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How to Develop Team Work Skills

by Shannon Johnson ; Updated September 26, 2017
Teamwork doesn't just happen. It takes skills you can develop.

Diverse groups and skill sets are important to creating an effective and successful team. Different team building activities geared to skill sets and group dynamics can help you make the team stronger over time. Practicing listening, communication, organization and discussion are involved in many team work exercises and are the cornerstones of a good professional work, youth or family groups. From an old traditional game of telephone to a weekend group outing for a round of paintball, the methods vary but the skills involved are the same.

Write a list of goals for your team work exercises. Think about what you want to accomplish with this group that will require involvement in different ways from each participant.

Divide into separate teams. Play paintball or tactics game for overall team building in communication, strategy and efficiency. Paintball and other strategy activities as goal-oriented games will allow your team develop their leadership structure and carry out their plans.

Gather the group into a circle and play the game "Telephone" with smaller group sizes. Have each person repeat verbally one phrase from the list until the end of the circle. Try this activity again with everyone silent and writing the phrase over as it goes through the circle. Compare the outcomes and discuss any differences from the original phrases used.

Separate into three groups to work on problem-solving and communication skills. Give each group a topic where one group is for a topic, one against, and one neutral and discuss the problem and a possible resolution.

Discuss the outcome of the activities as a group. Talk about weak areas that did not work as effectively as intended. Make a list of possible issues that may have altered the outcome.

Have each person discuss what he felt he needed to improve on in this task. Play an overall teambuilding game again with the opposite objective such as defend instead of capture the flag. Change the group dynamics in size and members.

Discuss and brainstorm ideas for improvement after the exercise is complete. Analyze what everyone has learned, their ability to adjust to the group and task assigned and what elements can be used in varied group dynamics.

Tips

  • When you change the group size, it is important to note those who are not participating. Encourage those that are participating and paying attention.

    You don't have to do all the activities in one team work session. One at a time is fine. Do what is manageable with your group size and the time you have available.

About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.

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