Team Building: It Takes More than Just Trust Falls

By Matt Trocchio (@trochman)

Agency life has many factors to it:  multiple clients, multiple deadlines and multiple personalities working together.  If a team isn’t built properly the latter can be a detriment to all the others.  Well, how do you help strengthen the team without reducing yourself to old school methods?  Simple, find ways to get to know one another without it being ‘forced.’

At SHIFT Boston, we have been fortunate enough to participate in many activities that have helped with this.  There have been days spent volunteering together (such as with GBFB) and nights battling together on sports teams.  Right now, our softball team is in the start of its post-season.

Although our regular season record of 1 win, 11 losses may not showcase it, the season has been a real winner.  Each week the team carpools to different fields across the greater Boston area, pours their hearts onto the field, and from time-to-time enjoys a frosty beverage.

How does this sort of activity help an Agency? Well, it will at the very least:

  • Build Trust – Any team sport will ultimately come down to trust.  You have to trust that someone is going to do their best to ensure that everyone is safe and has a good time.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen SHIFTers come to the aid of another on the field to A) make sure they are ok after a play or B) have their back if another team is trying to get physical.
  • Build Confidence – Some call me “Dad” on the field, but there is nothing wrong with a little bit of cheering.  When someone can feel good about striking out on the diamond, they really won’t be as bothered if a pitch falls flat in the office.  Dust yourself off and try again.  You know you can do it.
  • Build Friendships – You may not all be BFFs, but I’d be shocked if you could sit on a bench, share laughs and drinks for a few innings and still not like each other somewhat.  Many of us will go out after games and share a drink or a bite to eat.  Although there will always be the aspect of ‘work’ in an office, it certainly doesn’t feel that way when you like the people sitting around you.

Now what do you do if you’re in a large company that can’t all play on the same team?  Well, these ‘internets’ I keep hearing about are a wonderful thing.  Share your fun!  Our softball team creates post-game press releases that recap the misadventures of our team and share them across the company so SF and NYC can get to know their ridiculous Boston counterparts.  We also post photos to Facebook and occasionally have folks on the bench tweeting out what’s going on.

I’ve had the pleasure of being Captain of our team for the last three years, and although the record may fluctuate, the outcome is always the same – everyone has fun and grows closer.  Wish us luck for the remainder of the summer and I hope to see you on the field next year.

4 Responses to “Team Building: It Takes More than Just Trust Falls”

  1. 2 Kimberly August 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    The Benchwarmers are the best! But not as cool as trust falls 🙂

  1. 1 Achieving Balance, or, How We Lost Andrea Trackback on August 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm
  2. 2 For the Love of the Game « Slice Trackback on June 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm
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