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Month: June 2018

The sun is finally shining, and everyone is looking for ways to spend as much time as possible outdoors. There’s only so much activity you can squeeze in on the weekends, and anyone who spends most of their time working indoors will tell you they want to take advantage of the nice weather while it lasts. This makes it the perfect time of year to plan team building activities outdoors.

Who doesn’t want an excuse to spend some good times outside with the people they enjoy being around or people they want to get to know better? In fact, the beautiful weather can be just the kind of thing that a group of people needs to bond.

Why Team Building?

The benefits of team building have long been established, but sometimes it takes a reminder — and some solid facts and figures — to properly convince you (or upper management) that investing in corporate events is truly worth it, in both the long and short-term. Some of the main benefits of team building activities are that they help to relieve stress and keep employees engaged with your company. Research has shown that highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity; so not only does engagement make your employees happier, but it helps your bottom line.

What’s more, these kinds of activities help to align your employees’ goals and values with those of the company, helps them to feel valued, and promotes unity. According to the American Psychological Association, 93% of employees who report feeling valued at work say that they are motivated to do their best. So whether you are looking to build on your company mission, or simply boost your business goals, team building provides ample opportunity to do both.

Why Outdoor Team Building?

So why should you take your team building outdoors? Well, first of all, because it’s fun! In most states, warm weather lasts year round. There’s nothing better than getting outside, enjoying the sunshine, and having some fun together!

You might worry that taking your team building activities outside might make them difficult to organize, but that’s not true. At Best Corporate Events, we work with you to coordinate everything. An outdoor activity could be just the thing to add some variety to your corporate events and keep things interesting.

Here is just a selection of some of our most popular outdoor team building activities for your employees:

Team Olympics

Host some Olympics-style games, with Team Olympics. You will have a group warm-up, form teams and compete through activities like sack races, ski team challenge, flipper flash relays and more, all to earn the coveted gold, silver, and bronze medals — and bragging rights of course!

Amazing Chase SmartHunt

Each team will be given iPads with instructions and clues that will help them to create a winning strategy to beat the other teams. They will navigate a custom route and compete in challenges and activities along the way, including quizzes, puzzles, photo and video missions, and tour points of interest.

City SmartHunt

Alternatively, if you are based in or near a city, you might consider a City SmartHunt. Using the interactive SmartHunts app on your iPads, you will have an adventure around a city where you will explore and learn as you go.

Build-A-Raft

For a more hands-on, high energy, collaborative activity, you might go for Build-A-Raft. Each team will work together to build a makeshift raft using only the materials provided, as quickly as possible. Teams will test their rafts in the water before having a relay-style race. For a group that enjoys the outdoors and physical competition, this is an excellent choice.

Catapult

This activity is exactly as it sounds like: each team will work together to build a catapult, and compete with others for both distance and accuracy. All materials are provided, and the winners will be announced.

Bridge to the Future

Bridge to the Future is a good activity for organizations who want to emphasize their core values and get employees involved in the mission. Teams will work together to build a real bridge that represents the future goals and aspirations of your organization. Of course, it must still have structural integrity, and each team will be in charge of part of the bridge, which will then be crossed by the group at completion.

As you can see, there is ample opportunity to hold just about every kind of team building activity outdoors. Summer and good weather doesn’t last forever, so why not take advantage of it and try something different for your group?

Oprah Winfrey once said, “Great communication begins with connection. What makes us different from one another is so much less important than what makes us alike—we all long for acceptance and significance. When we recognize those needs in ourselves, we can better understand them in others, and that’s when we can set aside our judgments and just hear.” Communication amongst teams is successful in organizations not necessarily when everyone agrees on every topic, but when the dialogue continues in spite of disagreements. The team members must recognize they are working toward a common goal and that everyone should have the opportunity to be heard. Teams can be successful and have disagreements so long as communication continues. It’s when the communication breaks down and stops that even the smallest of issues can bring down a team. Below are some common team communication struggles and how Best Corporate Events can help.

Getting Defensive

Sharing your ideas with your team is a vulnerable thing to do, that is hard for people to do. It comes with the inherent risk that our ideas will be rejected or looked down upon. Even so, teamwork and communication are all about creating an environment where everyone’s ideas and opinions are valued and heard. Like Oprah said in the quote above, “all of us long for acceptance and significance.” When people feel they are not accepted and that their contribution is not significant or valued, they will get defensive and shut down. They will lash out trying to force their opinion by silencing others, or they silence themselves and refuse to communicate to avoid judgment by others.

Best Corporate Events’ “Total Recall” team building communication activity helps teams improve their skills in communication by setting clear role expectations. In this activity, teams of 5 attempt to recreate a small structure that only one of them can see by using clear, concise communication. Each team member has a defined role and must communicate clearly, asking clarifying questions of one another to complete the structure. This activity can significantly increase a team’s ability to communicate clearly and work through defensiveness.

