A foundation of team building is the formation of relationships between the members. It’s an ongoing process where people get to know one another better over time and needs to be revisited when new members are added. Relationship-building can also be helpful when a team is coming together in a new format— for instance, when a remote team is meeting together face-to-face.
There is a balance between the personal and professional in this area that will vary depending on the culture of the organization and the members of the team. Some individuals and contexts are more comfortable than others with a deeper level of personal sharing. We’ve all been around people who share too many personal details, and felt the resulting awkwardness. On the other hand, if no personal details are offered, there isn’t the same opportunity for bonding that happens when people discover common interests.
Using photographs will lead people to select things that are important to them. Participants will also be naturally curious about the photos selected by others. Many conversations will spring up around how different people see various things in the same images. All of this will help people get to know each other in a much deeper way than if they are just asked for their names and titles.
One question on participants’ minds may be, “Who is on board?”
Focus on building relationships when:
- Getting to know each other
- Creating a sense of belonging
- Deepening existing connections