In any environment that requires a group of people to function together, the element of team building plays a very important role. Without team building there is no communication, no team spirit, and no motivation to perform. A strong team can support one another’s efforts and attain goals set for the team. While most corporate organizations employ team building exercises and activities to have their employees strengthen professional relationships, there are others who employ team building consultants to do so.
The Job of a Team Building Consultant
A team building consultant is someone who is dedicated to enhancing team building efforts among the employees of an organization. These are professionals employed by organizations who make an effort to conduct large-scale team building activities to enhance the productivity and output of employees. Team building consultants are known to unleash the potential that a group of professionals who have come together to form a team possess. These are consultants who enhance the performance of a team by having them engage in certain specific activities.
➝ When a team building consultant is hired, she/he first interacts with the teams she/he has to work with and assesses their abilities, personalities, skills, and their attitude towards teamwork and group decision making.
➝ After this interaction, she/he is required to give a written proposal to the organization about how she/he intends to lay the foundation upon which a strong team will be built.
➝ Certain recommendations are shortlisted and based on those the consultant will (for the duration employed), then implement certain exercises and activities that will enhance the team building process. These include:
Helping team members discover their own potential and that of their colleagues.
Enhancing skills that will help improve team performance to a large extent.
Imparting values that teach the strength that teamwork gives each member of the team.
Teaching leadership abilities by employing certain corporate team building activities.
Enhancing team motivation and creating a sense of commitment towards the team and towards goal achievement.
Helping individual team members analyze their own abilities and habits, and how these affect teamwork and goal achievement.
Strengthening interpersonal communication within the team to build healthy professional relationships.
Enabling team members to respect each other’s point of view and perspective.
Guiding employees towards conflict resolution within the team so that it does not hamper the final output.
Helping the team develop a strong vision that will guide them towards goal achievement.
In a combination of various team building activities and interactions, these values and skills are imparted to employees and team members.
➝ Once these programs have been successfully implemented, the team building consultant conducts yet another evaluation to understand how much the team members have benefited from the program, and how their attitude, values, and commitment have changed from before the program. These changes are then communicated to the organization.
➝ There are cases when the charted out plan for implementation of team building techniques do not go as planned. The employees may or may not respond well to the kind of activities being carried out. At times like these, it is completely the discretion of the team building consultant to carry out the predetermined plan or to chart out a newer, more effective plan of action. This of course is done only after consulting the organization.
➝ Most activities that are executed are done so in a light, fun manner. Professionals are likely to be more receptive when they are having fun or are happier than when they are being forced to do something. It is therefore, the job of the team building consultant to induce this fun into the activities so that they are really effective.
➝ It has been found that after the implementation of these techniques and exercises, employees perceive teamwork differently. The changes that hiring a team building consultant brings about include:
Enhanced communication within the group.
Perception of group as a single unit that strives towards goal achievement.
Enhanced problem solving and decision-making skills.
Development of respect for each other’s opinion and decisions.
Effective utilization of resources needed for goal achievement.
Greater commitment, interest, and productivity among group members.
A professional approach to any activity is likely to yield more powerful results, the effects of which are long lasting, than a few team building activities organized in the office. A good team building consultant is someone who has immense work experience, is an outgoing person, has the ability to provide constructive feedback, is enthusiastic about her/his work, and is someone who is creative in her/his approach to every team building activity. Look out for these qualities in such a professional if you do intend to hire someone, and the results will be positive for you to see.