breaking down teams - key insights

Roy Breaks it Down! Team Building Insight


This is the first in a series of articles that will deliver various team building topics. You will be introduced to lessons and key insights pertaining to the foundation of high-performing teams. Key pillars to group performance such as communication skills development, leadership tips, goal setting and role clarification, meeting and time management.  Many more relevant topics will be explored. Many of these articles will be written immediately after the delivery of a workshop.  The articles will include messages from the debrief and processing discussions fresh on the mind.  We will share thoughts for work-related application of the lessons.


Last week I delivered a 3-hour workshop on day one of a multi-day offsite training.  The workshop was for emerging leaders within a pharmaceutical company. The request came from the overall manager of the group.  The manager was only 3 months into the position. His goal was to engage the participants in an interactive hands-on experience. 

The experience would showcase the tenants of high-performing teams, while also allowing for each of them to walk away with personal leadership tips for immediate workplace application. He also wanted to further connect to the group, by being an active participant in some of the initiatives and engaging with them.  Ultimately,  getting to know them better individually. He also asked that I create new table teams with each activity (3 in total). We could plant the seeds for new relationships as well as strengthen the existing bonds with their colleagues.

Delivery to the teams:

The program chosen was “Igniting Team Performance”, a fun but challenging workshop which is delivered via a progressive series of interactive and cerebral challenges. Whittling through the dozens of activity options, the specific activities were chosen 3 weeks before based on phone assessment meetings.  We started with a version of “Card Speed” – a competitive (initially), fun and fast-paced table-top initiative. Very quickly teams established a defined goal, clearly defined roles for each team member and a great process for completing the activity with speed and accuracy.

Since competition amongst the teams was emphasized, teams were celebrating and needling each other with their impressive stop-watch timed performances. I then surprised the team by switching a few members to different table teams and established a new COLLABORATIVE goal. A quick cross sharing of best practices in the form of a 5-minute “speed meeting”. The final round average of all table groups combined was better than the best individual table round to that point! There were high 5’s and cheering for the impressive collaborative display while celebrating the success of the entire room.

As the workshop progressed, each additional activity was delivered with real-time process discussions.  Discussions including how they would apply the lessons at work. This was followed by a more detailed summarizing debrief to end the 3-hour session.

This eye-opening and insightful debrief captured written insights and finished with each participant verbally identifying three key lessons that they could immediately apply to enhance their workplace impact.  Learn more about our Corporate Workshops here