What do Apple, SpaceX, Google, and Microsoft all have in common? Each has a driven team of people working harmoniously towards a goal. There’s no coincidences or luck when it comes to successful teams.
Behind every high-performing team is a strong culture and effective communication structures.
In this article, you’ll learn how team building questions can help you understand the people you work with. By doing so, you can minimize interpersonal concerns and spend more time collaborating on common goals.
Building a team is crucial for delivery and daily operations in any organization, but it’s imperative in product management. In product management, teams are often challenged with complicated tasks and tight deadlines. If the teams don’t work harmoniously, it causes frustration and delays that result in significant losses.
Team-building questions encourages a culture that allows your team to handle complex topics, resolve conflicts, and foster openness.
In the day-to-day life of a product development team, members are expected to problem solve, think creatively, and align with goals. When you have a group of self-driven individuals, passionate discussions and differing viewpoints often arise. \
In such scenarios, you can facilitate the discussions with intentional team-building questions to enable everyone to feel comfortable with bringing up ideas, opinions, and solutions without hesitation. These questions should increase connections between the team members so they feel they can discuss complex topics with each other.
For example, imagine that new competencies have been introduced to an existing team ahead of a new product kick-off. In this scenario, the scrum master or product owner can facilitate some team-building questions at the beginning of the kick-off so that the new team members can understand and feel comfortable with the existing team members. This lets the current team get to know the new team member more than just understanding their competence.
Examples of team-building questions could be:
When a team is new and in the forming stage, icebreaker questions set the team’s tone. Icebreaker questions help people in the group learn about each other beyond work, but are not so personal that people feel uncomfortable sharing them with a bunch of strangers.
You can use icebreaker questions during kick-off or introduction meetings to keep the environment light and friendly. It’s a great tool to warm up and create a professional, yet fun atmosphere. Some research proves that those teams who do icebreakers or warm up activities have more productivity, less delivery time, and increased likability.
Icebreaker questions might include:
Other examples of questions to get people talking, thinking, and understanding could be:
During the following events, consider having impactful team building questions to increase team bond and understanding:
Team retreats and off-site events are a great way to nurture team bonding. They also require a lot of planning and execution to reap the maximum benefit. Planning team-building questions is a great way to nudge conversation and get people talking. Incorporating a mix of team-building questions during these events is crucial — they’re a lot more fun and some that can lead to deeper discussions.
A retrospective is for reflection and improvement. Start the retrospective with questions to set a positive tone, improve engagement, and encourage participation. It also helps create an open space for people to bring up problematic topics that might be harder to bring up without constructing a comfortable environment.
During kick-offs, communication and finding the right balance in the group takes a little extra effort. Ask team-building questions that align with long-term goals for maximum benefits. At the same time, these help set the team’s tone by mixing seriousness and fun to have a balanced work environment.
When forming a new team, the first introduction meeting is crucial. A conducive work environment is both welcoming and professional. It should promote accountability while allowing for creativity and enjoyment during work.
Team-building questions are a valuable tool to facilitate various events and meetings. When formulated with a specific purpose in mind, they have been shown to produce excellent results. Teams that engage in team-building activities typically perform better than those that do not.
In product management, high-performing teams are the organization’s biggest asset. By strategically using different types of team-building questions, you can create a dynamic and harmonious team that achieves results quickly, innovates, and has fun.
Featured image source: IconScout
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