How business games and team work help you build a cohesive team.
Interview with Katerina Georgieva | By Darie Nani
“A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” Simon Sinek
The most effective teams in the world, don’t just ‘happen’. They are build by good leaders understanding that a cohesive team is worth so much more than the sum of its parts. Official reports bring a new light on psychology and neuroscience, and have at their centre the importance of Mental health and Wellbeing, and how colleagues’ emotional status determine the performance of a business. Work absorbs more than any other activity in our life and recent studies suggest that for some people those are the most stressful moments in their lives. As a results, lack of openness and trust in the workplace have huge impacts on productivity. These studies show that the most successful companies invest in developing individuals and a culture of team work by encouraging practical management, leadership and personal skills. However, it is not enough just to create the structural conditions so that departments and their employees can interact smoothly with each other. The circumstances must be created so that the employees really want to do so.
Katerina Georgieva of Catalyst Switzerland, thinks of her life as a series of social experiments. She developed a passion for experiential learning games and a fascination for human behaviour.
Reflecting on the team building experiences as an opportune environment for people to bond, Katerina believes that every single participant plays a vital role in the success of their team. Developing individuals and a culture of team work in any organisation requires practical management, leadership and personal skills.
What can you tell us about Catylist Switzerland?
Our company is behind all Switzerland’s great team building experiences. My husband has been a part of the network for over 8 years and I like to organise events. We have talked about extending the Catalyst Global network in Switzerland for a while but we doubted that we can make it. The birth of our daughter changed my whole perspective on life and gave me a different meaning and courage. We have decided to settle down in Verbier for good and that’s how we started Catalyst Switzerland. I love what we do now, and who wouldn’t, we play games for a living !
I have always considered myself a contemporary nomad and while traveling around I have done quite a few different things, from renting video tapes to organising high-end weddings. I have worked as a secretary, international tour guide, conference organiser and a wedding planner. I have travelled to over 40 countries and I lived in 5 of them. I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world!
What makes Catalyst unique?
Different team building programs focus on different practical skills. Deciding on the skills you want to develop in your team is critical to choosing the right program and its ultimate success. We deliver over 130 impactful programmes to create high performing teams. We are so proud to be part of the Catalyst Team Building Network, the largest community of team building providers in the world. We love interacting with our audience, inspiring the achievement of delegates and helping to create change in your organisation. We deliver proven team building activities and business training games upholding the Catalyst Global standards of excellence. Our team building experiences have lasting outcomes and are fun and engaging!
With such a vast knowledge on the subject, what would you say are the most important aspects of building a successful team?
To mention just a few we can start with good cross – functional communication, collaboration and creative thinking.
Collaboration is the process of working together to generate ideas and solve problems together towards a shared vision. In an interdependent organisation, it is the key to creative thinking and vitality important to getting the best results for solving complex problems. For it to be successful it is imperative to identify when and how to collaborate. This comes with practice.
Research shows that collaboration is most successful when it involves people with a range of work styles, differing values, as well as, cultural differences, education and work backgrounds. These people will bring truly different thinking and as a result a problem will be approached in a multi-faceted way. For it to work at this level effectively, however, trust and mutual respect is imperative!
To be a great leader you need to communicate clearly with your teams and this works best when you really speak the language of your listeners. Everyone needs to be on the same page so don’t shy away from giving explanations in more ways than one if you have to. Start with the big picture and then divide the information into sections. Listen to your team and make sure they understand, ask questions and give feedback. Again this is all about clear communication!
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