“Team developmental interventions are key mechanisms that may be used to facilitate team effectiveness.” – Raymond Noe, author of Employee Training and Development.1
In 2001, a major international law firm based out of London, England sought to supplement their own internal efforts to examine practice and client needs with an outside program designed to emphasize firm collaboration and communication. The firm’s Head of Training made it clear that the program needed to be tightly focused, in-depth, and constantly moving. In his own words, the lawyers within the firm “tend to eat up tasks” and “get bored so quickly.” And because this team building session would commence at the close of the firm’s two-day conference, it not only needed to be informative and reaffirm the lessons and strategies discussed over the previous days, but also fun and light-hearted to ensure the conference ended on a high note, sending the team away positive and energized.
The team building program was designed to improve communication and collaboration by encouraging lawyers to step out of their comfort zones and work with colleagues outside of their specialty, expertise, or level of seniority.
- Activity 1: The team building program sought to unveil the characteristics of participants outside the workplace, qualities that people don’t usually get an opportunity to display. This was accomplished through an activity called “Amazing Secrets,” in which each participant writes down and share something about themselves that no one else in the room knows. This is not only a great ice-breaker, but also helps reinforce the themes of sharing and openness.
- Activity 2: Without uttering a single word, participants had to form a circle based on their birthdays. This activity is designed to demonstrate the importance of good communication.
- Activity 3: This next activity – “Egg Drop” – is designed to work on communication and teamwork. Each group must construct a device that will protect a hardboiled egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 10 feet.
- Activity 4: In the next event – “Saboteur” – participants had to work together to recreate a detailed blueprint of a maze from their combined memory. If this was not difficult enough, there may be a saboteur in the group trying to throw everyone off. This activity encourages open discussion and helps build trust.
- Activity 5: The final activity – “Group Juggling” – begins with a small group and one bean bag per person. Eventually everyone participates and must juggle two bean bags per person. Co-ordination, support and pin-sharp timing are required to succeed at this challenge.
“Before we knew it we had learned more about each other, considered how to work more effectively together and had a lot of fun,” said one of the firm’s representatives.
Of course, you don’t have to be an international law firm to benefit from a well-designed and executed team building session. Companies of all shapes and sizes can improve their communication, productivity, and overall performance with the right guidance.
Local Team Building with Terrapin Adventures
“Well-planned programs are delivered by capable facilitators who guide learning rather than dictate results.” – Katherine Whitnah.3
Conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington, DC, Terrapin Adventures is uniquely suited to provide a Team Building solution for any company. Through a series of exciting and carefully designed Team Building activities, your group will find better, more effective ways to communicate and work with each other. Each activity is led by one of our experienced facilitators, who will not only help guide your experience, but also tie the lessons back into the workplace.
We service Maryland and Washington, D.C., and have traveled to other states as well.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Noe, R. A. (2002). Employee training and development (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
- “Team Building for and International Law Firm.” The Team Building Directory Team Building Info Advice Comments. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
- Whitnah, Katherine T. A Phenomenological Inquiry: In the Context of Organizational Development, How Does Experiential Team Building in the Form of a High ROPES Course, Contribute to Positive Leadership Development, and How Can It Be Improved? Adler Graduate School. Web.