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Make_it_team_building_but_for_the_non-rah-rah_folks_Leading_On_Purpose_Newsletter-858ad31c Make it Team Building but for the Non-Rah-Rah Folks

Make it Team Building but for the Non-Rah-Rah Folks

27 March 2024

Have you noticed that people at your organization have different temperaments?

Of course you have. Personalities range drastically from loud and attention seeking to meek and wallflower. There's the person holding court at the water cooler as a stand up comedian. There's the employee with a few close friends at work who they really open up to but otherwise they don't say much. There's the person who comes in to work, clocks out at five on the dot, and wants no communication with any co-workers during their time off.

Every employee is different, therefore, it's important that team building and team bonding take into account these differing behaviors.

You might have attended an organizational event where everyone is expected to converse, cheer, and make merry even though many employees aren't the rah-rah type. To them, this kind of event is torture and they're just trying to survive. It's not fun, but instead a miserable and never-ending experience for their personality type.

We call this forced fun. Maybe you don't want to put the 'forced' label on your events, but if they are mandatory and during work hours.... You are by definition 'forcing' employees to attend.

While 60-75% of people are extroverts, they make up a slightly larger percent of C-suite roles at 70-75%. This means there's a 3 in 4 chance an extrovert is the one planning a company meeting or event. While planning the event, the leader is probably thinking like an extrovert and not prioritizing the needs of the introverted employees. Let's take a look at how we can correct this.

Can non-rah-rah folks who don't like group settings be comfortable in a forced fun scenario?

Temperaments and work styles play a big role in how employees approach business meetings and corporate wide events. Some enjoy getting the chance to converse with other team members or individuals in different departments who they don't get to see often. Some like the opportunity to hold court and share their stories and jokes within big group settings.

But your non-rah-rah individuals generally despise or quickly tire of these interactions. They would actually rather be sitting at their desk getting their work done rather than being in a big room with lots of other employees and leadership. The introverted employees can quickly become overstimulated. When this happens they are incapable of taking in and retaining any information shared during the event.

"Just don't hold any events. That's what you're telling me?"

Absolutely not.

I'm telling you to think about all the different personality types in your office then think about how your events could make everyone comfortable.

Gain insights on your employees from the DISC Assessment. If you don't already know, DISC is an assessment that measures four separate factors: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. The more you understand your employees and their behaviors, the more you can tailor events to their needs.

On Purpose Adventuresare experts at this. We've been told that because of the design of our activities, we make people with all different temperaments comfortable. Even folks that aren't the rah-rah type feel good about the experience.

How can organizations hold team building and bonding activities that non-rah-rah types can enjoy?

  1. Host the event outside. With more space and areas for introverted employees to seek refuge, all employees can find a space where they feel comfortable. You immediately remove any claustrophobic feelings certain employees could experience when lots of people are in one indoor space.
  2. If you can't get outdoors, at least change the setting. Go to a different room or space than the teams regular workplace. In the book Community, the author shares that the layout of a room is as important as the conversation being had. Intentionality with the room design is critical. How is the sound? Have you thought about the engagement of employees and where they will be seated? Are the tables rectangles, circles, or crescent shaped? Thinking through all the design and sound before employees enter the space will make for a more impactful event.
  3. Break big events into smaller groups. If you have a group of 50 people, an employee cannot have meaningful, memorable interactions with the other 49. As quickly as possible, get your group of hundreds into smaller groups of eight or less. This will immediately make non-rah-rah types more comfortable. The Navy Seals create 7-man teams where one person has 6 reports. They do not recommend having more than 6 reports. We stretch that slightly with the team aspect and allow up to 8 people on one team, but we recommend having groups of 6 because they get to engage easily and each team is still left with a variety of temperaments and personality styles. Our Scavenger Hunts send smaller teams off on their own. Greater connections can be made this way, more discoveries, and extroverts and introverts can enjoy the activity.
  4. Start with connection before content. Think ice breakers but know the phrase 'ice breaker' is unsettling to a lot of employees. So, we say connection before content meaning intentional relationship building from the start with purpose behind the activity. This activity can have energy for the folks who want the energy, AND it can have purpose for the folks who need that. The most important part is to convey the meaning behind the activity.

The majority of leadership and employees want to work for a company that prioritizes community and teamwork:

  • About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important”.
  • 99.1% prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively.
  • 54% of employees say a strong sense of community (great coworkers, celebrating milestones, a common mission) kept them at a company longer than was in their best interest.
  • 50% of the positive changes in communication patterns within the workplace can be accredited to social interaction outside of the workplace.
  • 37% of employees say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying.

The non-rah-rah employees simply want events to be tailored to fit their needs as much as they are tailored to fit the needs of extroverts. A delicate balance needs to be reached when holding team building and bonding activities so all employees can reap the benefits.

If your organization would like help creating meaningful team building and bonding that rah-rah and non-rah-rah employees can enjoy, send me a message!

For more on this topic, check out these blog posts: