Top 3 Tips to Become a Better Leader

Become a better leaderA team is only as good as its leader. If you keep that in mind as your knowledge, understanding, and leadership skills grow, your team will benefit. Your team is depending on you to be the best leader you can be so they can learn and grow as well. Since improvement begins with you, use these top 3 tips to become a better leader.

Enhance Strengths and Strengthen Weaknesses

To be an effective leader, you must be able to evaluate your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Expecting people to do things that are outside of their capabilities sets everyone up for failure. Good leaders recognize and enhance the strengths of team members, as well as strengthen their weak areas. They recognize and accept their own limitations as well as those of their team members.

In this same vein, the best leaders understand that a good leader must also be a good follower and team player. Each team member brings unique skills, talents, and experiences to the team. As a leader, it is essential for you to step back from time to time to let others shine. This allows other team members to develop confidence and leadership skills. It also works well when you want to help transform weak areas into strengths by working one on one with the team member to share and develop skills, experiences, and ideas.

Effective Listening and Problem Solving

Good leaders use effective listening skills, and focus on what team members say without bias or preparing a rebuttal as they talk. You use all of the information or input obtained to find an answer or create a solution.

Model Integrity

Your integrity is vital to your team’s success. A consistent commitment to the spirit of teamwork, honesty, and fairness, as well as other ethical values and principles, is what bonds and inspires your team. When you model these behaviors and expect these same qualities from your team members, you create an atmosphere of trust, dedication, and loyalty. In short, you set your team up to succeed.

To become a better leader, you need to develop and enhance your leadership skills. This may be difficult if you are unsure of where to start or what the most important leadership skills are. Use these top 3 tips to become a better leader and build a successful and efficient team.

How to Inspire Your Team Members

Inspire your Team MembersAs a leader, you are ultimately responsible for your team’s progress and success. To meet your goals, you need to know how to inspire and motivate your team. This can be challenging when dealing with different personalities, areas of expertise, and opinions. If you are unsure of how to inspire your team members, start by following these recommendations.

Model What You Want

Model what you want to see in your team members. When you display honesty, integrity, open listening, cooperation, respect, appreciation, and other characteristics you want to see in your team members, they will be more likely to follow suit.

Do you want a team where members will gladly go an extra mile or ten for you? Show your team members that you are a team player; that you will work side by side with them, appreciate their input, and value their skills. This will inspire dedication, loyalty, and teamwork. They will be more likely to follow your lead and assist you on even the most challenging projects.

Don’t Sell or Tell

No one likes to be sold anything, but everyone likes to buy things. If team members feel that you are selling them a bill of goods, they will be less likely to trust your word, judgment, and leadership abilities. Be honest, upfront, and sincere if you expect those things from the team.

A dictatorial, demanding attitude will alienate your team members. Instead, discuss issues with them and promote a positive atmosphere. Be open to the ideas and perspectives of others. This promotes self-worth, a sense of accomplishment, and team spirit, among other things.

Calm, Cool, and Collected

No matter how much stuff is going on, a good team leader displays a calm, cool, and collected presence. This inspires a sense of security in team members. When members are confident that the team leader has everything under control and everyone’s best interest at heart, the team is more productive and efficient.

Everything you do can potentially encourage or discourage your team. Make a conscious effort to learn how to inspire your team members with these suggestions.

Effectiveness of Offsite Team Building

Trying to build a team and strengthen leadership roles while at the work location can be a challenge, which is why offsite team building is so effective. Some of the best strategies for building a team involve complete separation from the daily environment that employees have grown accustomed to.

Consider the challenges of internal team building exercises:

  • Assigned roles and perceived roles are still portrayed and followed because of the work environment.
  • Individual guards are up – people will not separate from their corporate façade to try something different.
  • Specific results are often forced due to time constraints and looming project deadlines that are still evident at work.

There is a better way!

Remove participants from their familiar surroundings, present them with challenges that they are unfamiliar with and are free to simply participate in, and let them grow together to solve the challenge.

