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Competitive vs Collaborative Team Building

When searching for team building activities, you may notice that events and activities are often grouped into two types, “competitive” and “collaborative”.

Both styles can make for a memorable day out for all involved, whilst also helping employees to grow and develop, but the key question that we’re often asked is which style will best suit my team building objectives?

To help you to make an informed decision, we’ve put together a handy overview of competitive Vs collaborative team building.


What is competitive team building?
As humans, we are innately competitive. From childhood we have a natural desire to succeed. Competitive team-building experiences build on this by involving an activity which requires individuals or small teams to complete a task or solve a problem quicker and more effectively than the opposing side.


What are the benefits of competitive team building?
Competitive activities can be exceptionally fun and are perfectly suited to teams that work within a competitive environment daily.
In addition to getting those competitive juices flowing, a competitive activity also brings with it the following long-term benefits:

Competitive activities can quickly highlight the communication styles of those around you – and consequently areas for improvement!
The satisfaction of winning as a result of working together towards one shared goal can greatly boost morale not only on the day, but also back in the workplace.
Members of your team may react to pressure differently. Some people may be natural-born leaders whilst others may listen for advice and instructions. Acknowledging these differences within a fun environment can lead to a better understanding of one another and enhanced communication.

What is collaborative team building?
Quite the opposite to competitive team building, collaborative experiences involve an activity or event which requires those involved to work together towards one end goal. There are no sides, you need to work as one collective entity to succeed. This could be to solve a problem, navigate an unfamiliar problem or overcome a series of challenges.

Success within these activities relies heavily on effective communication. Unlike competitive activities, there are no winners or losers here. If the group succeeds, everyone is a winner!


What are the benefits of collaborative team building?
Effective collaboration between team members can play a vital role in the success of any business. If a team is working towards one shared end goal, the ability to collaborate, co-operate and communicate effectively is crucial.

Collaborative team building helps workforces to put this into practice, quite literally.

Below are just some of the key benefits of taking part in a collaborative event:

Employees have the chance to demonstrate and draw upon a range of hard and soft skills – skills may be underutilised within the workplace
The activity can give employees the chance to appreciate the skill sets of other members of the team
Employees can also explore new roles and delegate
A newfound trust and patience can arise
Communication can be enhanced as each member actively listens to the ideas and concerns of others

So, which is better, competitive or collaborative team building?

If you’re looking for some light-hearted fun, any type of event would be ideal.

If you’re looking for team building activities to tackle an under-performing team, or you looking to develop personal development, you will need to think carefully about whether competitiveness or collaboration will help you to achieve your desired outcome. A little friendly competition can go a long way to encouraging people to co-operate and think critically. Collaboration, on the other hand, can be a great option for bringing departments closer together, bridging gaps and strengthening working relationships.


Indoor and Outdoor Team Building by KDM

At KDM Events, we develop team building activities focused on developing skills that make successful teams. From competitive activities such as dragon-boat racing and our ever-popular Hungry Games, to collaborative activities such as our GPS treasure hunts and our hugely popular Crystal Maze event, we guarantee to have something to suit every need.

For more information about our team building days out or to discuss your requirements in more detail, please give us a call today! A member of our team will be more than happy to help and can advise you on suitable options in your area.

You can also browse our complete indoor and outdoor team building portfolio online.