The aim of this session was to improve the relationship between the international and Norwegian students. This was done through the use of team building exercises and also through how the groups were formed as within each group there was two or three Norwegian students and two or three international students. Over the course of the day we undertook six different team building activities:
- Building an improvised stretcher and carrying a member of the team from one point to the next.
- The next task was to build a fire and boil an egg.
- Task three was learning a Norwegian children’s song to perform in front of both the Norwegian class and the international students.
- The fourth task was a memory task were items had to be viewed and then recalled.
- The next task involved finding as many items as possible that match letters in the alphabet.
- The final task was carrying stones between two points to build towers, this was done against the clock and the amount of towers built was recorded.
All of these tasks were done competing against the other groups.
The use of any team building exercise are designed to help group members develop trust amongst themselves and also to allow for effective communication channels to be opened up (Dyer Jr, 2015), as the day progressed and the more activities that we participated in as a group a greater level of communication was evident, as conversations arose about how to complete tasks but also about other matters outside of the activities, showing that the activities were starting to take effect in bringing the group closer together.
During the course of the activities relationships began to form within the group, this is evidence of a good quality team building session, as an indicator of team building effectiveness is the increase in interpersonal relationships (Klien et al, 2009).
The introduction of a competitive element into the tasks was very beneficial as it seemed to increase group members motivation towards the task they were undertaking, personally this was the case for me. The use of rewards is a good motivator as success has been shown to increase individual’s intrinsic motivation towards tasks (Weinberg and Jackson, 1979).
Overall this week’s session was very beneficial and well run allowing for me to get to Know a number of the Norwegian students better and also to further the development of relationships already forming within the international students class.
Dyer Jr, W.G. (2015) Team Building. (11. Organisational Behavior Vols). .
Klien, C., DiazGrandos, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C.S., Lyons, R. and Goodwin, G.F. (2009) ‘Does Team Building Work’, Small Group Research, 40(2), pp. 181–222.
Weinberg, R. s and Jackson, A. (1979) ‘Competition and Extrinsic Rewards: Effect on Intrinsic Motivation and Attribution’, Research Quarterly. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 50(3), pp. 494–502.