Team building from City Challenge
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The Core Competencies
High Performing Teams
Team Summary
The Analysis

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A Team Building Summary

A micro example of a Facilitator's Team Report

Use of initials denotes typical contributions from team members.

  1. Spend time as a team understanding our strengths and weaknesses and the next steps in our development
  2. How to optimise resources to deliver the 5 year plan
  3. Have fun
Everyone readily shared their personal objectives which became more specific with prompting.

Describe and rate the clarity of the objectives set by the team
Personal objectives were clearly stated and there was a good debate, involving the whole team, about what constituted 'team success' for the team objective. The team then agreed on 'scoring 75% (offered by BW) in both task and teamwork (offered by CP), whilst learning something new (offered by DS)'. NT wasn't interested in putting a percentage to the objective, but was able to agree it after prompting, as his personal motivation for the team objective was to 'do better than the average City Challenge team'. Interestingly no-one asked what the average CC team score was! There was some qualification of this objective from DS and MD who added 'to finish on time and not be disqualified'.

Describe and rate the ability of the team to plan effectively
Planning initially took the form of individuals familiarising themselves with the task and communication and was generally in the form of questions, as people were getting to grips with what was required. However people did talk over one another and listening wasn't always good, which prevented the planning moving ahead as quickly as it might. CP raised lots of ideas and posed several options for how to tackle the task. These were generally not heard until MD stepped in to facilitate, posing the ideas more directly to the group.

Describe and rate the effectiveness of communication in the team
The team was laid back and took the challenge in their stride. This meant that their communication was generally calm and rational. The team are pretty good at asking questions of each other, although are less forthcoming with feedback, either praise or constructive criticism. Because of this it is sometimes difficult to know where individuals stand - are you happy, frustrated, excited, annoyed etc?

Describe and rate the quality of the listening within the team
During the initial planning session listening wasn't good, as people spoke over one another. Quieter members of the team (CP, BW, DS) are less likely to be heard. Listening at meeting points was generally poor, but it did improve throughout the day and the banners session at the end indicated this.

Describe and rate the effectiveness of the team in drawing out learning points from the day's events
At the first review point the team seemed more interested in pursuing the task than reviewing how they were doing. When prompted, they did engage in the review and had some interesting ideas about how they could have improved their initial planning session. They tentatively engaged in the lunchtime review where they were asked to give each other some positive feedback, but were more open and relaxed in the final debrief of the day. However the team didn't initiate review sessions of their own or prompt each other to pull out learning points from the day's events (even though DS's specific personal objective was about that). Had this happened, the team would have had a greater chance of improving throughout the day.

Describe the effectiveness of this team to work together as a team
What would have improved their effectiveness?
The team is comfortable with each other and is able to work together as a team to achieve a common goal by adopting roles that are comfortable to them. I suspect they are used to each other's style, knowledge and skills and do not challenge themselves to see each other with 'fresh eyes' or listen to each other with 'fresh ears', which would greatly improve the effectiveness of the team to work together as a team.

Note: Consider all of the tips above to make improvements.

City Challenge facilitators have the depth of experience to help teams move forward with positive messages for the workplace. After working with a team for a period and observing them, City Challenge facilitators are able to list recommendations which will improve their effectiveness and productivity. For example with this particular team:

To maintain momentum on the learning points raised, City Challenge recommends:

Executive Coaching
All 6 team members would benefit from some coaching, tailored specifically to their development needs and designed to develop their ability to coach, facilitate and delegate.

Time Management
The team acknowledged that this was good on the day, but that they could improve at work by:
  • Prioritising - what is the biggest return?
  • Observing changing priorities
  • Revisiting deadlines
  • Scaling down the work that they take on
  • Looking at what can be dumped
  • Looking at what can be delegated
  • How to develop staff to take on more
  • How to delegate
  • How to give constructive feedback to our teams
  • Standing back to look at the overview rather than the detail
  • Getting more strategic in our focus
Clear Tasks
The team acknowledged the use of the Annual Plan and the Bi-monthly Reports to assist here, but that they could also improve by:
  • Giving feedback on individual performance.
Planning efficiency
The team acknowledged that they could have planned more effectively on the day and that they can improve on this at work by:
  • Making no assumptions!
  • Spotting opportunities (e.g. for cross working, for business growth) and updating each other
  • Controlling discussions through facilitation
  • Listening to ideas