Delivering Team Building activities doesn’t have to be difficult – whether you are teaching a group of young people or providing a seminar workshop for execs – the aim of this article is to help you out and ensure your next programme is a complete success.
Below I have listed some tips for facilitators to consider before delivering a team building or training workshop.
Select challenges appropriate to your group
- Understand the groups learning objectives – Speak to the event organiser and define what they’re hoping to achieve and why it’s important for the group (for transfer of learning and relevancy to job roles or teaching).
- Request the group information, so you are aware of the age, ability and any physical limitations of the group.
- Using the information above, select a number of appropriate activities that will help you get to the end result.
- Match your objectives to the activities and use a step-by-step process to get to the end objective.
Example – Communication Skills
Activity 1 – Planning/Preparation, Skills >> Activity 2 – Listening Skills >> Activity 3 – Methods of Communication/Simplifying Language
Visit our Team Building Activities Section
Prepare for your team-building activity
- Read through all the information on challenge including the brief and delivery notes. If a brief is available, download and print.
- Gather any equipment or learning materials you may need.
- Practice presenting the challenge to gain a better understanding and identify any potential problems.
- Set up your activity space or room and consider identify and remove any potential safety issues.
Before the Challenge
- Introduce yourself to the group, discuss teamwork and the learning objectives with the group. Map the workshop and explain what they will be doing.
- Introduce the challenge activity and outline rules and safety.
- Check understanding of the group and clarify instructions.
- Provide the group with the equipment to begin the challenge.
During the Activity
- Encourage and support the group.
- Throughout the activity, observe and note anything that you will use later on following the challenge during the review.
- If the activity is timed, watch the clock, and give a “time check” occasionally. If you’re working on time management skills, skip this and use as a review point.
- Don’t stop the activity unless the group are running into serious issues. If you are working with kids, offer help occasionally to guide them in the right direction.
Reviewing the activity
Use questions to engage learners and get them to reflect on their experiences during the challenges. Basic questions include:
What did you learn? Who lead the task? What would you do differently next time? What was the purpose of the challenge? etc.
You need to use questions that focus on your learning objectives. For communication, I would use a questions, such as:
Why was communication important during the challenge? Rate your team between 1-10 on your communication? Did everyone get an opportunity to speak? If not, why not?
- If someone is quiet and you want their input, instead of aiming a question at them, use a reviewing method without putting them under pressure (some people may be shy and naturally reserved). List of Reviewing Methods.
- Watch for head nodding, smiles, and other indications that they agree with what is being said by others. Use individual reflective practice to get participants to think on their own without being influenced by others in the group.
- If anyone gives an off-the-wall response or one that is just plain wrong, ask the team how they feel about it rather than correcting someone. Typically, there is no wrong – that’s what they’re thinking – your job as a facilitator is to find the truth and guide them to the learning outcome through use of questions or reviewing methods.
- Even if the activity did not go as well as planned, participants will have learned something. The most essential aspect of the challenge is the process and how they got to the end result. Ensure they understand the importance and the why.
Transfer of Learning
- Explain the ‘why’ to the group, so they understand the purpose of the challenge. If someone doesn’t understand why they’re doing something… they don’t care. Clarify the learning objectives and the importance of these.
- Refer to the activity and the lessons learned often when you are coaching, giving feedback, or conducting staff meetings.
- Watch for examples of how the participants used what was learned in the activity and got better results.
- Ask participants in your next staff meeting to share what impact the activity has had on them.
- If the activity was a great success, you may want to repeat it soon.