The truth is.. Team building is a form of group therapy.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Teams that perform well, teams that are healthy in their overall dynamic, are teams that invest themselves in relationship development and ultimately group mental health. I recognize that this concept might freak people out a bit, and yet, no matter how I come at the thought, it always results in the conclusion that the foundation of team builoding rests upon group therapy. In order to attain consistent employee engagement and high morale where deep trust and mutual respect are part of the culture, the focus must be on mental health.
The fundamental goal of group therapy is to initiate a sense of belonging or relatability through understanding, which is achieved by sharing common experiences. For this reason, group therapy is most effective when utilized to address a specific concern common to all members of the group.
Furthermore, the primary principles include:
- the instillation of hope,
- connection and universality,
- interpersonal learning,
- development or redevelopment of ideal social techniques, and
This leads me back to a statement I made in another post –
Whether through retreats, seminars, staff meetings or outside events, we help groups develop skills, those behaviors we bring with us from childhood that can make or break our team’s effectiveness and our personal success in life. These skills include the ability to:
- receive feedback (without freaking out)
- listen so others feel heard
- respond positively and effectively to changes
- develop “elasticity” (the ability to let go, forgive and move forward)
- engage with and resolve conflict, both one-on-one and collectively as a team
- problem solve, disagree with grace, give helpful feedback, and more
As I survey the current format of teambuilding via online meetings, I am certain the blend of relfective conversation mixed with collaborative play is a viable framework for authentic team development.