Fostering Team Collaboration

Managing some teams is tantamount to herding cats. Team members all stray off in different directions with their own agendas in mind. When this occurs you no longer have a team, but simply a group of individuals who sit near each other. Teams who learn the fine art of collaboration can create what Napoleon Hill referred to as a "Mastermind Alliance".

Collaboration is based on the theory that "none of us is as smart as all of us". It occurs when team members each contribute their best ideas and these ideas are then synthesized into something greater than any one individual could have conceived. To get a team started on building a collaborative mindset, there is a simple, yet entertaining exercise that can be performed.

The team is seated in a circle. The team leader launches the exercise by introducing a topic for discussion. The team member sitting to the right of the team leader contributes one sentence to the discussion. The next member to the right builds on the last sentence offered. This round robin continues until the topic has been fully discussed. No team member is allowed to contribute more than one sentence at a time, and no member is permitted to speak out of turn.

This strategy for building collaboration will assure equal contribution from all team members, and will encourage synergy within the team. As the team learns how it feels to be collaborative, the exercise can become less structured so that anyone who is inspired by the last sentence can speak next to build upon it. In this manner team members can be trained to link their ideas to those of others, and find inspiration in the contribution of others. Effective team collaboration supports team creativity and builds respectful relationships among the team's members to enhance overall team functioning.

There are a number of team building exercises and activities which can help to build a healthy team ethic. With activities ranging from team challenge days, driving events, country sports day or something a little different such as Its a Knockout you will find something to bring your team together.


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