11 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Team Building Activities in India

Choosing team building activities is a crucial aspect of fostering teamwork and collaboration within a group. However, there are common team building mistakes that should be avoided to ensure the activities are effective and beneficial for all team members. Let us explore 11 mistakes to avoid when selecting team building activities in India, and provide key takeaways to help you plan a successful team building event.

team building mistakes, team building in India

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the group dynamics before selecting team building activities.
  • Select new and relevant activities, not something that worked in the early 2000s
  • Clearly define objectives to align the activities with the team’s goals and expectations.
  • Allocate sufficient time for each activity to prevent rushing and maximize participation.
  • Don’t exclude anyone, build trust
  • Always debrief after the activities to reflect on the experience and gather feedback for improvement.

Think of your team as a delicate ecosystem—each member plays a unique role. Ignoring group dynamics is like throwing a cactus into a rainforest; it just doesn’t fit. When choosing team building activities, it’s crucial to consider how individuals will interact based on their roles, relationships, and personalities.

  • Recognize the leaders and the listeners. Leaders must listen too. 
  • Identify potential conflicts and camaraderie that can hamper team cohesion
  • Consider how new members might integrate. 

Remember, the goal is to enhance collaboration, not to ignite a gladiator battle. Activities should foster unity, not division. Tailoring the experience to your team’s specific social landscape can turn a mundane exercise into a powerful tool for growth.

When it comes to team building, one size does not fit all. Expecting everyone to be thrilled about an old style painting activity, movie making, trust falls or drum circle is a recipe for failure. Just because it has been done for 25 years doesn’t mean that it is relevant to your team now. 

You’d buy a smartphone over a rotary dial  – unless you’re dealing in antiquities. Its time is done. But you need to recognise that fact. 

Here’s a quick checklist to ensure you’re considering relevant activities

  • Ask for the business takeaways and map them to your current needs
  • Evaluate the success of these activities in recent times (6 months, not 10 years)
  • The simplicity of the activity is always a good indicator – complex activities tend to have a higher failure rate
  • Usage of modern technology (VR team Building / AR / Ipads / Simulations)

By taking the time to understand the relevancy of new activities, you have a better chance of success. One of the most common mistakes when selecting a team building activity is looking at the images of the outcome. What you need is the process of how it is run, not what the end image looks like. The way to ensure you don’t fall in this trap is by asking for a rundown of the steps. 

Ever been to a team building event and wondered, ‘What’s the point?’ You’re not alone. Clear objectives are the compass of team building activities; without them, you’re just wandering in the wilderness of awkward icebreakers and crappy games.

  • Define the purpose: Is it to improve communication, boost morale, enhance your team’s performance or foster problem-solving skills?
  • Set measurable goals: What specific outcomes do you want to see? Ex: Destroy micromanagement by team leaders. 
  • Communicate expectations: Make sure everyone knows why they’re there and what they’re supposed to be doing.

Remember, to choose an activity without a defined goal is like setting out on a journey without a map or guidance; you will cover ground, but you’ll wander aimlessly without reaching a meaningful destination.

One of the biggest mistakes is underestimating time requirements. Time is a sneaky beast, especially when you’re trying to corral it into the confines of a team-building activity. Underestimating the time needed for activities is like trying to fit a square peg in a round schedule; it’s not going to end well.

Here’s a quick rundown of why time misjudgment can derail the team-building train:

  • Activities almost always will overrun. Or one of your speakers will eat into the activity time. 
  • Insufficient time can lead to incomplete experiences, with objectives unmet.
  • Team members may feel rushed, which can increase stress rather than reduce it.
  • Even high-performing teams can be demotivated

Remember, the goal is to build a team, not a time machine. Allocate generously, and your team-building event won’t turn into a race against the clock.

To avoid the time trap, consider the following:

  1. Estimate the duration of each activity.
  2. Add buffer time for transitions and unexpected delays.
  3. Have a clear agenda and communicate it to participants.
  4. Monitor the time during the event to stay on track.

One of the biggest team building mistakes is missing the debrief. Imagine running a marathon and not bothering to cross the finish line. That’s what skipping the debrief after a team-building activity is like. It’s the crucial moment where experiences are processed, lessons are crystallized, and the team collectively grows. Without it, you might as well have had a group nap.

  • Reflect on the activity’s outcomes
  • Discuss what worked and what didn’t
  • Plan how to integrate the insights into daily work

The debrief is the bow on the package, tying together the loose ends and making sense of the chaos. Don’t leave your team with a bunch of untied strings and expect them to knit a sweater.

While a little friendly competition can spice things up, turning team building into the Hunger Games is a recipe for disaster. Not everyone has the same competitive streak, and what starts as a fun race can quickly escalate into a cutthroat battle that leaves camaraderie in the dust. You need to remember that competitive activities can have only one winner, everybody else loses. Rather than promoting teamwork, you’ll be dishing out low morale, and causing resentment among teams. 

  • Encourage collaboration over competition.
  • Focus on activities that foster team spirit.
  • Remember, the goal is to build bridges, not burn them.

When the dust settles, you want your team to be stronger, not scattered to the winds with grudges and bruised egos. Keep the competitive spirit in check and aim for activities that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. Find a more creative solution with more beneficial aspects than just competition. 

team building mistakes, team building in India

When planning team building activities, it’s easy to forget that your team is a vibrant tapestry of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Diversity is your team’s superpower, and not considering it can lead to a kryptonite-level catastrophe.

