In order to effectively build a relevant team building program, it is important to highlight desired focus areas of a particular group. It may be necessary to conduct a training needs analysis to determine the profile of a particular team as well. Below is a sampling of skill sets that can be integrated into an experiential learning program.
These exercises are designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses a team has in communication amongst participants. This module includes cross-cultural communication options. Feedback given is aimed only at observed behaviors that the individual has control over.
"How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things but how well we are understood". - Andrew Grove
Leadership exercises attempt to expose potential or future leaders to the demands of such a position. They also put existing leaders in subordinate roles where they can get an alternative perspective. Concepts such as vision and delegation are highlighted.
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way". - John Maxwell
These exercises put small groups or individual participants in a situation where a solution is expected. They are generally non-threatening activities. Most of these exercises look at the use of synergy within the group. Synergy is where the total group output is more than the total combined output of the individuals.
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them". - Albert Einstein
Creativity exercises focus on exemplifying how vastly different ideas and concepts can be arrived at from the same starting point. The goal is to get group members to value creativity and look for ways to promote creativity and innovation within their teams.
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". - Edison (He tried 10,000 different materials for the light bulb)
Trust building exercises attempt to build up an established level of trust, or create a trust foundation for groups that have not worked together before, or that are experiencing trust difficulties. These exercises place participants in situations where trust is required for success.
"Our distrust is very expensive".- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Negotiation is a skill required in different degrees at any level or position in an organization. The ability to effectively define your desired outcome, strategize a mutually beneficial scenario, and communicate your ideas coherently, are all crucial elements of effective negotiation. Activities in this focus area target cooperation as a means to achieve goals.
Before undertaking any challenge, it is often necessary for the team to plan a strategy. Human resources, material, budget, rules (or constraints) and time allowance are to be considered when attempting to successfully complete a mission. Priorities need to be set and decisions have to be made. Strategy is then followed by action and along the way, if the strategy appears to be inefficient, the team is challenged to react!
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". - Lewis Carroll
Adventurous activities like canyoning, kayaking, trekking, zip line, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling and camping are activities that challenge people by forcing them out of their comfort zone. Self confidence and pride are developed at both the individual and team level. Team motivation, high energy and a good deal of fun are present.
"I am convinced that one of the biggest factors in success is the courage to undertake something". - James A. Worsham