Team Building vs. Team Development
If you are responsible for managing people, then you have probably heard a whole lot about the importance of team building and team development. You might have even heard these terms so much that you, understandably, think they are synonymous with each other.
These two topics are very similar, but distinctly different. They both however, are essential for the long term health of your team.
Team Building is simply about getting away from the office, away from the work with your team. This allows team members some space to become friends and get to know one another better. This makes the team members feel more comfortable and confident around each other. These are usually events, weekend retreats doing activities uncommon to what you do during your work time that are intended to build trust, challenge you and conquer fears.
However, it is important to understand that team building WILL NOT…
- Solve problems of mistrust
- Increase commitment
- Overcome past events
- Increase levels of accountability
- Increase a desire or care for achieving great results
That is why you need team development as well.
Team Development is the process that a team takes to understand its potential and how to be become better. How not only to make a difference today, but to move forward. This is where you put the hard work in. Here is where you teach the team how to work together, how to communicate, defining processes and addresses overdue issues that are causing strife within the team.
Let me give you an analogy that may help you visualize the differences so you can relate it back to teams.
Think about property…the person who builds the house is different than the person who developed the house. Builders show up to put the wall together, but developers see the potential for the wall, how it can be used. Developers will consider how something being built will affect its environment and have a positive impact over an entire community. Also, developers work may be related to skills. They are going to have to understand the value that each team member (resources) brings along with any other untapped resources that may be available to make this idea work.
Guiding a team through building and developing is essential and can be fun. Over time even the more cynical members will begin to contribute when they see it working.
While team building attempts to temporarily bridge the gap between individualism and teamwork, team development continually focuses on developing all areas of the team over a longer period of time.
I want you to think about what are you doing with your team. I want you to commit to always be addressing at least one of these two things. It doesn’t have to be at the same time. You can stagger them, but always be doing them.
SL Smith & Associates became a firm in late 2014. It was a result of the owner, Stephanie Smith breaking out from working for SAP consulting firms and doing it on her own, convinced that the cookie cutter consulting the same way for every one was so frustrating and not getting the job done.
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