Team Building Ideas For a Successful Team

Some team building ideas for leadership motivation...

Building up your team within an organization, school, athletics or even at home can prove to be difficult at times. 

You know you want a great team to get things done, but you also want to have the right people that will work together to achieve the team goals.

Getting the right mix of people and inspiring them to work together is an important aspect to being successful.

Did you ever think about what the definition of Team is?    It's a group organized to work together to do what you cannot do alone.

The word TEAM is also an acronym for "Together Everyone Achieves More."

That says it all.  Because you can't do everything alone.  A team brings together many different talents and insights to move the organization foward more quickly than doing it alone.

Building a successful team can be a tough job.  Some teams work well together and others don't.  You see athletic teams that eventually make it into the playoffs. 

These team members worked with each other to achieve their goal.  Each one of them had a certain talent that contributed to the overall success.

You want to select the right team and have them become successful.  But, how do you do it?

Well, it all starts with the leader.  You, as a leader must have a plan and you need to create the type of team you want to carry out your plans.

What do you look for when selecting the right team?

You want to find team members that can state their opinions and make suggestions without being critical of each other.  They need to feel they are part of the team and their opinion matters.

So, choose your team with your goals in mind.  This isn't a time to be politically correct.  When you become political, it can bring down the organization or leave it stagnant. 

Politics is a very common occurrence.  That's why its important to choose the right people beforehand rather than discovering you chose the wrong people later on.

To get started, meet with the people individually and build a relationship with them.  Learn about their personality will help you determine if that person will fit your needs. 

You want them to feel part of the group, that they're trusted and they can state their opinions about something without repercussions. 

Team building ideas for the type of people you're looking for:

  • First of all, you need to find someone with the experience you're looking for.  If they've done something similar that could apply to your project.  Let's say you're setting up an event.  You will want to find people that have experience working events.  Someone that knows what products to bring, another to handle the logistics, another to work on the budget and so on.  There's another possibility that you might want to consider as part of your team building ideas.  As a leader, you want to develop people's potential.  Consider adding an assistant that has no experience to help with certain tasks.  This gives that person the experience and growth opportunity without affecting the outcome.

  • Find out what their personality is like.  Whether they are a go-getter, how much time they can put into it, what their attitude is towards taking on a project.  Sometimes people are way too busy with other projects and can't add anything more.  Other people might only like to work on one thing at a time and prefer to work alone.  This is where you spend the time talking to the possible team members to see if they fit in with your plans.

  • See how much work they get done.  How productive are they?  Find out if they follow through until the end.  You can find this out by looking at past records, giving them work to do to find out what their style of work is like or you can ask questions.  Your project might involve people that are assertive or someone that needs to figure out all the details.  There could be a place for both types of people in your project.

  • Use your instincts on whether you think that person would work well on your team and/or project.  Gut instincts can say alot.  Do make sure you get to know them first before basing your perception of them on your instincts.  At one time I had been teaching a class where this young woman's attire looked like she could represent trouble.  She turned out to be the most involved person in the group with many great ideas.  It's important to always get to know the person first.


What if you can't choose your team?

There are times when you need to work with the people you have.  You can follow the same team building ideas and steps as you did in choosing your team.  Build a relationship with each person, find out what they're like, their work ethics and where they might fit in.  If you think about it, everyone on a team brings skills in some area, even if it's just making coffee.

In order to make your team work, there are several team building ideas that need to happen:

  • Each person needs to be praised.  Not just from the you as the manager or leader, but from each other as well.  When you praise a team member, their productivity goes up and they feel more committed to helping out the team.  If you constantly criticize someone, they become defensive and find excuses why they can't get their part done.

  • Once you decide on the goals for the project, you, or the person you chose to lead, will need to make sure everyone on the team understands what the goals are.  This is where all the questions come in.  Tell them your plans and ask them questions.  These can include questions about whether they understand their part in the project or how committed they are.  Once everyone has a full understanding of the project and are committed, you are more likely to reach your goals.

