Teambuilding and Team Training
Business is a team sport. Your people have to have the skills to work effectively in a team environment. That’s why teambuilding and team training are so important. Trust is the glue that holds teams together. The more team members trust one another, the more they will perform well as a team. The trust that takes a while to build can be broken quickly – especially when team members find themselves in conflict.
Successful teams resolve conflict in a positive manner. No matter how interpersonally competent, or how easy-going team members are, they will inevitably find themselves in conflict.
I know a little bit about conflict resolution. It was the topic of my dissertation at Harvard. Way back in the 1970’s, Ken Thomas and Ralph Kilmann developed an instrument to measure a person’s tendencies when in a conflict situation.
They came up with five predominant conflict styles: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Accommodating and Avoiding. Their research suggests that all five are appropriate depending on the situation.
I have found that the Collaborating style is the best default mode for teams. When teammates collaborate to resolve conflict, they focus on meeting everybody’s needs. I like this style because it helps you bring together a variety of viewpoints to get the best solution. When teams collaborate, no team member is likely to feel as if he or she won or lost.
Successful teams are adept at resolving conflict in a positive manner. But this can take some teambuilding and team training. Collaboration skills don’t come naturally to many people. They need to learn them before they can apply them, but they are the best choice for resolving conflict that can destroy teams.
Team building and team training can yield very positive results. When teams collaborate they resolve your conflict in a positive manner, strengthen the team bonds, and produce better results. It’s a win-win. I discuss this in some detail in my 2010 book “Common Sense Ideas for Building a Dream Team.
In my teambuilding and team training, I teach a counter-intuitive method for dealing with conflict that can derail a team. By definition, conflict is a state of disagreement. I show team members who are in conflict to focus on where they agree, not disagree. Finding even the smallest point of agreement – something like “we all want this project to succeed,” is a great starting point for problem resolution and team development.
A lot of my teambuilding and team training is based on the idea of looking for any small point of agreement and then try to build on it. It’s easier to reach a larger agreement when you build from a point of small agreement. Try this teambuilding trick. It works.