Team development and group processes interventions aim at improving different aspects of a group performance, such as goal setting, development of interpersonal relations among team members, role clarification and analysis, decision making, problem solving, and communities of practice, among other. One of the most important objectives of team building interventions relies on improving interdependency of team members. The underlying premise is that the aggregated value of the team is much greater than any individual. Different interventions are:
Sometimes a team has problems because its members do not have the basic knowledge or skills they need to work together. Skill building interventions give members the opportunity to learn and practice team skills, such as leading a team meeting, reaching group consensus, improving team communications, constructively giving and receiving feedback, resolving conflicts, listening effectively and sharing information. These interventions are presented as a course in which all members participate and during which they develop action plans for practicing the needed skills.
Problem Solving Interventions
Problem solving interventions are most effective with a team that has a specific project problem or barrier to teamwork that is blocking progress. In these interventions, all team members meet at an off-site location with an outside facilitator and without the distraction of daily work. The facilitator’s job is to help the team explore and understand the problem in order to find a solution. Problem solving retreats are the most common form of team building intervention because the activity is immediately applied to the team’s daily work.
Personality-based interventions focus in improving interpersonal skills among the team members. Members take personality or psychometric tests such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type, Belbin Team Roles or Team Dysfunction Questionnaire. The results are communicated to each team member and, in some instances, the entire team to help members understand and appreciate their own and their teammates’ personalities and interpersonal styles. Ideally, this understanding leads to better communication and improved team effectiveness.
In activity-based interventions, team members participate in physical challenges, such as playing games, canoeing or hiking. The interventions focus on teamwork, problem solving, trust and risk taking. The activity addresses specific problems facing a team with the goal that the success achieved by working together in the activity will carry over into the team’s work.