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Team Building Events for Working With Different Personalities

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson

When people with very different personalities are working for the same organization or department, you can sometimes run into problems when these personalities clash. Finding team building exercises that can work well for each team member can be a helpful way to foster a better working community.

Personality Questionnaires

Personality differences can be overcome by discovering each team member's personality type. Have each team member fill out a personality questionnaire that includes information at the end about how each personality type perceives information differently, communicates differently and interacts with others. The team should share the findings of the tests with one another and brainstorm about how they can all work together by understanding their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Skills-Based Teambuilding

A skills-based team building session isn't a fun, ice-breaking activity. Instead, it involves workshops and seminars that teach specific skills on how to handle conflict that may erupt between different personalities, how to reach a consensus among different personalities, and even how to respond to criticism. Often, a professional facilitator leads the workshops. The sessions also include homework that includes implementing the skills taught in the workshop by assigning team members to work together to accomplish specific goals.

Creative Exercises

Creative exercises are more fun, laid-back sessions that allow team members with different personalities to understand one another better in a non-threatening atmosphere. One often-used method involves having each team member draw a personality tree. The root symbolizes the person's basic beliefs, the branches represent relationships and interests, the fruit on the tree symbolizes achievements and the buds are dreams and goals. The team members then meet together and each person shares his tree and explains what each item means to him.

Activity-Based Experiences

An activity-based session is the more traditional type of team building activity. Participants with different personalities are forced to rely on one another in order to reach a goal. This can teach employees to learn to trust one another despite having different personalities. These activities usually take place outdoors and may involve exercises such as completing a ropes course or participating in a boot camp. A ropes course consists of different outdoor stations with group problem-solving challenges. The tasks are typically grouped in high and low categories, such as using a rope to climb a 35-foot tower or getting a group across a swinging balance beam.

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