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Team building is an important strategy used by modern organizations to enhance performance through synergistic interactions. One of the main requirements for teams to function effectively is the ability of team members to communicate with ease among themselves. To this end, team building exercises boost the communication abilities of workers in a number of ways:
They become better listeners.
Listening is perhaps the most underrated communication skill. Many people hear but they do not listen and this leads to misunderstanding. Engaging in exciting and challenging group activities allows workers to interact with and know one another in a more relaxed setting. As they intermingle, they learn to appreciate one another and to listen because they expect valuable information from each of their work-mates.
They exercise empathy.
Team communication is enhanced when employees begin to understand and empathize with one another. During team building exercises, workers learn much more about their colleagues than was known before. When team members revert to the workplace setting, they tend to judge others less and engage in mutual activities. By becoming empathetic, workers overcome communication barriers that hinder effective performance.
They participate more actively.
Firms organize fun activities to encourage participation, which in turn promotes communication among team members. The more a team member participates, the more he or she communicates. Enhanced communication skills in teams help to break down walls of misunderstanding and division. As workers begin to contribute their ideas, the group becomes productive and achieves its objectives.
They acquire public speaking skills.
When employees venture outdoors or to environments that they are not used to for fun and interaction, they tend to open up and communicate with more confidence compared to when they are holed up in organizational premises. This promotes public speaking skills especially as they participate in common activities and make presentations. Oratory skills can greatly boost the performance of organizations particularly in the entertainment, training, consultancy and service industries.
They improve their negotiation skills.
Creative activities for small groups help participants to become better negotiators. This is a skill that is needed in every organization, particularly due to inevitable conflict and the need to share resources. As they interrelate and play exciting games and also engage in mentally challenging tasks, team members begin to realize their interdependence and the need to negotiate with the other party, which is crucial in improving team communication.
They become better non-verbal communicators.
Research and experience have shown that non-verbal communication bears more meaning than oral and written communication. Bringing workers together in a free setting where they share and intermingle helps them to utilize their nonverbal communication capabilities. They learn to decode the facial and body languages of their colleagues and this knowledge comes in handy when they return to the workplace.