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Team Building Meeting: Tips On How to Run It Successfully

Help your team members work better together with these tips for planning a productive team-building meeting.

Your team members are your organization’s backbone, and your success relies on how well your team performs. That means the better your team can work together, the better your organization runs – and the better everyone’s work. 

Team-building efforts can bring your team together and lead to exactly the collaboration you need. Below, you’ll learn how to hold team-building meetings – and why you should do so.

What is a team-building meeting?

A team-building meeting is a meeting you call to build bonds among team members while helping them all communicate and collaborate. These meetings can involve exciting outings somewhere new or activities in the office. They’re also a great opportunity to give your team members updates and guidance on where the organization is headed. This way, everyone keeps on working from the same page.

Team-building meetings worth showing up to

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How to run a team-building meeting 

Maybe it’s your first time holding a team-building meeting, or maybe you feel like something’s missing from your regular sessions. Either way, the tips below can help you make the most of your team’s time together – and give them an unforgettable bonding experience.

1Pick an activity leader

To help your team-building meeting run smoothly, choose a leader to oversee all your activities. This person can be you, a team-building professional you’ve hired, or simply anyone outside the team. This way, all your team members can participate whether you’re working with a small team or a large group.

For example, let’s say you’ve planned a scavenger hunt icebreaker. In that case, the activity leader will explain the rules, put the team members into groups, and keep track of the time. If your team is taking a trip, the leader will make sure everyone is there and participating. They’ll also try to accommodate any special requests.

2Choose a focus for your meeting

You want your meeting to be memorable and exciting, and it can be easy to get caught up in all the fun. But, at the end of the day, what lessons will your team bring back to the office? While team-building games, laughs, and bragging rights can all be part of your meeting, there’s a bigger goal here. You want to start developing team members’ practical skills and give them the tools to keep developing them once your meeting ends.

That’s why identifying a focus or theme can help you hold the best possible team-building meeting. This focus can guide your meeting agenda and how you carry it out. For example, if you noticed your team communicated poorly during a recent project, you might choose communication as your focus. Everything you do will show your team why effective communication skills matter – and how to build them.

For example, you might choose to set up an obstacle course and divide your team into pairs. The catch is that your one person from each pair has to get through the course blindfolded. To win, the blindfolded person’s partner must guide them through the course first. This activity teaches your team members how to communicate clearly and quickly to efficiently complete tasks. 

3Involve every team member

The whole point of team-building meetings is getting your team members together and interacting with each other. To do that, you have to include everyone on your team. After all, what’s a team-building meeting without your full team? As you’re preparing for your meeting, make sure you’re thinking of activities that everyone can enjoy.

Allergies, disabilities, and religious beliefs are all points to consider as you’re planning activities. For example, you might not want to organize a group hiking trip if one of your team members recently had knee surgery.

During your meeting, you or your activity leader should make sure everyone is actively engaged. If anyone seems a little shy, be intentional about helping them get comfortable with the rest of the group. You want everyone to be fully present in the team-building experience.

4Emphasize your meeting’s importance

A clear meeting purpose is especially important at team-building meetings since they have special importance. They help your team be its best, which means they help your organization be its best. If your team understands how big of a deal that is, they might take the meeting more seriously.

On that front, it can help to plan your meeting well in advance. Last-minute meetings can seem like an afterthought and come off rushed. That can make it harder for your team to understand the meeting’s importance. A meeting with a week or two or notice shows forethought and gives your team some time to prepare.

You should also send out the meeting agenda a day or two before the meeting as well. This way, your invitees know what to expect, and they also know you’re taking the meeting seriously. You can also mention your team-building event occasionally throughout the workweek to get people excited. Tell them you’re looking forward to having a ton of fun developing the team.

5Make your meeting exciting and engaging

As your team members participate in your meeting, they’ll strengthen their relationships and build new bonds with each other. These bonds can help everyone work better together. They’re also easier to build if your meeting is truly exciting and engaging.

You should plan team-building exercises that will get everyone involved and excited. Examples include icebreakers and group brainstorms. You can also invite guest speakers to share ideas and informally but meaningfully educate or train your team. 

A new but experienced voice in the room can also bring a fresh perspective that excites everyone and gives them something to talk about. The watercooler conversations (or Slack channel) the next day might just pop off.

Whichever way you go, make sure everything you do builds team collaboration. This way, everyone is strategizing, communicating, and working – and winning – together.

6Celebrate wins

During your meeting, take some time to praise your team members for their recent successes. Tell the group about a team member’s promotion, sales record, or out-of-the-box solution to a problem. 

You can also go around the conference room and ask your attendees to share recent victories, no matter how big or small. This way, your team members get recognition from both you and their fellow team members. This camaraderie can give your team members ideas for new goals while encouraging them to continue their great work.

The goal of a team-building meeting 

The main goal of any team-building meeting is to build team collaboration and develop key skills. There are also a few other benefits these meetings can bring to your team.

1Connecting virtual and in-person team members

Some of your team members might be working from home. Others might come into the office every day or have a hybrid work schedule. Holding a team-building meeting allows you to bring all your team members together so everyone truly feels like a part of the team. This unity can improve your organization’s company culture since your team members will feel more connected – and comfortable – with each other.

2Getting everyone on the same page

Team building meetings are great for sharing ideas, updates, and visions. This way, you can get everyone up to speed while giving them what they need to effectively work together. You can ask your attendees to contribute too – just have them share how they’ll work together to tackle their goals. While you’re at it, give everyone some motivation and inspiration. This way, they’ll know that they can conquer even the biggest obstacles if they start from the same place.

3Encouraging collaboration

The more your team is together, the more they can learn about each other’s work styles and habits. That means they’ll better understand how to work with each other. 

The shared experiences of a team-building meeting can build trust and understanding among your team members. The result of that is often that working together becomes even more seamless. Your team-building meetings can be especially helpful for introducing new team members and helping them feel comfortable. After all, team bonding is for everyone on the team – including you.

Free one-on-one team building brainstorm meeting template

Building a team, strengthening a foundation

The many activities you can include in your team-building meeting can help your team reach new levels of unity, communication, and collaboration. And now, you know how to plan a productive team meeting that brings everyone together to improve everything about your organization.

With Fellow, you can easily make a team-building meeting agenda well in advance and get feedback from your attendees after the meeting. It’s time to start building your team the right way.

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About the author

Konstantin Tsiryulnikov

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