Team Building Seminars: Why New Teams Struggle

Written by CMOE Development Team

With over 25 years of research and experience, we have observed countless groups struggle with activities in our Team Building Seminars. These groups all hadrepparttar same common denominators, whether they were strangers or intact work teams, that became apparent duringrepparttar 148836 first activity in which they were asked to work effectively together.

At least four issues were found to inhibit these start-up groups from functioning as a team:

  1. Task fixation, process blindness
  2. Power struggles
  3. Fight versus flight
  4. Stereotyping
Task Fixation, Process Blindness

Individual members justify any behavior as okay if it contributes to achievingrepparttar 148837 end-product – successful completion ofrepparttar 148838 tasks needed in achievingrepparttar 148839 goal. Little or no concern was exhibited for howrepparttar 148840 group functioned duringrepparttar 148841 (teambuilding) goal –repparttar 148842 process. We were able to magnify this view by placing time limits on performance of our exercises withinrepparttar 148843 team building seminar.

With this view, any means justifyrepparttar 148844 end, like sacrificing team members, forming sub-groups torepparttar 148845 exclusion of others, or not gettingrepparttar 148846 commitment of all team members, are justified underrepparttar 148847 rubric of gettingrepparttar 148848 task accomplished: “We had to do that to getrepparttar 148849 job done.” Who can argue with success, even if there were casualties alongrepparttar 148850 way? You can, if you were one ofrepparttar 148851 casualties.

In a new group that is fixated totally on task success, individuals focus on their own needs torepparttar 148852 exclusion ofrepparttar 148853 needs of others. There is no support, recognition that individual differences are a potential benefit, deferring of egos, brainstorming, seeking commitment, or flexibility. However subtle or covert, selfish competition is justified as necessary to expediterepparttar 148854 achievement ofrepparttar 148855 goal.

Power Struggles

Internal conflicts generally make up part ofrepparttar 148856 dynamics when establishing a new group. Leadership: do we need a leader, who is going to lead, or will we followrepparttar 148857 appointed leader? Teams asked to perform leaderless tasks or act as a volunteer group struggle most with issues of leadership. In many of our team building seminars, groups explain that many of our exercises would have been easier if we had appointed a leader. Yet, after having experimented with appointing a leader, we observedrepparttar 148858 group’s behavior remainedrepparttar 148859 same. The only difference is that one person,repparttar 148860 leader, becomes frustrated by his/her inability to getrepparttar 148861 groups cooperation andrepparttar 148862 battle for influence and power still continues.

Dominant individuals scramble to be recognized and gain influence with others. Disagreements over ideas quickly are positioned as win-lose alternatives. Accepting my ideas mean rejecting yours. We have seen high-achieving executives’ egos keep them from “dimming their headlights” and deferring to other team members.

Who’s in and who’s out is another conflict which often exists as part ofrepparttar 148863 dominant-individual struggle. Cliques, groups within groups, and “We” versus “Them” are terms used to describe this situation. In new groups this struggle is fostered byrepparttar 148864 need to find someone who will support your (teambuilding) ideas. Once found,repparttar 148865 divisiveness of positions or lobbying for a majority vote starts. The “outs” resentrepparttar 148866 “ins” and will resist their ideas, sabotage their plans, or simply refuse to be fully functioning members ofrepparttar 148867 team.

Fight or Flight

Likewise, in many of our team building seminars,repparttar 148868 following fight or flight behaviors were observed:

  • Unwillingness to listen to others
  • Fear of speaking up or fighting for a position
  • Low trust in other members, causing withdrawal
  • Takingrepparttar 148869 task too lightly
  • Little group planning
  • Non-involvement
  • Silence as preferable to vulnerability

Regardless ofrepparttar 148870 behavior,repparttar 148871 result isrepparttar 148872 same:repparttar 148873 team loses resources, energy, and creativity. Decisions are made and plans are implemented with less than total group input and support. It is frustrating to be a team member when fight or flight behavior is exhibited. Unlessrepparttar 148874 team is organizationally mandated to remain in existence, this dissatisfaction and frustration amongrepparttar 148875 members will cause it to perish.


Finding the Groupware with a Grip on Ad Hoc

Written by Joe Miller


Groupware is a software package that managesrepparttar ad hoc collaboration needs ofrepparttar 148835 Information Age of business.

In an information age of business, new phrases describe new styles of business. The word used to describe today’s fast-paced business collaboration methods: ad hoc. In other words, thoughrepparttar 148836 ideal method of collaboration is thorough record keeping, deadlines and demands require rapid response. As emails and attachments are fired back and forth between parties, and edits and drafts are drastically saved on multiple drives and in multiple email boxes, document management becomes increasingly difficult.

The invisible hand has swooped throughrepparttar 148837 market to create various document management software packages, like FileNet. However, many of these technologies are not equipped to handle ad hoc collaboration, nor can they bypass IT overhead or work for those with whom you may communicate, especially at other companies. Finding a content management tool that worksrepparttar 148838 way businesses work has become an increasingly difficult task.

What Do Businesses Need

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