Teamwork & Creativity -- How to survive in the new global economy
Creative way to start a team and leadership development conference

Ask The Teamwork Coach: Do you have articles to handout at the end of a teambuilding training event?

Here's a recent exchange I had with a member looking for advice on articles to provide a group after his teambuilding session.  I'm sharing it because I'm guessing this person's approach to providing resources for the group is common.  Most trainers don't provide pre-assessments and therefore must rely on what the group's contact tells them about the group (like you'll see below). 

NOTE:  Arnold isn't really his name.  I changed it to protect his identity.

Hi Tom,
I am putting together a leadership training program proposal. I am in search of some hand out articles that they are requesting at the end of the three-hour teambuilding program. Can you suggest anything?  The participants are young professionals 25-35 years old.  Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you, Arnold

Hi Arnold,
Have you done a needs assessment with the group?  The resources you supply should be in harmony with their needs.
-- Tom

Hi Tom,
Yes of course, I am looking for articles {general in nature}. One of their requests was that the participants have research articles or information articles as “take home” reading and information.  Can you help recommend articles and how I can obtain them?
From my proposal...
>> At the end of this session, participants will be able to describe:
Why organizations rely upon teams
What a productive team looks like
How to Build Effective Teams
Group and Team Dynamics
-- Thanks. Arnold

Hi Arnold
I get that you have an outline of what you want to give to the group.  However, unless you complete a detailed needs assessment with the group (each member of the group) then whatever you give them you'll just be guessing and if you want to guess then give them anything.
-- Tom

I do not believe that every group member needs a “needs assessment.” The needs assessment was given to the director of the program. The program is being designed for the director of the program I will ask you in a more direct way. Do you have an article that specifically speaks about ways to find common ground or win-win between different opinions?
Thanks, Arnold

Hi Arnold
You wrote:
    I do not believe that every group member needs a “needs assessment.”
In this case I disagree.  We see things differently.  That's OK.
    The program is being designed for the director of the program
Again, we see things differently. Designing the program to meet the needs of the director will do just that - - but you'll likely miss the target when it comes to meeting the needs of the team.  That's OK to.  All is in perfect order.

As for articles....
I suggest everyone on this team read "Silos, Politics and Turf Wars" by Patrick Lencioni

I also suggest this team read Lencioni's "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team"

You can get abstracts of the above books here.

I hope that helps. Good luck.


PS  There is a very simple and very powerful needs assessment survey in "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" that you could easily administer to all team members prior to the program.  The information you gather will likely change your program design.


Mike Cardus

This seems to be a constant struggle with corporate groups. THe balance of the primary contact having their aganda although they are so involved that they may not and usually do not clearly see the what the team will benfit the most from. I have had several groups ask the same thing. The statment of our people like to have information to go home with, and the contact feels that a needs assement is a waste of time because they know what the team building session is supposed to accomplish. I cannot help but feel that the Team building and corporate training community are in some part responsible for this. THe sales approach of this actiivty does x and will help your people achieve x, removes the experiential concept and makes the traning prescriptive. With a needs assement the faciliator is able to dig deeper, although the facilitator must also be able, and knowledgeable to decifer or translate the needs assment to meet the groups needs.

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