  • If a mistake is made, whether its by an individual or the whole team, learn from it.  Mistakes happen, don't dwell on them.  And, by all means, don't punish them.  That will only cause them to resent the project and you might not achieve your goals.

  • Each team member has a different personality or way of doing things.  It's important for you to respect each other's differences.  If you disrespect them, it can cause hard feelings toward each other.  That's why its important to let everyone have their say and state their opinions.  Find a way to work with them.  You might like to work on several things at once and the other person might want to complete each task separately.  There's always a way to compromise that works to the advantage for all team members.

  • To move forward, you, as a true leader, and other team members need to listen to the ideas of everyone on the team.  Then work together to see if the team building ideas will work. Sometimes you can have one person that puts his or her ideas on the table all the time.  There also could be someone that sits quietly without contributing at all.  Make sure you get everyone's thoughts and ideas for the project.  You might have to ask several questions to get the quiet person to state their thoughts on the project.  They might have the winning idea and are afraid to mention it.

  • It's important for the team players to believe in themselves and that their team is important.  Each member may have good ideas where they can feed off of each other to come up with even better team building ideas.  When they believe in themselves and feel like their working towards a goal successfully, the team becomes more cohesive.

  • Another important factor of a team is to have a friendship between the team members.  You don't want to have little groups or cliques within a group.  You will want to keep everyone together as a friendship.  Once a clique starts forming, they end up leaving others out.  By creating a bond of friendship you will achieve more a lot quicker.

  • After the project is completed, praise the team for a job well done.  This is very important, because the team members will feel positive and will be more willing to contribute to other projects.  Suggestions could be taking them out to lunch, giving them a comp day or even a nice pat on the back will do in some circumstances.


The above team building ideas will work if you're in a company with a task force, on a baseball team, in the classroom or in a family.  Sometimes you can choose your team members and other times they are chosen for you.  These team building ideas will help build confidence in each person and move you forward towards achieving your goals successfully.

Team building ideas in games for kids:

As you grow up, most of you are put in a situation where you are on some kind of team.  There are teams that involve everyone to help reach a team goal and there are teams that support individual efforts (such as a swim team.)  Below is an example of how the you can teach team building to children:

A Physical Education class is an example of choosing your team.  Sometimes the teacher will pick two captains and each captain chooses who they want to be on their team.  Everyone knows that this isn't always a fair way of choosing teams, but kids learn from it. 

The kids work together in order to attain the most points in the game.  In general, the teacher or team mates praise each other if they score a point.  Mistakes are made, someone doesn't catch a ball and the other team scores, but they learn and try not to let it happen again.

Each team member is different.  Some are better at catching and others are better at running, so they are placed in the appropriate positions to bring out their skills.  If someone has a better suggestion of moving kids around to improve their chances of winning, the teacher and the team mates listen and are usually willing to give it a try.  Many of the kids believe they can contribute to the end goal and feel their part on the team helps.

Many of the kids develop friendships, but they also feel they are a whole unit and can work together.

Of course, once the game is over, the teacher and team players usually praise everyone by saying 'good game' whether they win or not.


Team building ideas and techniques for families:

An example of a team already in place, is a family.  We can use the hypothetical two parent, two child household.  As the children grow up, parents are constantly praising them for every milestone they reach.

Sometimes a family will have a common goal of going on a vacation.  Each person helps in some way.  Each family member throws out their ideas on where they want to visit, sites to see, what they should pack, etc.  Some goals are to have a relaxing time on a beach and others are to see every amusement park in the area.  Each family member needs to understand what you want to achieve.

Sometimes you forget something at home or take a wrong turn or your car breaks down.  It's something that you learn from and move on to enjoy the time together.

Each family member has a different personality.  Everyone knows and respects their differences and works together so that everyone enjoys the vacation.  A vacation helps the family bond together and they usually have a good experience.  The fun everyone had is the praise for the completed vacation.


Team building can be a lot of work, but you can get so much done by taking the time and following the above team building ideas to build the right team mindset.

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