Whether you play a professional or amateur sport, work on a construction site, or in a corporate office, team spirit is key. Morale encourages a team to perform as more than the sum of its parts and hold a group together when times get tough. All else aside, great team spirit makes your life more enjoyable and more meaningful.
Building team spirit can be tricky, though. Personalities can clash, and natural chemistry between members of the group will lead to tension. If you’re a leader, you might have your work cut out for you. In the long term, building real trust requires more than weekly drinks after work.
Extreme sports can be a great way of bringing your team together. These activities are exciting and place your team in new, often high-pressure scenarios.
Here’s how extreme sports can build team spirit:
Getting to Know Your Colleagues
At work or in the locker room, there are only so many ways you can get to know somebody. If you are a boss trying to motivate your employees, or an employee trying to understand how your boss works, you won’t get the best insight during your 9-5 office hours.
When camping out in the wild, skydiving, or climbing, everyone is experiencing heightened situations together. In these environments, you can see how your employees think through complex problems or how they handle pressure and new challenges. As an employee, your boss is often more like your equal in these tasks, so you can empathize and gain insight into how their mind works.
Taking part in extreme sports with your colleagues or teammates creates unique, long-lasting memories and stories that you’ll be telling for years. Working together in a new, possibly high-pressure environment will bring you closer together; whether you are laughing at hilarious mishaps or helping each other out.
If you take part in one of XLEvents outdoors team building activities, for instance, you’ll experience something similar to the show Survivor. Maybe you won’t be eating insects, but learning survival skills can strengthen bonds with your workmates and create bonds with news colleagues.
Trust is critical to any team in two ways. You need to know that you can trust your colleagues, and you need to know that you are trusted.
Extreme sports are a leap into the unknown for a lot of people. If people are fearful or just unsure, colleagues and teammates must help each other out to get through the challenge. In turn, this builds trust within the team because everyone knows they can rely on their workmates during difficult and stressful situations.
Extreme sports will help all team members feel like they are trusted and an integral part of the company. They will feel more secure about their place in the team and less skeptical of the hierarchy.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Team building isn’t just about generating positives. Just as important as learning to trust your teammates is learning what their weaknesses are too.
Nobody around the office is perfect. Some people have a short temper, and others are lazy. You might not even be sure what their weaknesses are because they’re so good as seeming perfect in the workplace.
Extreme sports are fun, but they test everyone. Sometimes people break and their weaknesses come to the fore. In the context of a game, this is great for team building. Members of the team will learn to navigate different strengths and weaknesses and find ways to deal with them.
Learning to mediate between differences and weaknesses during paintball or skiing, for instance, will make it much easier back in the office. This will help your team more effectively play to its strengths.