Are we really looking for team building?


Many clients contact us asking for team building, but are really looking for something a little bit different. While the term “team building” has become a part of our business fabric, like many other 21st-century buzz words, it is often overused, or misused. For us, the key differentiator is whether a group is looking for team building or relationship building.

The two terms often get confused and are used interchangeably. While that’s fine if you’re having a general conversation, it’s important to define what you are looking for, so that you can manage expectations with your group, your stakeholders, and your vendors.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how to tell the difference:

Team Building:

  • Is designed around a specific goal, like trust, communication, or leadership, that is transferrable back to the workplace
  • Has an intentional curriculum
  • Is delivered by professional facilitators
  • May be themed around a behavior assessment, like DiSC or MBTI, or a specific concept, like the Five Dysfunctions of Teams or GRPI
  • Incorporates time for reflection on the activities
  • May include some follow-up work

Relationship Building:

  • Is also designed around a goal, but the goal tends to focus less on the workplace and more on having a good time in the moment
  • May follow a specific schedule, but is not tied to a workplace outcome
  • Can act as a stand-alone activity
  • Typically does not include any reflection or debrief time

Click here for a complete article on the differences between the two, written by Stephanie.

The good news? Most of our activities can be tailored around both outcomes! If you’re looking for fun, no problem! If you want your activity to be designed and debriefed around a specific workplace issue, we’ve got you covered!

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