We’ve all been there – on a retreat, or in a meeting, or on your first day of work and suddenly you’re being asked to play team building games. You may roll your eyes and scoff, wondering if there are any benefits to these exercises. Or maybe you’re secretly excited because you like playing games and getting to know the people in your group or your co-workers. Whatever your reaction, have you ever really thought about what team building exercises do? What are the benefits of doing them? Do they actually help people bond beyond their shared dislike of these games?
Actually, yes, they do have a number of benefits, and one of these is allowing yourself to be who you really are. We all put up walls or a fake face when dealing with others, but team building games and exercises force you to take those walls down and let others see who you really are. This is a wonderful thing as it builds stronger relationships among co-workers. When we’re faced with seeing people for who they really are we tend to like them more. That, in turn, will increase productivity and decrease turnover among staff. And what employer wouldn’t like that?
Team building events shows you how to work with your co-workers as a team. Your productivity goes up when you understand how best to interact with each other. What started as a game means an increase in productivity and collaboration among the staff when you’re back at the office. You suddenly have a better understanding of who your co-workers are and how to best interact with them. The awkward stage of getting to know someone moves by pretty quickly when you’re balancing on beams together, playing telephone, or working together to try to win a relay race.
By the time the team building games are over you have changed from a group of people who didn’t really know each other or understand how to interact with each other to a group of people who like and understand the others. You may not end up being close friends after this, but that’s fine as that’s not the end goal. Simply showing who you actually are, gaining an understanding of the others in your group, and learning how to better work with each other is enough.