This Is Not A Team-Building Program

A colleague, Jeffrey ‘Goose’ Gosnell, reported last week that he has chosen to stop using the term ‘team-building’ when speaking with prospective clients at his program venue.

So, when is a program not a team-building program?

Jeff argues that the term has become so over-used, generic, and often misused, that it means little and often turns people away. He would prefer to talk in terms of offering a program that may strengthen relationships, and challenges people beyond their self-perceived boundaries, etc.

I couldn’t agree more.

This impact is akin to referring to the classic adventure activity of falling back into the arms of your group as the ‘Trust Fall.’ How about we call it the ‘Fall from Height’ activity, and see what happens?

And may I add, the term ‘team-building’ risks telegraphing an outcome to the group which may or may not be realised, which only leads to unmet expectations and disappointment.

So,… permit me the privilege of delivering an adventure-based (learning) program with your group, and I’ll provide you with ample opportunities to develop all manner of interpersonal skills, not to mention, be challenged, play and have fun. Take a look at this link for dozens of simple team building activity ideas.

This approach (as distinct from running a ‘team-building’ program) provides significantly more scope for me to over-deliver on my client’s goals. Which allows me to deliver the results my client is actually looking for (and needs). Which is why they are on the phone talking to you in the first place.

Makes me think about the difference I’m wanting to make in my program. Is it not a team-building program?

If what comes up for you is a need to enhance your workplace communication skills, take a look at this article about team-building games on communication.

Thanks, Goose, your thoughts struck a chord with me.


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