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Building Effective Teams

By: Ricki Sexton

Here at Partners in Association Management, we take team building very seriously!  Not only do we usually start our monthly staff meetings with some type of icebreaker that connects us all as a team, we also have various events throughout the year, usually hosted by our social committee that are also great team building exercises.   For example, this past year, we did some really enjoyable activities as a group that really tested our teamwork skills.  Some of these activities included:

  • Partners Scavenger Hunt – we had a list of various items. Some were inside the office and some were outside, maybe located in our office complex.  We split into teams and the first team to collect all the items was the winner.  It was great to see the different strategies based on the different team members.
  • RickiBlog2.jpgPatrick’s Day Flip cup (non-alcoholic, of course!) – We split into teams, and played several different rounds of flip cup. Each team had a different approach to what was the best avenue to take.
  • The Mine Field – A real life obstacle course in the middle of our complex. We had races to collect the most beanie babies, a wet t-shirt contest which was basically filling up a t-shirt with water and filling up another bucket – it’s not as easy as it sounds!
  • Cinco de Mayo Bingo – A super fun and competitive round of Bingo, based on the observance of Cinco de Mayo.

RickiBlog3.jpgWorking together as a team on these fun activities throughout the year brought us closer as a group, leading us up to our annual staff retreat/training.  This year, we had an outside firm come in and talk with us about team building, as well as conduct a group-wide exercise with the entire staff.  The exercise was called “Zoom” and we had to piece together a story, based on pictures that we each had that we could not share with our other team members.  We had to put the story together strictly based on what we described to each other. We were commended on how quickly we all came together and solved the exercise, using the skills we’ve gained over the past year.   All these activities have enabled us to build trust in each other and respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

So, what are the key elements to building a successful team?  The Huffington Post offers up these helpful 5 tips to build a successful team:  (Article)

  1. Establish Leadership.
  2. Establish Relationships with each of your employees.
  3. Build Relationships between your team members.
  4. Foster Teamwork.
  5. Set ground rules for the team.

Working together as a team boosts productivity, efficiency and accuracy.  One team member’s shortcomings may be another team member’s strengths, making sure that all tasks are done efficiently and accurately. What great exercises has your office done that has taken your team building to the next level?

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