Our guide to team building
Jade O'Donoghue

Our guide to team building

First published date July 17 2015 Amended date July 17 2015

Whether it's the football team you play for on a Saturday morning, or the group of colleagues you have to complete a project with at work, teams are everywhere. They only work effectively though, when they know how to work together and the importance this cannot be underestimated. One thing most successful business moguls tend to agree on is that teamwork is what really gets things done and if you can master it, you're sure to achieve your goal. Even if it's just winning a plastic replica of the FA Cup that will gather dust in the changing rooms until next season.

If you've found this page because you're looking for team building courses then the chances are you're either a HR manager or a business owner looking for courses for your employees or you're an employee yourself and after a course to help you at work. It's unlikely you're looking to do one for fun or as an individual…there are courses out there that could probably help but most course providers are geared towards offering bespoke team building lessons that suit different organisations depending on their needs.


Teamwork makes the dream work

There are different types of team building courses, from fun ones that involve simply socialising with your team mates, to team building that involves working as a team in a situation that you'd not normally be in (for example when you find office workers by the river building a raft!) to classroom based team building lessons where you're more likely to be focused on your workplace and the situations you encounter in your team daily.

Fun team building sessions might see you doing individual activities but as a group - such as rock climbing, go karting or rifle shooting. These will get you loosening up and getting to know each other in a new environment. This kind of 'fun and social' team building could even happen in the pub!

Team building that's not related to the job you do can also be effective in the same way, ensuring you loosen up and get to know your fellow team members in a relaxed way. However, this also emphasises the general principles of team building as well, which you can then transfer to your own group when you're back in your normal environment. This might be raft building, or physical puzzles to complete like assault courses.

The other type of course is more formal and classroom based and could see you learning from experts about how to create good teams, usually focused on your workplace. These may involve small group exercises or role plays but they're generally a bit more sedate than the 'activity'-based sessions some course providers offer.

It's worth noting as well, that many team building course providers can offer a combination of all three, if that's what you require.


Qualifications and certificates

Generally speaking, team building isn't a subject you can get a qualification in per se. It's more an area that you gather skills in as opposed to official levels of qualification. However, if you want proof that you're familiar with what makes a good team and effective team building activities then it's worth asking your course provider as you could get a certificate from them just to show you've completed team building training. Qualification/certificate aside, this is definitely something to put on your CV even if the team you were working with isn't relevant because it shows you have general team building experience.


What makes a good team?

There are certain skills and qualities that are integral to all teams in order for them to succeed. These are our top ones…


1. Communication skills

These are vital when working with any group of people. You need to be able to present your views and listen to others in a coherent way.


2, Empathy

Going hand in hand with communication skills, having empathy and being able to understand how your fellow team mates are feeling is really important if your team is to stay together and not have divisions within it.


3. Knowing your roles

It's really key in a team that everyone knows what they're expected to do. If they don't, then tasks may not be completed. Each team member should know exactly what is expected of them and what they are responsible for.


4. Knowing your goals

Being sure of what you are trying to achieve is very important too - this means you're all working towards a common goal and it means that each individual team member knows where their work is heading.


5. Strong leadership

All teams need a leader and for a team to be a success the person in charge needs to be confident and assured in taking the team towards success.


These are just a few and though we've done our fair share of raft building here at Hotcourses we are far from experts. If you think it's time your team started working a bit more effectively, have a look at the full range of courses available.

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