  • Ensure activities are inclusive and respectful to all cultures.
  • Avoid stereotypes and cultural insensitivities.
  • Mix up teams to encourage cross-cultural interaction.
  • Especially in India, watch out for Language sensitivities too

Remember, the goal is to unify, not to uniform. By embracing diversity, you create a richer experience that fosters genuine connections and a deeper understanding among team members. The best companies will ensure you have activities and facilitators who are adept at managing diversity when organizing a team building activity. 

When planning team building activities, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of obstacle courses and trust falls. But remember, not everyone is an aspiring ninja warrior or a trapeze artist in disguise. Ignoring the physical abilities of your team members is another recipe for discomfort and exclusion. Use the team building activity to be inclusive at all levels. 

  • Assess the physical demands of activities
  • Consider the fitness levels of all participants
  • Provide alternative options for those with limitations
  • Don’t choose an Ironman activity just because the boss loves triathlons. 

It’s crucial to strike a balance between challenging and accessible. By doing so, you ensure that everyone can participate and no one feels left on the sidelines.

Failing to account for physical limitations can not only lead to a lack of participation but also potential injuries. Keep in mind that team building is about building bridges, not hurdles. So, create an environment that stays the course. 

Ever tried to squeeze an elephant into a Maruti 800? That’s what it feels like when you choose a team building activity without considering the spatial requirements. Location, location, location isn’t just a mantra for real estate moguls; it’s crucial for planners of team building events too.

  • Space: Ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your activities and your team.
  • Accessibility: Can everyone get there without a hassle?
  • Amenities: Look for necessary facilities like restrooms, parking, and tech support.

Remember, the perfect activity in the wrong place can turn team spirit into team squabble. Choose a venue that complements the activity, not one that competes with it. Even a simple scavenger hunt can go wrong if you don’t have the space for it. 

Ever put all your eggs in one basket and then watched the basket? That’s what skipping a Plan B in team building is like. Murphy’s Law loves an unprepared event planner. If anything can go wrong, it will—and at the worst possible moment.

  • Weather could turn your outdoor extravaganza into a washout.
  • The keynote speaker might hit traffic (think Bangalore), turning a seminar into a mime show.
  • Tech gremlins could transform a high-tech treasure hunt into old-school hide and seek.

Having a backup plan isn’t just about peace of mind—it’s about keeping the show on the road when the unexpected guest arrives: chaos.

Remember, a Plan B doesn’t have to be a shadow of Plan A. Sometimes, it turns out to be the star of the show. So, brainstorm alternatives, have contingencies for your contingencies, and never underestimate the power of a well-timed plan switcheroo. When working out the event for your team, consult the team building experts who will offer you a Plan B especially in Indian Monsoon. 

Think you can wing it without a pro? Think again. Professional facilitators are like the conductors of an orchestra—without them, you might just end up with a cacophony rather than a symphony. They’re trained to keep activities on track, manage group dynamics, and ensure that everyone is engaged.

Facilitators are not just there to play referee—they’re the secret sauce that can turn a bland team-building exercise into a gourmet experience.

Here’s why you might want to keep one in your back pocket:

  • They bring expertise in guiding discussions and activities.
  • They can handle unexpected situations with grace.
  • They help maintain focus on the objectives.
  • They ensure that all voices are heard, fostering inclusivity.

Remember, the goal is to build a strong teams, not just to kill time. A professional facilitator might seem like an extra expense, but the value they add can be priceless. Building teams is a profession and an intricate process. Your team building efforts will be washed down unless you consider a professional facilitator who can debrief all levels and help create your effective team. 

In conclusion, choosing team building activities can be a tricky task, but by avoiding these 11 mistakes, you can ensure a successful and engaging experience for your team. Remember, the key is to prioritize teamwork, open communication, and fun! So go ahead, plan wisely, and watch your team bond like never before. Happy team building!

What should I consider when choosing team building activities?

When choosing team building activities, it’s important to consider group dynamics, individual comfort zones, clear objectives, time requirements, debriefing, and diversity. And yes, relevancy of the activity. 

How can I ensure inclusivity in team building activities?

To ensure inclusivity, consider diversity in your team and activities, and be mindful of physical limitations and location constraints. 

What are some common mistakes to avoid in team building activities?

Common mistakes to avoid include choosing overly competitive activities, disregarding physical limitations, overlooking location constraints, lacking a plan B, and skipping professional facilitation and debrief. 

Why is debriefing important after team building activities?

Debriefing allows participants to reflect on their experiences, learn from the activities, and apply insights to their teamwork and communication. The debrief provides a clear takeaway and is one of the best team building practices that every team should employ. 

How can I adapt team building activities for different group dynamics?

Adapt activities by considering the dynamics of the group, providing options for different comfort levels, and encouraging collaboration and inclusivity. Ignoring individual strengths, downplaying communication skills, and hindering team development are common issues. 

What role does professional facilitation play in team building activities?

Professional facilitation can enhance the effectiveness of team building activities by guiding discussions, addressing conflicts, and ensuring a positive and productive experience for all participants.

About Us: 

Teamification, based in Bangalore is focused on Leadership Team Building, Enabling Effective Leadership and avoiding common Team Building Mistakes. Whether virtual team building, or in-person expertly facilitated indoor team building games such as team building with VR, board games, trading, table top, group activities, music (harmonica); we’ve got it all. 

We even created a set of online business simulations for decision making, leadership styles, critical thinking, conflict management, threat assessment, cyber security and more. 

Bring in the experts and let us handle it – without mistakes. Call +919845335000

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Rupert Picardo Co-Founder
Rupert Picardo is a TEDx Speaker, Serial Entrepreneur and creator of Gamified Digital Experiences for Employee Engagement and Employee Onboarding.
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