We all know about Ostriches; they run fast and as soon as they sense danger, they stick their head in the sand hoping the situation/person/animal will pass them by. And while that can work some of the time, most often it ultimately turns out badly for the ostrich unless he is constantly surrounded by others of his kind.
Yet, many times we mimic ostriches at work – running away from or avoiding people who get in our way. But this is not solving any of your problems and quite frankly, can make for a more toxic work environment because nothing is being dealt with directly.
Here are 5 team building ideas for work that can help promote a better environment for everyone involved.
Don’t run from your problems.
You might think time will cure your problems, but they won’t. You need to deal with the problem or problems head on and talk to the team. Many times problems are caused by a simple miscommunication that turns into an all-out work war.
If you are a conflict adverse person, this is going to be tough, but you can do it. Take 24 hours and then talk to the person.
Communicate in this order of preference: face-to-face, telephone, email, text.
We are so technology prone nowadays that we have a tendency to deal with everything and everyone in the reverse order. My two sons, ages 21 and 24, would rather text than do any of the above.
But the truth of the matter is, if you are trying to be a team builder, you need to go see the person, express yourself and watch for words, tone and body language.Now if someone won’t see you, call them. If they are ducking your calls, email them. The key is to keep on trying.
Use “I” not “you”.
One way to exhibit leadership team development is to start off all your sentences with “I”. Examples of this are:
I value you as a team member and would very much appreciate it if you could turn in your expense reports on time.
I need your report by 5 PM today in order to complete my report for upper management.
I feel we need to work on our teambuilding skills. I would like to start by working on “x” project today. Is that alright with you?
Avoidance is not a solution.
You don’t want to create problems at work, so you go along and stick your head in the sand when you don’t want to deal with the person or problem. You think if you avoid it long enough, the problem will go away. But guess what? It doesn’t and sometimes it gets worse.Don’t run and don’t avoid. Deal.
Be an Actor, not a Reactor.
You want to build your teamwork skills and one of the best ways to do so is to take a problem and shape its solution. Not everyone will be on board, but at least they know where you stand. If you are a positive team builder, people will know you want what’s best for the group.