Ten Things Not to Do at a Corporate Team Building Event

corporate team building activities pictures

This list was inspired by attending over 300 team building events in my corporate career. I hope you like it and find the advice useful for your next team building event. If you are in charge of team building events, I am begging you to stop holding team building events.

Ten Things Not to Do at a Corporate Team Building Event

10 If your company is having a team building event, do not think your team relationships will last. If you do, at best you will be seen as weak and someone to avoid. At worst, the next promotion will go to your new friend who explained to the boss how needy you are.

9 If your company has a team building event, do not fall for the old trust building exercise. If you do, at best your trust will not be reciprocated. At worst, you will place your trust in someone who in the end wants to see you dead.

8 If your company has a team building event, do not get paired with the boss. If you do, at best you will get low grades for being too subservient. At worst, your boss will think you are not made of the stuff originally thought and will introduce you to the meaning of the phrase persona non grata.

7 If your company has a team building event, do not believe the idea is to have fun. If you do, at best you will be the only one. At worst, the note taker will immediately label you as someone who does not take work seriously.

6 If your company has a team building event, do not believe the wearing apparel instructions. If you do, at best you and the company psychologist will be the only ones dressed in jeans and sweatshirt. At worst, the biggest boss on the planet will drop by the exercise to see how it is going and will enquire of your boss, “who’s the other psychologist?”

5 If your company has a team building event, do not try to be the best player in the skill competition. If you are, at best your boss will believe you have too much time on your hands. At worst, your boss will appoint you as team leader for the next team building event.

4 If your company has a team building event, do not think the free food and drinks are on an all you can eat buffet. If you do, at best you will be seen as someone who is obviously lacking self-control. At worst, your boss will wonder if you always take advantage of the company expense account and inform finance to conduct an audit of your expenses.

3 If your company has a team building event, do not think the truth hour is for telling the truth. If you do, at best you and the company psychologist will become simpatico. At worst, your boss will be counting the moments until you and they will be alone so that the longer term franchise you were counting on can be terminated.

2 If your company has a team building event, do not try to bring any new ideas during creative hour. If you do, at best your peers will poke enough holes in your idea to kill it. At worst, thinking outside the box will only convince your boss that perhaps your belongings should be in a similar container and both of you escorted out by security.

1 If your company has a team building event do not sing along when the psychologist puts the Queen CD in the player and “We Are the Champions”starts playing. If you do, at best your co-workers will think you are a throwback to the 80s. At worst, your boss loves “We Are the Champions” and your off note singing is making the neck hair stand up which will be a reminder to ask HR to have you transferred to Guam before the next team building event.

17 comments

  1. #4 . . . If your boss does ask you about why you’re taking so much pizza, it’s best not to answer with ‘I wouldn’t be so hungry if you gave us an hour lunch break instead of 30 minutes’. This is only helpful if you’ve already put your 2 weeks notice in and have openly checked out of the job.

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    1. And your new employer has checked your references.

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      1. Eep! That was always my fear. A former boss would badmouth me because I made them angry for some reason. Usually that reason was leaving for one reason or another.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I went to one where we had to fall out of a tree to be caught by our peers…all I could see was me hitting the ground. Instead, I kicked my boss in the face. Not pretty.

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    1. I had the old fall back into the arms of fellow employees once. Hit the floor and pretended to have a concussion. Worked.

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  3. I am grateful that in all my years of employment, I’ve never had to participate in events like these 🙂
    Great list, John, and love the picture, too!

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    1. Good Monday morning Marie. Thanks for the re-blog as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on 1WriteWay and commented:
    Are you required to participate in team-building events with your coworkers? Continue on to John Howell’s blog for ten good reasons to call in sick the next time you’re faced with a team-building event 🙂

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  5. Great list, John! I loved #2! Like Marie, I’ve been fortunate to never have to endure one of these events.

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    1. Thanks, Jill. You are indeed lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm, maybe a transfer to Guam wouldn’t be so bad….

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  7. Somehow WordPress unfollowed you for me, John. I had been wondering for days now why you weren’t posting anything new. I just clicked over here, as your posts have always come to me via email so I don’t miss them, and received the news just now. Well la tee da…I have some catching up to do. Rats. My apologies for not hunting sooner.

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    1. This kind of thing happens a lot. Not to worry. (I did miss you though) 🙂

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  8. You’re right, John. These things never work, because the bosses never make it okay to try/admit/create anything, do they?

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    1. Bosses lose the ability to be creative. I think it is a fear factor.

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  9. Oh my gosh … everyone who has gone through those exercises can related … thanks for the giggles … well, and the reminders. 😉

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    1. It was fun. All together now, “Go Team.”

      On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 8:08 AM, Fiction Favorites wrote:

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