The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard is about the importance of enthusiasm and energy. This will help you find a great idea for team building or how to conduct a successful event. Event planners and people organizing annual events will often hire a professional team-building expert to help facilitate some type or other type of activity. But if your group is smaller, how do you achieve the same results with a smaller budget? It is important to have a team-building activity that accomplishes three things. The activity must bring energy to your meeting. You must ensure that everyone is engaged and active throughout the meeting. The activity or event should provoke some kind of emotion from participants.
You must inject energy into your meeting for team building events
In order to inject energy into an event, or meeting, the easiest way is to get people involved in some kind of physical activity. Participants who sit still, or worse, are unable to move, will feel bored, and will lose energy. Facilitators will often try to engage the audience by asking them questions, but this can quickly backfire in large groups. This is because only one person at a time can respond to questions, and most people are still listening. I love the idea of dividing people into teams to increase energy and encourage team building. Planners may place team numbers on nametags if there is a large group. This makes it much easier to divide into groups. Usually, the planner will number the tables, so that participants can move to any table. However, you can add more energy to the event by hiding the numbers or letting everyone know that they can move to any table. After everyone has arrived, announce that the first challenge is to find their team. Instantly, the energy is high and everyone is more open to trying new activities.
Get everyone involved and active
You will want everyone to be involved in the activities once you have energy in the room. This will keep the energy high and the fun going. This is the most difficult thing about the whole program. However, it is also the most important. This is possible by creating activities that encourage participants to collaborate. One example of team building that is popular is philanthropy. Participants build bikes for children in need. Many organizers mistakenly believe that the building of bikes is the most important aspect of an event. However, it is actually not that much fun. You can organize your teams into small groups, and then tell them to make bikes. One or two of the people in each group will start building the bikes while the rest watch and wait. At any one time, between two-thirds and three-quarters (or more) of the participants in the event will be doing nothing. You should combine activities that involve more people, such as adding a task that each group must complete in order to earn the part. This is how you can make it work. Ensure that you scan the room and focus on people who are watching, rather than those who are participating. You can add more tasks to your activity if you have lots of the latter.
Encourage the team to create an emotional response
It is interesting to note that the emotion itself doesn’t matter as much as its type. In the above charity team building event, for example, the gift of a bicycle to children at the end creates an emotional and memorable conclusion. Sometimes, facilitators want to create an atmosphere of competition. An event can be enhanced by a race or contest. This is a tricky thing because it can lead to team building being hindered by competition. Sometimes anger and frustration can actually increase energy in a surprisingly positive way. In team events, for example, rules may not be known by all participants so frustration builds as the teams continue to try and fail. However, just as with any difficult puzzle, once the problem is solved, there’s a sense of satisfaction and pride that replaces the frustration.
You can think back to the 1980’s Rubik’s Cube. Although the puzzle was frustrating at first, people began to solve it and took great pride in sharing the “secret” solution with others. The pride of achievement grew each time the secret was shared from one person to another. This can also happen at a team-building event.
Whatever type of team-building activity, ensure that you focus your efforts on maintaining a high level of energy throughout the event. You can use activities to bring energy to your meeting. You can organize the activities so that everyone is involved. Finally, make sure to create an emotional memory of the event, so that participants can say at the end, “That was a lot of fun!” “I’m glad that I took part.”