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Shared Experiences

There should be many shared experiences both personal and professional in which all team members are collectively involved. Shared experiences cause team members to change from focusing on themselves to identifying with the team. Spending time and sharing experiences with one another does not mean sitting next to one another in cubicles or going to staff meetings together. These things by themselves will not build morale, pride, and spirit.

Spending time with one another and sharing experiences can be accomplished in a social context. Some may view this as a waste of time, but it can be a most effective means of building morale, pride, and spirit. The time spent doing this is really an investment in the team and its vision. Rather than spending more time working, spend some time in social activities. This may sound counterintuitive, but it will actually have a high impact in achieving the increased productivity and teamwork we desire. Shared social activities improve communication, understanding, and relationships among team members. They also cause members to identify more closely with the team. They are therefore critical to the process. Many leaders actually budget for social activities; this is money well spent. There are many creative ideas on how the team can spend quality time together other than in meetings and in an official capacity. Leaders can choose from the following list or create their own lists of activities that would be acceptable and well received by their team members. The personalities of the team members and the situation of the team would dictate which social activities would have the highest positive impact. Sound judgment must also be used because too many social activities could actually have a negative effect on morale. This would be true if team members have a high preference for introversion and a low need for inclusion.


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