As we get started in asking ourselves how team building could possibly be helpful in reaching our meeting objectives, let’s remind ourselves why we plan and host meetings in the first place. All meetings are (or should be) held with a purpose and implicit or explicit objectives. So in theory, all elements and activities should be focused on those objectives, right?
Here at PlayWorks Group, we like to follow the thinking of Maarten Vanneste, author of Meeting Architecture and founder of the Meeting Design Institute who says there are three overarching reasons we meet: Networking, Motivation and Learning. There is a TON of evidence you can find to support these three umbrella objectives in meetings.
So how does that have anything to do with play or team building? Let’s look more closely at the definitions those three main reasons why we meet.
Can we agree that networking is about interpersonal interactions between people to build relationships connections? Okay.
How about motivation? Can we perhaps say we are creating memorable and engaging moments to create brand loyalty and excitement and to recognize or celebrate team accomplishments? Hmmm.
Then there is learning. Certainly we want our participants to learn our company’s products, procedures, culture, techniques, and more. And we want them to retain that new learning and apply it. Perhaps we want them to learn some skills as well, say, problem-solving, communication, cooperation. Interesting.
Others are saying it too
So let’s look at just a few tidbits that can help us begin to put the pieces together.
Jeff Hurt of Velvet Chainsaw writes in his blog, Midcourse Corrections: “Neuroscientists Dr. David Rock and Dr. Daniel Siegel created the Healthy Mind Platter that includes seven daily activities we need to foster healthy strong minds…. These seven activities serve as essential mental nutrients that our brains need to function. By encouraging these activities [at meetings], organizers encourage attendees to strengthen their brain’s internal connections as well as their connections with other people.” Two of the seven daily activities are Play Time and Connection Time. It’s starting to sound a little like team building to me.
“Playfulness … as a personality trait in adults has been associated with a broad range of positive outcomes, such as academic success, coping with stress, innovative work performance, and subjective well-being to name but a few.” – American Journal of Play
We want creative, motivated, connected participants at our meetings, right? We want them to be the ones who change their behavior in such a way that the company grows and profits and innovates. So maybe we’re on to something here. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
This is post number 1 in a 4-part series. Next week we’ll be looking specifically at networking a critical component of your meeting or conference and as a natural outcome and benefit of team building events.