There are indicators that can help teams determine whether they are working well together or not. They are the critical elements of team functioning. How teams handle each of these areas determines how effectively they will interact with other groups. The Jungle Escape activity is designed to surface many of these team indicators.

When inter-team functioning is effective, you will see:

  • Climate — A cooperative, supportive atmosphere exists in which people from different teams feel open and free to offer their ideas and perspectives.
  • Communication — Interactions are open and flexible; communication that is too rigid or accommodating would lead to inefficient work. When problems arise, communication is aimed at solving them rather than finding blame.
  • Active Listening — Team members are open to new ideas, whether those ideas come from one’s own team or the other team.
  • Information Gathering — Teams members have an agreed-upon approach for gathering information from the other team, rather than using a random approach.
  • Sharing Relevant Information — Information is shared among team members with the goal of accomplishing the shared task.
  • Shared Goals and Objectives — Both teams focus on the overall goal and do not let their personal team goals override the overall goal.
  • Willingness to Help Each Other and Make Accommodations — When needed, team members are willing and able to help each other to accomplish the task. Both teams make the necessary accommodations to account for the work of the other team. Independent teamwork would lead to the other team not accomplishing its work and, therefore, a half-finished job.
  • Conflict Management — Team members work through conflict in an open and constructive manner. Conflict between teams is neither escalated nor suppressed.
  • Task Satisfaction — Individuals feel excited and challenged about their work. A feeling of cooperation rather than competition exists between team members.

Teams need to be aware of the dynamics that are operating between them and find ways to address the critical elements so that greater productivity and satisfaction can be achieved.

jungle_escapeJungle Escape is a hands-on game that enables players to discover and practice critical group-process skills, such as team planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and conflict resolution.

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