The myth of team building

team building exerciseTeam building exercises don’t work, it is often down to poor leadership or the wrong people, Alun Rees says.

‘We need to improve the teamwork!

‘Could you spend a few hours and sort them out?

‘Perhaps you could run some team building exercises?’

I have endured team building exercises both as part of a team and when I led my own team.

There was the ‘trust’ exercise, falling backwards, hoping others will catch you before hitting the ground.

Then came ‘choose the photograph’ which best described your situation.

Talk about it and share your innermost thoughts with work colleagues.

Finally, some involving blindfolds or marshmallows or miles of string.

There is nothing wrong with having fun either at work or away with teammates.

But no amount of exercises actually improved the way we worked.

Team building

A lack of teamwork or indeed any problem within your team is usually due to either poor leadership or the wrong people (issues I can help you with).

If it’s the former, it’s often down to a lack of communication and mainly a failure to tell people what they are expected to do, and how, when and above all, why, to do it.

Time to look at the way that you lead.

As Peter Drucker said: ‘If you think you’re a leader but no-one is following you, then all you are is out for a walk.’

No number of glorified party games will make a square peg fit into a round hole.

The sooner you find a square hole either within your team or elsewhere, the better.

If someone has grown out of a job or you have made an error selecting someone, then learn from it and move on.

If you do have a good team, there is nothing wrong with having fun together.

But don’t expect it to ‘fix’ a problem that is of your own making.

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