Team Building Workshop

Scott Kress recently hosted a webinar about team building as a leader. The webinar titled “5 ideas in 15 minutes” can you seen here. Scott hosted this webinar as an introduction to a conference where he is a keynote speaker.


Team Building Training for Effective Meetings

shutterstock_174539273 td photo 1Meetings are a huge part of today’s work environment. Organizations are complex with many employees, specialized departments and project teams. It is impossible to keep it all on track without meetings. However, many meetings are less effective than they could be if you took a team building training approach.

Many of us plan, attend and facilitate meetings with little thought or planning. As Nike says you Just Do It. Chances are you are missing out on a lot of potential value at each meeting through lack of engagement and participation.

There are many ways to look at this challenge and in this blog, for the purposes of team building training, I will examine the meeting challenge through a personality lens. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of many psychometric tools available today and MBTI happens to be the world’s most popular. One of the dichotomies that is examined through the MBTI is the pairing of Introversion and Extraversion. Using an understanding of these two preferences can help you plan and lead a more effective meeting.

In a meeting you will usually hear from the extraverts even if you do not want to and you may never hear from the introverts. The key is to balance the energy of these two styles.

Extraverts tend to think as they talk whereas introverts process internally before sharing. Extraverts are usually comfortable and confident speaking in front of a group and introverts may be less inclined and less comfortable doing so.

A few strategies to bring out the best in both types…

When having a discussion in your meeting break into small groups and ask people to discuss the topic in this group first. This smaller group provides a more comfortable environment for the introverts and gives them space to think. Have one person take notes and elect a spokesperson for each group (frequently an extrovert). This way the introverts are able to contribute in a safer environment and you are able to gather valuable input from all team members.

You may also want to pose a question for the group and ask them to write out their response first. You can have them share their ideas with another person. This satisfies the extraverts need to talk and the introverts need for time to process their thoughts before speaking to the large group.

When a lively discussion is happening among the group you will want to build in pause points that allow the introverts to join the conversation. Or you may need to put a structured reply process in place that allows everyone a turn to speak. Without this the extraverts will often dominate the conversation and you will not hear from the introverts. I have been told that introverts need a three second pause in the conversation in order for them to feel comfortable jumping in. For many extroverts this three seconds of silence is space to be filled. By building in structured gaps in the conversation you allow the introverts the comfort they need to join the conversation.

There are many things you can do to get more from your meetings and enhance engagement and participation and this is just one. The key is to take a team building training approach and plan the structure of your meeting to get the most from it.

At Summit Team Building we offer team building and team development program designed to enhance communication and overall group interactions and dynamics.


Team Building in Space

Scott Kelly aboard the ISS

Scott Kelly aboard the ISS

Team building and teamwork are critical for success. Astronaut Scott Kelly has just returned from a record breaking 340 days in space. After spending close to a year on the International Space Station Scott Kelly has landed back on earth. The science rich mission was in-part used to test human endurance in zero gravity as part of the planned future expedition to Mars and its success was in large part attributed to teamwork.

As well all know, experience and knowledge are critical to produce high performance results. However, you can have the smartest and most experienced people and if they cannot work well together the vast majority of their talents will go to waste and they will not produce high performance results.

Upon his return to earth, astronaut Scott Kelly, spoke of the important role teamwork played on his space mission.

“A really smart person said to me one time, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work in spaceflight,’ and spaceflight is the biggest team sport there is,” Kelly said Monday. He acknowledged each of the 13 U.S., Russian, European and Japanese space fliers with whom he and Kornienko lived during the past year. “It’s incredibly important that we all work together to make what is seemingly impossible, possible.”

One definition of high performance is: A high performance team is as a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation, that produce superior results. Team relationships are built on trust, support and respect

When you combine skills, experience and teamwork you can achieve results that go beyond what was expected. Essentially in a high performance team 1 + 1 = 5.

When I was climbing Everest there was a group of researchers from brown and Harvard Universities sharing our base camp. They were researching the impact of team culture on summit success. Their hypothesis was that a dysfunctional or poor functioning team would have a negative influence on individual and team performance and on ultimate summit success. I did not see the results of their study, but from my own informal research I can say their hypothesis was correct.Scott Kress on the summit of Everest

I experienced the impact of team culture on results first hand when climbing Cho Oyu in Tibet. We had a team of talented and experienced climbers and yet we could not get ourselves together to become a team. We did not bond together and for supportive relationships, this led to low levels of trust among the team and this promoted silos, selfishness and lack of communication. Nobody was really committed to the team and there was no accountability. Ultimately we failed. Not a single person, all of who were totally capable, made it to the summit.

At Summit Team building we believe that teamwork is the most important factor in organizational success and this is what we focus on in our team building programs. Our goal is to help you build the best team foundation possible from which you can attain high performance results.

Check out our Team Development and Team building program and see what we can do to help your team become high performance.