Here are team building tips, team buidling hints and team building ideas employing our embodied team buidling approach.
Learn some simple non-athletic coordination practices (pictured) from us or another leader in embodied learning.
Another team building tip is to encourage an office culture where touch is acceptable. This need not be excessively "touchy-feely" but simply shaking hands on entering and leaving the office.
Be careful with e-mail and other disembodied means for communication - these are quicker but FAR worse for building trust and relationship than older methods. Pick up the phone when you can, use Skype and other visual means and take advantage of the fact if you can still walk down the hall to see your colleagues. Travelling to see important clients is still worth the time and expense. Our team building tip is that if something is complicated or emotionally laden, avoid e-mail.
Encourage the use of smileys :-) the reason these have become popular amongst tech-savvy teenagers is not a lack of maturity but that they convey tone (i.e. embodied emotion) which not only makes communication more efficient but also builds teams and relationship. We use computers and we are not computers. For improved work relationships (and therefore improved productivity) social networking can be used to support relationships ("Hi Bob, look at these pics from the conference, what a blast!") rather than instead of embodied connections.
Arrange activities regularly outside the office that require physical proximity and interaction - drinks in a busy Friday night pub after work is a favourite for several British organisations we've worked with! Encourage out of office psychical activities and sports. Less athletic team sports with an emphasis on fun are more inclusive and best for team building.
Eating together is perhaps the oldest and easiest team building tip - think of some healthy and dysfunctional families you know and ask them if they share dinner together. You can spare 30 minutes for lunch as a team.
Team building hint number seven: Have meetings while walking. Walking not only stimulates ideas and keeps you healthy for maximum work efficiency, but the act of walking with someone helps you coordinate as you literally fall into step. If team members are "stuck" on a problem or in conflict this is particularly useful. Meetings will be quicker and more productive.
Final team buidling tip - Consider a short daily in-office group stretch, yoga or tai chi session - Japanese companies have been doing this for years as much as a way to coordinate teams as for health.
We hope these team building tips and team buidling hints help. We have found them an effective approach with many organisations worldwide. More on team building HERE.