Teambuilding or trust building activities you can do with your team!
Our beautiful city offers so many ways to get your team outside those cramped, sterile, white office walls and out into the beautiful Kansas City community!
I’ve lived here my entire life and I can’t believe how much current-day Kansas City has to offer! Just a simple Google search will reveal tons of fantastic activities for friends, families, and definitely for work teams to enjoy.
Trust building activities are easy to find!
You know, taking your team outside the office can be invigorating and energizing. It can bond the team on two levels: individually folks can get to know one another better and collectively they can bond and build a team dynamic that will translate right back into the office setting.
Update: Creating a team isn’t an issue of dumb luck.
As I’ve said time and time again on my blog, most often strong teams don’t just “happen”. Sure, every once in a while, you can catch lightning in a bottle, and a random group of people just “connect”, but that’s more uncommon than common.
Cultivating a strong team takes patience, tenacity, and a degree of intentional work on your part.
It’s just another relationship.
I’m sure you’d agree relationships of any kind are quite complex, right? It’s important to realize workplace relationships are no different.
They require being able to trust others with their emotions, thoughts, and feelings. In the case of workplace relationships, add creativity to that list.
Trusting people with your ideas and your creative energy can feel emotionally and professionally risky when you don’t really know someone.
In the long run, team building and trust-building activities close the chasm of unfamiliarity so people can feel free to contribute to the team without the fear of rejection or mistreatment.
Teambuilding takes time and starts from interpersonal relating out to the whole.
In my opinion, most teams form more adequately when people get to know or connect with someone on the team. Then, a benign alliance forms. After this, the alliance is expanded to include others on the team until everyone is comfortable with one another.
It’s like when you pour rich creamer into black coffee. It sort of spreads and affects the whole.
This can be a positive thing or a negative thing.
As a teambuilding consultant, I support those initial alliances that form within new teams. People feel more comfortable within the group when they have a ‘buddy’ or a ‘person’ they feel is in their corner. Remember the elementary school playground? Same for workplace teams.
Have you ever watched the show “Big Brother”? This ‘buddy’ dynamic always happens at the beginning of the season. One or two people start connecting and then they are friends (and sometimes more). Before long, they start welcoming others into their alliance – albeit for sinister reasons.
Sometimes, those folks make this developmental need for connection quite negative and toxic. But, on a work team, it can be a very positive part of team development.
Of course, the ultimate goal is for people to spread the ‘love’ and begin trusting one another and break down the mini alliances to form one big one. What do you think?
One warning about building work teams…
Don’t simply throw a bunch of employees together and assume you have a team. You may have a department, but that doesn’t mean it’s a team.
You may have a committee, but not necessarily a team.
No, teams work together to achieve desired results. They have common goals and each person strives toward that goal in unison. They are unified, willing to share, and eager to support one another. That’s a team.
You have to be persistent and dogged in building your team. Don’t give up!
Maybe try to find corporate team building activities you all can do together. Do this often. Move meetings to other places around Kansas City so you can discover new venues together.
Or here’s an idea. Try intentionally starting meetings a little earlier than necessary and allow folks to just “be” for about 5 minutes. Let them share how their day is going or the best thing they’ve accomplished this week in and outside work. Open that proverbial door time and time again for them to “connect” as humans. Be patient and don’t give up. Remember, it takes time.
It can happen! It will happen!
Good news! A reward does exist. A sweet spot of collaborative unity can indeed happen! After the team members have observed one another over time, gotten to know one another as humans, they will be more inclined to drop those fake workplace personas and really show up at work!
They will be open to build those one-on-one connections that facilitate synergy and creative collaboration.
It’s all part of building relationships.
I’ve talked enough about the one-on-one magic of team relationships. Let’s talk about group formation as it happens as a whole.
How do we get from those side alliances to really getting work done?
Have you heard of group formation?
It’s a concept that defines how groups often work together. It breaks the process into steps and phases.
For example, the first step in group formation is called forming. This is where most teams begin. At this stage, everyone puts their “best foot forward.” This is like the stage in dating before anyone burps around you or kisses you without brushing their teeth. This is the honeymoon phase. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Ha!
They say “Great Ideas!”
Teams in this stage are courteous and willing to “go along to get along.” Conflict is minimal and avoided. This stage reminds me of the Barney song:
“I love you
You love me
We’re a happy family
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won’t you say you love me too “
Yes, it’s all kisses, hugs, unicorns and Honey Nut Cheerios at this juncture.
A Jewel near UMKC!
What a good time to take your team to Kauffman Gardens (across from the Kauffman Foundation) located at 4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. Maybe have lunch and stroll the gardens for a low-stress, low-risk time of team togetherness.
If the weather doesn’t permit, have lunch at Café Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum and enjoy a stroll there. The address for the beautiful Kemper museum is 4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111.
Moving forward, I’m forecasting rain and cloudy days ahead.
After a short time, the group progresses to the Storming stage. After all, nothing really gets accomplished in the Forming stage because everyone isn’t fully “in”. They’re not bringing their true selves to the process yet.
After a short time, the group progresses to the Storming stage.
After the niceties, folks are ready to get down to business. This is the Storming stage and it is perfectly named! Some cloudy days are ahead in this period of team development.