By separating team members from the work environment, offsite team building presents an element of the unknown, which allows everyone an extra chance of development. Outdoor team development activities are effective because the four walls of the corporate structure are removed, and the wide-open surroundings encourage enthusiastic participation.

Independent leaders who facilitate offsite team building activities are often more effective than daily leaders within the workplace, because of their objective view of situations and problems. A trained facilitator can adjust the group activity based on the problems and challenges that surface during the activity.

Team building challenges assigned in an outdoor environment often involve activities that the typical workday doesn’t present, although a good team trainer will relate the activity to real-life application. Carrying a teammate over a roped fence may seem unrelated to a business challenge, but when presented correctly, measured against desired problems to be solved, and applied to real-world understanding, that rope exercise often remains in a team member’s mind longer than an in-house lecture or paper-and-pencil activity.

Whatever team challenges may affect your workplace; offsite team building can make a difference, when facilitated effectively. Contact us today to find out how we create totally customized offsite team building programs that work for your business.


Corporate Team Building Requires Customization for Effectiveness

Many managers recognize that corporate team building is important for business success today. A well-defined team that works well together supports the vision and mission of the corporation. However, cookie-cutter team development games aren’t effective for every situation, so team-building customization should be considered when selecting an outside facilitator.

There is a well-known saying, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Using the same tool or activity to solve every problem associated with your team will not provide the long-lasting results you are seeking, and will not get the commitment from team members.

Here are some tips to consider when hiring a corporate team building facilitator:

Do they conduct a needs assessment? This is critical, to understand the problems associated with the team, the background of the situation, and the desired solution.

Are they accessible prior to and after the team-building event? Team building facilitators who have a genuine passion to help businesses succeed are willing to answer your pre-event questions as well as follow up afterwards to make sure application follows through to the workplace.

Which activities are selected for the corporate group? A team building facilitator can effectively select from a variety of activities or projects to help with team building, problem solving, conflict resolution, trust building, and more. Not all activities serve the same purpose, but should be strategically selected based on the individual team challenges.

How will they conduct the team-building activities? Get an understanding of the logistics of the activities. Trained facilitators can explain the expected outcomes of specific activities, but are also prepared to adjust activities if the need arises.

Is real-life application a part of the team building activity? Trained facilitators can recognize the interaction of participants during a team-building event, and will also facilitate a conversation to help them understand the take-away lessons and opportunities they learned from the event.

Corporate team building is not the same for every organization, and finding a customized approach for your company will ensure longer-lasting results and better-individualized successes. Tecumseh Team Quest facilitators specialize in customized corporate team building, and can help solve your team problems.

Use Imagination with Outdoor Corporate Team Building

Working together in a business environment on a daily basis has its ups and downs, but taking a break to participate in outdoor corporate team building activities for a day can make a difference in employee morale and loyalty. Perhaps you’ve noticed some changes in your employees – an increase in mistakes, more conflicts, or too much of a laid back attitude towards customer service.

Protecting your corporate reputation is essential to survival today, and it begins with knowing your employees and empowering them to support your corporate goals and objectives. When there are problems in the workplace, corporate team building activities can often reveal opportunities for growth and solve even the simplest of conflicts.

Outdoor corporate team building activities are meant to be fun; they are designed to take employees away from the normal working environment and introduce problems or situations that they may not normally encounter on a daily basis.

What happens during off-site team building? Often, hypothetical situations are introduced to enhance the communication skills and unity needed to complete any given problem. A qualified facilitator can recognize leadership skills in certain individuals, and work with those skills during the activity, or challenge other participants to accept some of the leadership roles.

Outdoor Corporate Team Building Challenges Employees

Team building facilitators often present a problem, or a desired outcome, provide a limited supply of resources and simple instructions, and then guide the team towards accomplishment. Outside activities such as rope challenge courses, obstacle courses, wall climbing, and other physical tasks challenge employees in ways that a normal pencil-and-paper activity can’t.

