We at MyChocolate are more likely to be polishing off a chocolate box than ticking boxes.
However, when a nice lady kindly offered to give us free psychometric testing, we thought that sounded rather intriguing, so we sharpened our pencils and got to work. The results were genuinely interesting and revealing, and taught us much about the way our particular, tight-knitted group interacts.
Team building training is all about reinforcing positive group dynamics. However, it is just as important to be aware of what can go wrong.
Awareness of this allows you to rectify situations before they get out of hand. Here are the 3 most frequent team issues:
You know how in those nature documentaries, there’s usually a gorilla that thuds it’s chest and yells the loudest? Same with teams. There is often a member who works on the principle, ‘my way or the highway’, dominating discussions and being uncooperative if they do not get their way. They will also attempt to sabotage proceedings by undermining the authority of others, through subtle (back-stabbing, bitching) and not so subtle means (direct confrontation, aggression). This behaviour shows all the hallmarks insecurity. The best way to deal with these people? Take them aside, and really hear them out. If they feel they are being valued and appreciated, 9 time out of 10 they will pipe down.
Cases of sexual harassment frequently make the papers. However, there is another form of harassment stemming from pack mentality in the workplace in which multiple employees pick another employee as a “fall guy”, one who is singled out for excessive criticism or is given a disproportionate workload. More often than not, this person is someone who is has a mild and shy disposition, a character who stands apart from the crowd through socially awkwardness and/or eccentricity. Be alert to this behaviour; not only is it extremely damaging to the individual and to your group dynamic, it prevents you from seeing that person’s actual capabilities and contributions, as well as falsely absolving others of their responsibilities.
Think of your company as an orchestra. If Jane in HR is a violinist and Matt in accounts is a bassoonist, your boss is the conductor, keeping time and creating harmony and solid rhythm…or not, as the case may be. It’s really important to be aware of how your boss sets the tone for the company culture. If they are conniving and play colleagues off against each other, chances are the staff will behave similarly; conversely, if the boss is kind, fair and considerate, the same qualities will be felt in the workplace overall. Awareness of this is vital when it comes to team building training. If you quietly identify to yourself your bosses positive and negative traits, you can work to balance these out with your own group dynamic. Easier said than done, but well worth it. Your boss may even sit up and take notice when they see how successfully your team is doing!