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Team Building vs Team Bonding: What's the Difference?

Without diving too deep into the matter, most people would assume that the terms "team-building" and "team bonding" were more or less, interchangeable...
2021.03.02.

Without diving too deep into the matter, most people would assume that the terms "team-building" and "team bonding" were more or less, interchangeable. But they are most certainly not one and the same thing. Essentially, both these terms have been hijacked as corporate-speak and are used with reference to the concepts of nurturing teams. It's important that every team leader should know the difference between these two concepts. So, without further ado, let's have a look....

Team Building

To all intents and purposes, team building is about the efforts made to make a team more efficient. The measure of this is productivity. That's the important factor here. Team building activities are those which encourage the individuals to work together as a team with the aim of achieving a particular objective or goal. These activities are a great means of developing the skills necessary to work together as one cohesive unit. 

With effective team building, the individual takes second place to the overall team. Of course, individual roles still exist, but their purpose is geared towards propelling the team forwards as one unit, towards a common goal.

Team Bonding

Team building focuses on either increased or more efficient productivity. Team bonding focuses on making stronger relationships with a team. Though team building might achieve some of the aims of team bonding, it doesn't function the other way around. Team bonding activities, on the whole, are a simpler affair. They can be easily achieved socially, by meeting for drinks or simply spending some quality time together. Anything from a dinner, to karaoke or a trip out of town.  

It could well be argued that you can't have a team-building without involving some form of team bonding. They're not wrong either. Working together as a team can be constantly evolving and improving as the team members become more acquainted with each other. Having a good relationship together is going to enhance a team's overall effectiveness. As such, we can look at team building as what's good for the business in a direct way. But team bonding is good for the workers and represents a good investment, even though it may appear at first glance to be recreational.

Team Building and Team Bonding are Equitably Valuable

Today's businesses seem to concentrate on the team-building aspects, with huge amounts of time, effort, and money being poured into new ideas designed to make for the perfect functional team. But nothing happens on its own in a vacuum. Team building is thee to instill a common goal and then common means of getting there. Team bonding is designed to promote respect, communication, and an understanding of each other. 

How are Team Bonding and Team Building Co-Related?

We suppose that team-building should come before team bonding, in an ideal world. That's because you want your team to have an aim in place before they set off. They can bond to a certain degree over a team-building exercise with a common aim. Team building will be used to promote trust and enhance collaboration, along with giving members a confidence boost. 
 
Then team bonding can step into the ring. The job now is to build on these relationships we saw during the game-play. Make those connections even stronger. For this, you ideally want a lot of fun activities. Because team bonding breaks down any formal barriers or shyness, it means that all the team members can feel inspired to contribute towards the business's greater goal. They can give suggestions and be motivated to become part of the team. At the end of the day, both these concepts matter. If you want your business to have a smooth path going forwards, then try and combine both of these important factors. 
 

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