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A New Way to Do Team Building



You’ve seen it before – team members who are uninvolved. Conflict. The inability to achieve consensus. A lack of commitment. If developing cohesive teams seems to you like an unattainable goal, this webinar is for you. We’ll explore the dynamics of teamwork and provide you with a fun and easy-to-implement training solution that will engage your audience, get team members excited, and better enable them to achieve synergistic results.

Join training expert Gary Turner as he showcases the importance of group-process skills in team building with the webinar A New Way to do Team Building Training, which is based on Jungle Escape, the high-energy team building game that’s been a bestseller and perennial favorite among trainers. The scenario challenges teams to work together. Along the way, they explore and practice critical group-process skills such as team planning, problem-solving, decision making, and conflict resolution.

Attendees will learn

  • How to identify a group as one of three types of teams
  • Nine key indicators of team effectiveness
  • How to help teams find the balance between planning and implementation
  • The characteristics of a cohesive team – and how you can help your teams achieve this ideal
  • Action planning steps teams can implement immediately


Gary Turner is an award-winning trainer and consultant. Gary has over 30 years of professional experience with major corporations such as M&M Mars, Aramark, and AT&T. He has been a requested speaker at conventions of ASTD, Association for Quality and Participation, College and University Personnel Association, the International Collaborative Organizations Conference, and at annual meetings for companies around the world.

Gary holds two Masters degrees, one in Communication from the University of Nebraska and another in History from Abilene Christian University. He earned his BA from Harding University.

Related learning

A case study about HRDQ’s Jungle Escape and Team Building

I work as a consultant with a team who “behave very well” at the surface, but I know that they really have a lot of problems in communication and co-operation. Is it possible that people fake their behavior in an activity like Jungle Escape? I have tried many things already, but it seems I can’t help them to talk honestly about the problems they have.

Well yes, many team members tend to act one way in real life but another way when in a workshop or situation where they know they are being watched.  So many people “fake” their behavior when they are asked to talk honestly about the problems they have while being on a team.

Thanks why simulations and experiential exercises that can

You might remember the “Bud” story on slide #12. Before the Jungle Escape experience, the consultant (Gary Turner) discovered from other team members that Bud had a very controlling nature when working with his Human Resources team that discouraged all the team members.

So Mr. Turner was looking for Bud to behave that way during the workshop. In the first exercise, Bud was very un-controlling. And in the first minutes of Jungle Escape, he was still very laid back. But suddenly, his natural behavior started happening. He took pieces of the helicopter from his teammates. He moved all the work to a space right in front of himself and he stopped discussing what to do with his employees..

When the debrief started, Mr. Turner made his observations first asking all the teammates to respond. Everyone agreed with his observation about Bud taking control, even Bud agreed.

Then Mr. Turner asked for examples in the workplace where Bud took control. The whole team shared examples, and Bud understanding of his controlling nature started.

Then Mr. Turner asked the team to share how this negatively impacted the workplace. Once again, teammates shared.

Finally, Mr. Turner asked Bud what he could do about this and then asked the team how they could help Bud make the changes he wanted to make.

What happens is, the intensity of competition between teams in the room makes people revert to their natural inclinations and desires. People forget about how they appear to others and start working to accomplish what they want to do.

Therefore the advantage of intensive experiential learning used by HRDQ is that people work without the façade and in their natural way.  Notice on our learning model how the Jungle Escape activity fits in with Stage #1 and #2. Then Mr. Turner took the team through the next Stages of their learning.

One note of caution: You need to have very good observers looking for that natural behavior that you want to surface. If you are facilitating the session, you need be a very keen observer or to know what it is you are looking for.  Then you need to be accurate and sensitive when you comment on behavior you observed.

Some facilitators record behavior with pictures or video to playback. Some facilitators simply write notes of what happened, when it happened, and what were the team reactions to the behavior that was problematic.

Do you suggest all levels of employees are capable of all tasks for an efficient team?

Of course, as your questions implies, we believe certain teams are capable of doing all tasks which makes the team more efficient. Usually large amounts of cross-training are needed to produce this so it works best where all team members have the same role and responsibilities.

In doing this, this team has ready back-up when someone is ill, is on vacation, or is out for other reasons.

However, this is not possible in some teams. Some teams require very seasoned experienced professionals to do some of the more challenging tasks.

Just do not let that became an excuse for not broadening the work scope for each individual.

A few years ago I worked with an IT project team in which everyone “specialized” in certain tasks. One member, who did certain programing for the team, had a heart attack. Other team members could have received the training to do that programing, but the project manager thought I would be more efficient to just have one person do it. After the heart attack, the PM was unsure if that member would come back or not, so the PM delayed cross-training for other team members. That project ended up about 6 weeks late and with additional costs because there was not a back-up.

So a decision to develop capability may not seem wise, until the unforeseen happens.

The main point is that following the nine team elements of  the Jungle Escape experiential teamwork simulation helps. Study them, practice them.

What practical steps should a supervisor take in building a cohesive team with roles and responsibilities that is still being define?

Of course, as your questions implies, it is very challenging to become completely cohesive if we do not have clear roles and responsibilities. To get to the “cohesive” team stage all nine of the teamwork elements need to be actively working.

However, we tend to have faith and hope in teamwork if there are clear goals, supportive environment, meaningful involvement, open communication, and the other elements.

I have to ask why roles and responsibilities are still being defined if you have clear goals and objectives? Have you completed a process map (or flow chart) to ensure you are doing what needs to be done? Have you examined training needs for each work process?  If these questions are answered, the roles and responsibilities should become clear.

Sometimes completing a RACI chart will help you get clarity.

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