective and focus of any team manager irrespective of the the size of their team is to ensure that it performs beyond expectations with minimal conflict.
So what are the ways and means to ensure your team is highly motivated, excels in teamwork, and is always focussed on its task? Just as a chain is as strong as its weakest link, a team is as strong and effective as its weakest member. So how does one ensure that each member of the team contributes to the success of the team? These are some of the questions that a team manager faces day in and day out.
The effective team manager is one who is able to achieve team bonding and forge his team into a cohesive and focused army. So how does team bond happen? Do the systems and processes of the organization take care of that? Is bonding over the coffee machine team bonding? No, the best of team managers have a pulse on their team and know each and every team member and what makes each individual tick. But how can this knowledge be acquired? This can be done only once the layers of office protocol and formal processes are peeled off.
The most effective way to understand a team is to get the team out of the office environment and into the open. This is the reason why most corporates have incorporated team outbound as a vital component of their employee engagement strategy. A team break, ideally in the lap of nature with thrilling activities that are geared to foster team bonding is something that will go a long way in not only improving the way teams gel together, but it also gives the manager a great opportunity to quickly understand the strengths and weaknesses of individuals.
When people go through challenging team adventures and come out tops, a silent and special bonding instantly happens within the team. The team gets closer to each other and will literally huddle together over a bonfire. Mutual trust and respect wipes out prior misconceptions and misunderstandings and the manager as well as the team see each other in a new light. One of the small exercises that I have personally done with a team over a bonfire was to have each one of them narrate their defining moments in life. The results were astounding. We had people laughing, shouting and literally crying. People who till that day behaved like sworn enemies became close pals as new understanding of each other dawned.
Ideally we would recommend a team break in an uninhabited island for a couple of days with umpteen opportunities for team adventures to get the team really close and bonded! However, this would not be practical or feasible. Outdoor team activities like trekking, rock climbing, kayaking, white water rafting and others are ideal to get the team engaged in the pursuit of a common goal outside the confines of the office.
Indeed, teams that travel together stay together is very true. Informal outdoor settings, challenging team adventures, well orchestrated activities, all serve to break down psychological barriers and help in shedding inhibitions. The true colours of the team are literally there for the manager to see.
The team and and the manager once back at work see each other with mutual respect and understanding. The hand that reached out to steady a faltering team member on a difficult climb will now reach out to help out a team member who is overloaded with work. There is more trust and transparency and the team works like a well oiled machine in a very conducive work ethos. The manager now has better insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the team and the individuals and is better equipped to keep them motivated and manage conflict as well as to ensure that the team exceeds in achieving its objectives.
So go ahead, get your act and team together and head out into the great outdoors for some worthwhile team bonding backed by loads of team adventure.
Sandy is a travel blogger and writer who is passionate about traveling and writing. Together with her partner Vyjay, she travels the world. They love exploring world cultures, seas, mountains, nature, food, art, history and urban places. They set up ‘Voyager‘ blog as a place to share their stories and experiences of amazing travel journeys and aim to inspire other travel lovers to see what this amazing world has to offer through their stories, videos, and photos.
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