Here are two poor team-building ideas that get under my skin when a client is making decisions in regards to their forthcoming team retreat or program:
1. Sitting at tables with 8 or more people
In almost all cases, the decision maker will argue that he or she wants these manufactured small groups to chat among themselves, to strengthen relationships. Except, by their very design, they can not. The table is too big to conduct a conversation that can be heard by all others, so everyone ignores the person to their left (or right) to speak with their other neighbour. Tables of 8 or 10 are just dumb. Tables of no more than five work much better – no one gets left out.
2. Housing conference delegates in single rooms
Yes, I know we all like to have our own space, but team-building programs are not supposed to be holidays. They are designed to strengthen relationships. So, what’s the point of developing wonderful team-building insights during the day when everyone retreats to their own hotel room, with in-house movies at the end of the day? A giant opportunity missed. The most successful team-building programs I have ever experienced are those which (a) invite shared lodging, and (b) provide some form of ‘community-building/entertainment’ for a part of the evening, say prior to 9pm.
Oh, and if I hear one more person say that paintball/skirmish games are a ‘team-building’ program, I’ll scream.