Not Communicating Confidently

With communication and teamwork, it’s often not what you say, but how you say it that matters. A solid, sincere idea can be discounted if it’s communicated without confidence. An idea doesn’t necessarily have to be fully formed nor does the presenter have to have all of the information before he or she can communicate that idea confidently. The one expressing the idea does, however, need to feel confident that the team accepts he or she and that his or her contribution is valuable.

Teams who are struggling to present their ideas clearly and confidently or just want to improve their presentation skills should consider taking Best Corporate Events’ “Presentation Skills Training.” This training will enable team members with the skills to present their ideas clearly and powerfully.

Personality Differences

Diverse teams can provide for greater innovation and perspective, but they can also provide for greater conflict as different personalities collide. Members of a team don’t have to be best friends, but they do need to be able to get along and work together. While different personalities can cause individuals to struggle to understand others’ points of view, they can also be a great asset to a team as each personality type comes with its strengths and inherent talents. All personality types can work together if they have a common goal and strive to understand each others’ point of view.

Knowing what type of personality each team member has can help the team better understand each others’ tendencies and strengths and thus work together better. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test can be a great way of doing this. Doing the MBTI test with your team though without the help of a professional who understands the meanings of the results can result in team members profiling one another or feeling like they’ve being given a label. A professional from Best Corporate Events will guide your team through the test and help each team member see the strengths that he or she brings to the team and realize the increased understanding that can come to a team as they understand each others’ personality preferences.

Conclusion

Communication and teamwork ultimately come down to recognizing that everyone is united in wanting the team to be successful. The willingness to communicate is all that is needed for successful team communication. After that, developing greater communication skills will increase the speed at which that successful communication happens. Communicating clearly, listening without getting defensive, speaking with confidence, and understanding the strengths and characteristics of all personality types can help a team reach its potential and achieve the synergy that’s only possible in a true team.

8 Quotes for Team Building

Perhaps nothing has been more talked about by recent business scholars than the necessity of teamwork and successful team building activities. There are thousands of inspirational quotes for team building out there, but here are eight of our favorites.

“Successful teams struggle, fight and bicker, too. The difference between a Successful Team and a failing team: when these challenges happen, Successful Teams acknowledge and resolve them quickly because the vision, harmony, consistent production, and success of the team is more important than any ‘he say – she say’ drama or counterproductive foolishness.”
–Ty Howard

This quote on team building captures the vision of the ideal team. No team is perfect or will operate without having any disagreements or mishaps. That team never has or will exist. The perfect team in the real world is one that is unified in its overall goal and can communicate in such a way as to resolve conflicts quickly. Creating that kind of team is the goal of all team building efforts.

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”
–Patrick Lencioni

Once again, that unified purpose is essential to a strong team. Team members don’t have to be best friends or have similar personalities. That lack of diversity can even weaken a team. Team members do have to have a common purpose and a trust that everyone is working for that purpose. That trust and loyalty come with time as team members get to know each other. Because of that, we like thinking of this more as one of those team bonding quotes.

“It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.”

–Sandra Swinney

This is a favorite quote for team building among our colleagues. If a manager or team member is only out to make themselves look good or everyone thinks they’re only out to make themselves look good, the team will not function. That essential trust mentioned in the last quote won’t be there, and just saying they want what’s best for the team won’t cut it. Actions speak far louder than words and team building activities can be great opportunities to demonstrate with actions that a team member wants what’s best for the team over just what seems best for them.

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
–Peter F. Drucker

Perhaps no one can have as much influence on a team as its leader. Leaders are the true team builders, and authenticity is everything. Team members can tell when a leader doesn’t care, even when the actions may speak otherwise. Like another team builder quote, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it.”

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
–Ken Blanchard

Simple and a little bit cheesy, but direct and to the point. Generally, no one person is as intelligent or productive as a unified group of people. The varying viewpoints that come from a team where all members feel they can contribute leads to greater and more powerful innovation. Unfortunately, on the flip side of this, when a team isn’t unified or refuses to challenge the viewpoint of a domineering team member, one the famous anti-team building quotations is also true: “None of us is as stupid as all of us.”

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
–Patrick Lencioni

Vulnerability. All of us hate it, but all of us so desperately need it. It’s the key to true connection, synergy, and innovation. Unfortunately, it can also lead to disappointment, embarrassment, and shame. Because of this, many choose to remain invulnerable and thus close themselves off to both the negative and positive emotions and results of vulnerability. They opt to stay in a very safe, very mediocre place. To be vulnerable and build the trust necessary for truly excellent teams, each team member must be willing to put their ideas out there, give honest feedback to others’ ideas, and continue trying after disappointment, failure, and rejection.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”
–HE Luccock

No one is as overwhelmed and stressed as an individual trying to do everything. Efficiency and quality of work require delegation and teamwork. When an orchestra or a team has synergy, that means that what they create together is greater than the sum of its parts or what any individual could have done by themselves.

“Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.”
–Bruce Coslet

This seemingly abrupt team building quote has a short but powerful message. True teams are not made or broken by a single person. So-called “teams” where that is true do not the team at all but simply a genius with many assistants. Powerful teams live in the paradox where each team member knows that their contribution is necessary, but their membership on the team isn’t. No one should feel they are superior to anyone else.

What are your favorite team building quotes? Let us know in the comments!

Have you ever participated in an inspiring team building activity only to have the excitement and insights from that activity fade over the course of the next few months? The purpose of team building activities for work teams is to help improve their ability to work and communicate well together, but maintaining that cohesiveness requires regular practice and attention. Our team of professionals can help your company not only throw a fun and effective team building activity, but also create a practical team building plan.

How Often Should Our Company Host a Team Building Activity?
As often as possible and when your team needs it. We recommend having a team building activity once a quarter, but if that’s not practical for your company’s situation, you should have team building activity at least every six months. Interactive team building activities are recommended whenever a team undergoes a type of transition such as personnel or responsibility changes. A well-timed team building activity can help ensure a smooth transition.

Choosing an Activity
Best Corporate Events offers 30+ team building activities to choose from. You can couple team building with your company’s CSR strategy by building bikes for needy children or assembling care packages for a homeless shelter. You could also choose to sharpen your team’s competitive edge by having a Minute to Win It event or having your team compete in a realistic game show challenge.

Want to get to know and explore the town your business or office operates in? Try one of our SmartHunts scavenger hunts and solve clues and challenges throughout the city. If food is the way to your team’s heart, try one of our culinary team building activities such as the Food Truck Face-Off or the Fiesta Fun recipe contest. If you’re not sure which activity to choose, send a quick survey out to your employees and ask them which types of activities they might enjoy. Our sales managers are trained professionals at matching your group’s needs with the best program! Whichever activity you choose, you can rest assured that it will be a fun activity that will bring your team together.

The Importance of Team Building Activities
Studies have shown that regular team building can help teams be more innovative, communicate more effectively, and resolve conflicts more quickly. Sometimes teams get so caught up in the context of their work tasks that it becomes difficult to improve, overcome problems, or think of new ideas. Allowing your team to work together on a goal that is not specifically related to a work task can allow the team to see each other and their jobs in a new light. Team building activities create greater trust amongst team members and can allow them to go back to their work armed with a greater capacity for collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving.

You may be thinking, “my team is great and doesn’t need a team building activity,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Even healthy teams can benefit from team building. Author Robin Sharma once said, “Success is seductive. It can make one complacent and inefficient and stale.” Every team can improve and become better. Even sustaining the current state of a successful team requires conscientious effort, and the boost that comes from a well-executed team building activity can be just what your team needs to keep going and reach new heights.

Team Building and Company Culture
President and CEO of Upshot, Brian Kristofek once said that “Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” Being a great place to work has everything to do with the culture and values of a company. Many companies claim to foster great values and culture but ultimately fail. Enron’s motto was “Respect, Integrity, Communication, and Excellence.” Funny then how it collapsed because of practices that went against all of the values stated in their motto. For a culture to take hold, it has to go beyond written mission statements. The values of the desired culture have to be practiced and reinforced. Regular team building activities can be great ways to teach and regularly reinforce company values and culture. They can be ways to show employees that they’re appreciated and that the company values their needs as well as those of the customers and shareholders. In essence, conscientious team building efforts help to make a company a great place to work.

We Can Do It All For You!
Poorly executed team building activities are not only ineffective, but they can also cause more harm than good. If team members feel the activities are boring or sloppily put together, they’ll be less likely to participate in the future actively. If the thought of executing a team or company-wide team building event intimidates you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve executed thousands of events all over the country. We come to you with everything you need and facilitate the entire experience. All you have to do is make sure your team is ready for a good time!

Welcome to the BEST blog, a collection of team building articles, industry insights and news about our large collection of programs and events offered in locations across North America.

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    Programs can be delivered anywhere in North America.

    We have been working on improving our website. If you experience any difficulties with our forms, please let us know at sales@bestcorporateevents.com.

      If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

      Phone: 800.849.8326
      Email: Sales@BestCorporateEvents.com

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      Keynote Speaker is an often-misunderstood term associated with simply a motivational speaker, breakout speaker, industry expert, etc. Most professional speakers are not actual trained Keynote Speakers, who are specialists, therefore in much lower supply, and in higher demand.

      Keynote Speakers are experienced, professional communicators who engage an audience, capturing the essence of a client’s meeting. They are able to highlight it to their audience while simultaneously delivering their own key concepts and proprietary content in an entertaining and impactful way. Most companies understand that this specialization is very much worth the time (around an hour) and the investment.

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      As a top Keynote Speaker, Tom Leu strategically uses compelling storytelling, humor, powerful visuals, audio and video clips, and audience participation elements to weave an impactful message into your event in a fun and memorable way. Tom can also pair his Keynote with Best Corporate Events programming, laying a foundation and setting a tone that best prepares participants for maximum engagement in the forthcoming team events that day.