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Team Building for Two

By Emilie Shoop (1029 words)
Posted in Management on July 16, 2014

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Sometimes when an organization is growing or going through changes, the team you may be the new supervisor or manager of includes yourself and only one other person.  Many leaders I’ve seen in this position tend to think that team building, good communication skills, or policies and procedures don’t really apply to them.  Since they are so small, I can see why it might seem like that is the case.  However, no matter how small your team may be, it’s always important to be building the team.

 

Team building for two may seem like a lot of work if you are thinking of going on an outdoor adventure retreat, or participating in a ropes course.  There are so many things you can do to build up your small team that are just the right size for your team.  But first, you have to know where to start.

 

Before diving in to any team building activity (literally and figuratively), decide what you want your team to get out of it.  What makes now a good time to team build?  What’s missing that you would like to improve upon?  What is going right that you would like to ensure there is more of?  Be specific.

 

Once you have decided what you want to gain from doing the team building activity, you can start to evaluate the activities available for a good fit.  There are a ton of books and websites that will give you great ideas.  For a team of two, you may have to alter the instructions a bit, but you will definitely see how they work for only two people.

 

To get your wheels spinning let’s look at some examples.  This team of two would like to have some fun together to build rapport and make it so it’s not all business all the time.  They also would like to improve their communication, increase trust, and feel more unified.

 

Ice Breaker

 

A simple Ice Breaker activity that I suggest to almost all of my clients is a “Getting to Know You” questionnaire or interview.  Each person fills out a form that you design to ask questions about each other.  It should include personal information about family life, hobbies, foods, and so on.  As a manager it’s also to have on the questionnaire questions about how the individual likes to be rewarded for a job well done.  You’d be surprised at how many times it’s a simple as a can of pop, or a handwritten note!  After it’s filled out, take the time to talk about all of the great information captured and get to know each other!

 

Easy Fun

 

At work we are constantly solving problems.  Budgets, deadlines, client needs, and so on all wear on us from time to time.  Take some time for some easy fun, which uses your problem solving skills for a team building activity.  Pick up a book or do a search online for brain teasers.  I like it when they are specific to the time of the year just for the fun of it.  Sit down with your team member and work on them together.  Just for the fun of it.  It is always neat to see how each other approach the problems, where their thoughts come from, their experiences, and how much they get into it.  Remember that on the next big project and put those skills and experiences into use!

 

Change Venues

 

How long have you and your team worked in the same space?  There is a lot of power in mixing things up.  One thing you can do is move a regular meeting to an off-site location.  Can the two of you meet at a coffee shop for your next meeting?  Often, the conversation about where to go will help you learn a lot about each other so pay attention in the process.

 

If you are not able to leave your work environment, what can you do to change things up inside your work space?  About once a year, my team and I would clean and rearrange and it was always a great way to learn more about each other, work together in a different way, and take a break from the day to day grind.  We were always more efficient after and refreshed with the new arrangement.  Ask lots of questions and bond during that time!

 

 

Team building for two can be simple, or elaborate.  Take the time to team build, no matter how small your team is.  You will see an increase in the engagement and efficiency of your team!

 

{#/pub/images/EmilieShoop2014.jpg}Written by Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting A sought after Coach, Mompreneur, Strategist, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Trainer & Business Consultant, Emilie works with people who are ready for that next level of success, and realize how they work with people is KEY.  Her coaching will help you lead, delegate, sell, collaborate, perform, influence, and relate with people to launch your success to the next level. She provides clients, teams and organizations the skills and tools for leadership and professional excellence.

 

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