What you will See:
- Taking the activity too seriously.
- Bending the rules or cheating.
- Extreme efforts to win or do better than others.
- Overly discussing the activity afterward with a focus on strategies and missed opportunities rather than on learning opportunities.
- A naturally competitive environment in the workplace like a sales force.
- Naturally competitive people.
- Too much focus on the activity from the facilitator.
- Work environment filled with silos and butt-covering
How to Prevent it:
- Focus the group’s attention on the activity’s purpose and learning goals when introducing it by front-loading the activity.
- For a naturally competitive group, select activities that encourage teamwork or that have less of an element of competition.
What to Do:
- Focus the Debrief on what happened, why it happened, group dynamics and so forth rather than on who won or did better than whom.
- Discuss the competitiveness that came out, why it occurred and how helpful or destructive it was – Competition CAN be good.
- If you must, stop the activity in the middle of the activity to remind the group of the purpose and learning goals
Adapted from Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers by Brian Miller.