Do NOT Make Team Building a Waste of Time

Do Not to Make Team Building a Waste of Time (and money).


Many of us have taken part in a team building event, where we all agreed it was ‘great fun’, yes we all felt better afterwards, but did it actually work? so Do NOT Make Team Building a Waste of Time!

Clients who spend time and money on team-building retreats are sometimes confused to find that they do little to address realproblems.

The activities, of which there are many, from cooking to movie making, amazing races to beach Olympics, all have a place as a team experience and subsequently staff seem happier than before. The problem isn’t in the team building activities, the fault lies in the initial ‘needs’ of a team building program ‘ clients simply fail to understand the true issues of the team and to address them honestly.

Despite their best intentions, clients (at all levels) are often weak at seeing the cause of their problems. Here are the reasons why:

1.Take a good look at yourself ‘ Mirroring

Senior team players that have spent years convincing others that they are right have a hard time looking for their own faults, and finding their individual contribution to team problems.

It takes real courage to live at that level of responsibility! Also, this allows a reversal in shortsightedness that affects company leaders who aren’t used to getting consistent, quality feedback from any source in their lives.

2.The Blame Game

It’s easy to see the faults in others and to overlook one’s own shortcomings, as Jesus noted. Many managers ‘ at all levels in a team, spend too much time discussing and dissecting the faults of others, with little or no intention of actually having conversations that might make a difference.

As a result ‘ they fail to examine themselves but seek assistance and training for others. Focusing on the wrong cause and thus investing in the wrong direction, how many times have we seen this in organizations, when simple self-reflection reveals the solution?


3.Unable to See Patterns

One of the benefits to be gained from facilitating in different teams with a variety of clients at all levels, mixes and social backgrounds, corporate, government, private and charitable teams, is that it becomes easier to see patterns of dysfunctional behavior.

When executives fail in the previous noted points, they often make the mistake of failing to identify the issue at hand, and calling for the wrong solution. So they choose a quick fix ‘ a teambuilding activity, a cheap half day, fun event, that’s easy to facilitate and provides a ‘what you need to do better’ solution ‘ but fails to address the real issues, because these have not been raised. Yes, the team event may identify some underlining problems, but to no real extent, plus is the facilitator’s brief allowing time to expose team issues?

‘Team Building’ is a solution that many apply to all manner of issues, and it’s popular too, many believing that by conducting a few sessions or conferences over a year, the issues might go away. Unfortunately, this approach rarely works as the problems of a dysfunctional team can’t be solved by simple team building.


The solution to mistakes and obvious paths to success is to be clear about the right set of habits, reflections and rituals that need to be implemented. When executives talk about better teamwork, culture change, and new values, they often do so with a startling lack of precision.

The change they want becomes a mess of expectations that no team-building experience can ever achieve. Plus, most internal managers aren’t equipped to implement the kind of diagnosis that reveals the issues, let alone supply the solutions.

The principle is straightforward – use the team-building event to teach and practice behaviors that are badly needed on the job, and follow up with regular rounds of feedback that are tailored to each person’s level of skill.

Include everyone, including the top executives, and make sure that they get the first taste of any medicine that’s administered.


Related Posts