A Typology of Team Interactions
"What Are We Really Doing?" was another title for this post I was considering. I went with "Typology" because of its academic standing (we want a little standing) and it's a cool word (we definitely want some cool in what we do!).
So, what are we doing as "team builders"? In a way to set a foundation for this blog, On Team Building, let's focus in on a possible context. A language we can share during our conversations.
I am an advocate, and part of a crowd, supporting a language proposed in two different articles (and by three amazing people). In, Building Team Spirit (2015), by Stephanie Sibille and Paul Cummings and, Team Bonding, Team Building, or Team Development (2018), by Michelle Cummings, the authors pose that we are involved in team interaction programs that fall into three categories:
Team Bonding programs/events...
When we call all of our programs "team building", Stephanie and Paul stress, "it will marginalize the term" and, I believe, place all team interaction programs into one stereotype that may not support all the amazing opportunities we can provide for teams. (In other words, some "team building" providers are leaving groups with "team breaking" experiences. I will say they lack the skill sets and dispositions to be team builders.)
(Please refer to the articles for other suggested aspects of each type of program and Tips for Success when offering your programs to clients - see Page 2 of the "Building Team Spirit" article.)
So, what are your thoughts about this typology, this contextual language? What works for you? What's missing? What changes should we consider? Let's get the conversation started in the Comments section below. As the topics and conversation grow here at On Team Building, this typology we create can be a foundation to reference.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
FUNdoing.com (Activity resources for Team Builders)
TeamBuilderPowerUps (An online school for Team Builders)
YoungTeamBuilders (The voices of young Team Builders)
2/27/2019 07:28:58 pm
This is one of those areas I have been struggling with as I have been trying to offer programming on my own. From one side of it, I have worked with several groups that have been thoroughly facilitated and are looking for very specific language, progression, and outcomes. When they hear the terms above they get excited because they know exactly what to do, or they get frustrated because they have to do it again.
3/4/2019 06:23:14 pm
Tom Leahy promotes a programming model (that parallels the typology somewhat) I've used under the umbrella of team building. Four kinds of programs: Energizer, Discovery, Skill Development and Intervention. In most cases we're offering the first three kinds. Professionals (e.g., mental health programs) who expect behavior change fall into the fourth kind. So, if one keeps the overarching theme team building - what "kind" of team building program fits the best for the group?
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.