Communication is critical in an outdoor activity, and can often reveal hidden traits or skills that wouldn’t be found in an office setting. One employee who seems quiet and reserved all day at the office may actually enjoy mountain climbing in her spare time, and can guide team members through challenging obstacles, if given the chance. Another employee who is often looked upon to take a leader role in the factory may actually learn some tips from others outdoors when they are put into a leadership role instead.

Challenges that a corporate team may face in a business setting can often be proactively solved in an outdoor team activity that takes them away from the normal routine, forces them to use their imagination, and work with others in a way they aren’t used to. Summary discussions help the team relate the outdoor experience to daily indoor activities, so the employees are better equipped to handle challenges when they occur back at work.

Find out how the leadership facilitators at Tecumseh Team Quest can custom design outdoor corporate team building activities for your situation and your team members.

Team Building is Not Just a Single Event

Participating in team building activities and events seems like a fun way of getting involved with people in your workplace; as well as accomplishing a specific set of objectives. However, team building is not limited to one single event or day’s activities.

A qualified team building coach understands and recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of the team members before, during, and after the team activity. He also knows how to adapt the activity to best challenge the team members so they arrive at the awareness and success that will make a difference in their daily work tasks.

If your employees are in need of some team development, problem solving or conflict resolution training, basic team building activities can help. Prior knowledge about each team members’ strengths and weaknesses prove beneficial when assigning specific tasks during the activities.

However, keep in mind that the activity can also reveal new information about each employee that may be beneficial when considering new roles or tasks within the workplace. For instance, Sally may always be the leader and organizer within the office setting, but when you take her out of the familiar surroundings, she steps back to let someone else lead.

That’s one reason that off-site team building activities are popular and successful. Take the employees to an entirely different location, present them with new problems and activities, and challenge them with unusual circumstances for working together – that’s when different character traits are often revealed that normally wouldn’t be known in a normal office setting.

Pick Fun Events for Team Building

Knowing how to foster communication between employees during a team building activity is critical for the success of the activity. However, being able to take that communication to a better level of understanding, and apply the lessons of the off-site activity to the daily work challenges, proves to be helpful when building teams or developing existing team members.

Tecumseh Team Quest is ready to take your team to new levels that last beyond one single event. Contact us today to schedule a team building activity that can make a difference for the future of your team, and your business.


Team Building Ice Breaker Activities

Sometimes, team building activities seem like a bunch of different games and projects. However, these activities can make a difference for introducing new team members, developing trust, and growing effective working relationships that will improve your business. These games and projects can also identify the right character traits needed for a specific team environment.

Regardless of the type or length of activity, or the age of the group participating, team building icebreakers are a great way of growing your teams’ relationship.

Ice breakers in team building are really fun ways to get to know the group around you. They can include a physical game, a written game, or even a verbal memory game. Sometimes, round-the-circle memory games help introduce team members, and help each person remember a significant fact about everyone else in the circle. Simple storytelling challenges or quick-thinking responses to everyday questions are re-emphasized by group members as the information grows during the activity.

Fun physical games often involve the entire group, even in a problem-solving situation. When used as an ice breaker team building activity, these problem-solving games help identify natural leaders and followers, as well as basic personality traits of the team members.

Ice breaker games, when used as team building activities, are also useful for opening new conversations, encouraging participation, and building community among the members. Overall, they help your group or organization to begin bonding together, in order to concentrate on more difficult activities or tasks.

Completing ice breaker games will also provide additional information that the team members can rely upon when more advanced problem solving needs to occur. An experienced facilitator can help your team identify the important take-away lessons in an ice breaker game, and apply it to further learning opportunities in additional team building activities.


What is Experience Based Learning?

Experience-Based Learning involves “learning by doing”. Since people learn in many different ways, this approach enhances the traditional classroom learning focused on visual and auditory activities.

However, experience-based learning incorporates hands-on learning that involves group interaction, discussion, and feedback. It is the opposite of sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture. It combines listening skills, observation, and actually performing the activity or challenge all at the same time.

This type of learning is useful when teaching children and youth new skills, because it involves all their senses. They hear instruction, watch demonstrations, communicate with others, and practice the activity themselves or with groups.