I experienced some unusually impactful team building exercises recently and this got me thinking. It seems that learning how to safely trust others before they have actually had the opportunity to earn your trust may be the key to happiness and success.
Sure, when we think team building, we usually think about cohesion between team members and creating a bond. This isn’t really out-of-the-box stuff for most people. But what about those who really have a hard time trusting anyone in general?
In order to operate as an effective team, team members need to be able to trust others to do their work which leaves each member free to do what they need to do. Some folks, on the other hand, just can’t get it right. They struggle with trust in their personal life as well, which makes it a tall ask to commit fully to any kind of team building exercises.
Looking at myself, I have to admit that childhood influences may play a big role here – feeling like trust is earned, not given isn’t always the best way to go, it turns out, since it all depends on expectation. How do you know what my standards are before I can trust you? And how, exactly, do you get to work through that to earn my trust when the project waits for no man and the deadline looms closer.
In addition to demanding trust, qualifying standards may be so unrealistic that the smallest accidental or perceived slight may lead to a loss of trust.
An interesting point to consider – when you work together, as a team, and realize just how important it is that each person needs to be trusted, when you are ready to say, “Okay, you are handling this part of the project, you run with it,” you make yourself vulnerable but you also make yourself brave.
Team building exercises teach people to trust, and to step out of their comfort zones.
Being part of a group helps. Being part of an office culture helps. Good team building exercises are designed to create a comfortable cohesion between all members.
I came to realize just how important team building exercises are. I wasn’t expecting to feel any different about my position at my workplace, or how I perceive my colleagues. Even more than that, I wasn’t expecting to experience a change in my personal life.
Drum Café helped me get a new perspective on some serious questions I’ve been asking myself. Could a team building exercise do that? A good one can.
Exploring co-operation through teamwork in a fun way, without pressure, assisted me greatly in becoming more aware of how I interact with my colleagues as well as everyone close to me. I realized that the perceived “me” at work and the “me” at home aren’t really so very separate from one another after all, no matter how much we’d like to think otherwise.
Handing responsibilities over to someone else can be tough, but the payoff is improved productivity at the office. I learned that believing in yourself means that you have to believe in others too and there are few better ways to make that shift than through effective team building exercises.