At this point, roles are assigned and accountabilities begin to form. Oh boy! The informal leader begins to emerge. You know… the person who isn’t really in charge, but has decided to be.
They “tempt” ya….
They will tempt you to GO CRAZY on them!
Folks begin to tell others what to do and the side-eyes commence. Personality differences begin to surface. This is a struggle and for some, an uncomfortable stage, but it’s a necessary one too. Storming must happen for the team to get to the ultimate stage. So, hang in there.
This is a perfect time to bring TCB Consulting to your Kansas City team for a True Colors workshop. Our teambuilding module can help you see one another based on personality needs and how people’s strengths play out in the team dynamic.
Really consider some off-site teambuilding around Kansas City.
You could even do something as simple as reserve a room at the Plaza Library or the historic Central branch. Schedule me and enjoy an afternoon of learning and discovery.
My workshops go a long way to help teammates understand one another. For example, teambuilding during the Storming stage can help the team understand that those “informal” leaders don’t necessarily mean to be bossy, they are just natural organizers. They really are trying to help.
“He really is NOT a bad guy!
These sorts of insights can be super helpful in helping the team advance to the next phase of formation. Of course, I recommend one of my teambuilding workshops at any stage.
More places for trust building activities
However, there are other experiences in and around Kansas City as well. For example, did you know the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art offers adult tours?
Yes! They do!
As I write this, they are free for adults, college audiences and are offered on a variety of topics.
You must have at least six or more people. Reservations are required. Visit their site for more information: https://nelson-atkins.org/tours/ These tours can be incredibly enjoyable and a great way to stimulate conversations.
A great tip for your trust building activities during your outting
Before the teambuilding field trip, decide what outcomes you want as a result of the effort. Do you want team members to find common ground? Maybe you want to facilitate a sense of connection?
If connections are your goal, pair team members up and give them a fun name like “discovery partners”. Then charge them with understanding how the other person/people experienced the tour. What seemed to intrigue them most? What did you learn about your discovery partner?
Give them a “heads up” they will share their insights or discoveries after the tour.
Understanding one another during trust building activities
Another goal for the team building activity could be to guide each person to acquire a clearer understanding of the other individuals on the team. If so, maybe you can assign tasks like:
- What is one thing you learned about another team member?
- Each asks the other “what surprised you about the tour content?” or “what did you learn new?”
- They could also discuss “what was the most meaningful part of the tour? Why?”
Whatever your desired end result, create debrief questions like these to “pull out” insights and stimulate conversations.
Here are some great corporate team building activities indoors (in Kansas City and around)
Norming feels so good.
During this stage of team growth, everyone feels a bit more comfortable with the members of the team and the team as a whole. Everyone begins to chill a bit and each person feels a tad more comfortable operating in their strengths and asking questions. Usually, at this point conflicts are squashed and the team is ready for the tasks at hand. This is a wondrous time. It’s when the team turns a corner…a good corner.
This is when you can maybe do some higher risk activities which require a bit more sharing or engagement. Since mutual support has emerged, this is a perfect time for brainstorming and doing a teambuilding activity that requires a bit more of one’s self.
Maybe try a competitive team activity in Kansas City?
You can embark on something like PowerPlay in Shawnee, Kansas! (http://powerplaykc.com/south/corporate-events/) or even a fun panic room experience.
Most people think of PowerPlay as a hotspot for children’s birthday parties (Lord knows I’ve celebrated a few of them there with my kids). But, PowerPlay also offers corporate packages and teambuilding activities. Super cool!
I wouldn’t introduce any sort of competitive activity too early in the process. What do you think about teams doing competitive games or activities prior to the Norming stage? I think it’s a gamble and can contribute to a culture of competition. It could also be considered “high risk” and some personality types might “check out”. Let me know your thoughts.
Performing feels best!
Performing is the optimal level of group formation. It’s like when the hiker that makes it to the top of the mountain! Yaaay!
Yes! All the petty differences are set aside and each member of the team is fully invested in team success.
Yes! Individual team members work together with ease and synergy. They share resources. They share ideas. The team displays a level of trust and competency that wasn’t present prior. They are a unit. They know one another and what each is capable of doing.
Everyone understands what stresses the other.
They respect boundaries. These random folks become a team.
At this stage, any sort of team building activities could work. Everyone “knows” one another and feels a sense of emotional safety. So go for it!
Here are some great team-building and trust-building activities in Kansas City are:
Schedule a tour of Kansas City on a double-decker bus!
Check out the Zombie Scavenger Hunt Game
Kansas City Segway Tour: Country Club Plaza Area
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Tour
Museum of Illusions in Kansas City
Jest Murder Mystery
Hallmark Visitors Center
Leila’s Hair Museum (I’m serious!)
Note: You could open great conversations about making use of resources. Be creative!
Arabia Steamboat Museum
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Need some help designing your teambuilding activity from an experience listed above?
Contact me and consult with me for one hour. I’ll help you craft an incredible learning experience that brings your team together emotionally, creatively, and professionally. My coaching fee is $100.00 per hour.
What I’m doing
as a personality consultant...
Leveraging the 4 personality styles to help you when working with different personalities in the workplace. I also discuss often how business personalities play a role in how you approach work and manage work personalities in general. I also answer the question” “how does personality influence communication at work?” Your temperament plays a role in everything. I love talking about it and exploring exactly how!