OTB Blog Index
On Team Building: Introduction This is the first post at, "On Team Building" (this blog), which includes the Interaction Guidelines and call for team building topics to discuss. Read through the Comments to see what has been proposed.
A Typology of Team Interactions Are we leading Team Bonding, Team Building or Team Development programs. This post suggests a context, or language, for conversations about team interactions.
Distinguishing Your Program (What are we calling it?) This post is an answer to an email sent by a curious team builder - "I would appreciate a few words from you describing how you see the current state and/or trend in distinguishing team building/group development courses."
Index Topics in Alphabetical Order
Helmets: Happy Turtles or the Bird Bath Which way do you ask your participants to set down their helmet?
Learning Names: A Process of Practice - This is a purposeful practice used to motive participants to practice learn each other's names in a fun and slightly stressful way (including Dr. Chris Cavert's most practiced way to learn , and remember, everyone's in less than an hour).
Ground Rules and Group Contracts (A Discussion with Chris Cavert and John Losey) - (54-min Video and some text highlights) Ground rules and contracts are not just about team building and group process, they are functional tools to get you where you want to go more effectively and efficiently.
You Tricked Us! (A Fast Ball Question) - Team builders plan experiences to help groups learn and grow. Some of these experiences (if not most of them) push people out of their comfort zones and even inspire people to get mad at the team building educator. Find out a few ways to approach those 'tricky' activities.
Harnessing Up: A Participant-Centered Approach - What are we doing (in 'control' of), as team builders, that can be moved to our groups (giving them more control)? How can we be more participant-centered in our programming? How about the harness and helmet demo?
Working with Resistant Groups - Some considerations on how to increase engagement within your groups.
Un-Expectations If we only focus on particular 'things' we may miss something important. Expectations and Un-Expectations - how does this polarity or, dichotomy or, continuum relate to your practice?
Building Bridges: Phrases for Encouraging Pro-Social Skills (Print-N-Play) - This post shares a mindset and a tool (a set of cards) educators/team builders can use to encourage pro-social connections through communication.
'Being Human' Presentation for Team Builders (Guest Post) - This is a program 'frame' introducing the 'sub skills' of being human, like, Compassion, Generosity, Honesty, Love and Respect. Leo Schettler shares how he introduces this focus so he can touch upon the sub skills of being human throughout a program. (Printable Handout included.)
Quotes as Thought Experiments (A Chat with AI Specific to Leadership) - This short post is a conversation (chat) with Open-AI's ChatGPT about 'Thought Experiments' - it includes thought experiment ideas for five popular leadership quotes.
Team Building with Leadership Theories In this post team builders share specific theories of leadership they have programmed into team building experiences.
Let's Think About This for a Moment (Reflective Questions for Team Building Educators)
Volume 1: The best place to stand; What should we look like; How long should we play; Qualifying concepts.
Volume 2: Are there benefits to 'long-form' team building activities?
Low Challenge Course Elements: Tell Us Why
TP Shuffle Why do you use the TP Shuffle?
Why do you use the Team Wall? Is the Team Wall still being used? If so, to what educational purpose? Do you belay your Wall or not? Thoughts to consider for this element (is it a low or high element?).
Processing & Conversing with Groups
4 Questions to Spark Engagement - (with Video) Guest Post from Chad Littlefield, co-founder of "WE!" Four powerful questions under four words each. You can use these questions during processing sessions or simply to open up conversations that will connect your group members.
Review, Reflect, Revise: A Processing Model and More - This is a double-purpose model. It's a very straight forward three-step model for talking about experiences (it's another option) and it's a really nice tool for debriefing team building programs - a step-by-step way of leanring and growing (two birds with one stone, so to speak).
What? So What? Now What? (An Origin Story of a Processing Tool) In a nutshell, the What? So What? Now What? model was created as a 'process' to help young people navigate every day concerns - in the 1960s. (It has become so much more since.)
'Bridging' the Adventure Experience (Guest Post: Jim Hooper) - Jim uses the term 'Bridging' (instead of Processing or Debriefing) to bring a more visual picture to the transfer of learning - bridging the team building 'activity world' into the 'real world.'
Ice Breakers, De-Inhibitizers & Energizers (Oh My!) A perspective on the nuances between these three activity categories.
Considering Differences in Objectives and Goals - Objectives are managed by the educator/team builder and goals are created and sought after by participants. Find out about this point of view through FUNdoing Blog activity examples.
Generational Awareness - Some groups can include people from two or more generations. How do we 'perceive' these groups? Are there generational considerations when programming or are they diversity considerations? Both?
Muting Participants: A Conversation with Floyd Hinman - Flyod and I talk about using 'muting' as a tool to change the dynamics of a group. We touch upon where we both started with muting and where we are with it now.
The Channels Project: Programming with Bloom's - This is a hybrid post, including the description of an activity (a complex variation of Pipeline) and how it is used with the newest version of Bloom's Taxonomy to explore the "orders of thinking." Overall, it's an example of 'Deep Work' programming - not meant to be quick and easy.
Life Skills Education: A WHO Resource - As team builders, we are 'Life Skills' educators. This post shares the 10 main skills/concepts we should be focusing on and learn about references that will support the work we do.
Chasing the "Cool" - Avoiding the Novelty Trap (by John Losey) The pursuit of something "cool" is a dangerous and time-consuming practice. This pursuit of originality can distract us from meeting the client's desired outcomes.
Tips & Tools
W.I.N. - A Team Building Tool for Facilitators and Groups - I found another threes tool, a little different than some of my others. It's not a three-parter, but a three-word phrase, "What's Important Now," or W.I.N. - I've put this in my toolbox as an in-the-moment assessment tool.
Thumb Gauges (Group Tools) - Two, easy-to-use tools you and your group can leverage to quickly gather vital information.
You, the Team Builder: Knowing and Growing
Team Builders as Educators: The 3 Roles There is an ebb and flow of moving through the educator roles of Instructor, Teacher and Facilitator. How can we leverage the power of each?
Valuable Skills and Abilities of Team Building Educators (Vol. 1) This series starts out reflecting on three important skills and abilities: Don't Take Things Personally; Concepts and Behaviors; and Tough Questions.
Lagging Indicators Give Us Vital Data Lagging indicators are the outcomes of your efforts - data for improving or continuing team builder behaviors. Use the feedback - it's free!
POP Party: Exploring Principles of Practice Have you ever reflected upon the 'things' you do as a team builder? What do you believe in about team building? Where do these beliefs come from? Are they serving you? Is there a better way? Hold a POP Party to explore these questions.
Improving Their Pedagogy: Guerrilla Training for Your Team Builders and Trainers This post is about a 'drop-in' training technique that allows for some relevant observation (training) time...giving (and showing) 'bits' of information instead of overload.
What? & Why? Series (Detailed Breakdown of Team Building Activities)
Name Card Exchange - Step-by-Step details about this Name Game and Probelm-Solver (What?) with my thinking process for each detail (Why?).
Across Toss Agreements - Step-by-Step details of how to lead the activity (What?) and my thinking process (Why?) for each step.