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Leading a Discussion With Your Airmen on "Team Building"

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Introduction – Building effective teams has a direct impact on team performance and mission accomplishment.  The purpose of this discussion is to foster team cohesiveness through the use of discussion and team activities.

 This discussion addresses the Air Force Institutional Competencies of Fostering Collaborative Relationships.  Effective teams are an integral component to mission accomplishment.

Learning Objectives –  

1.       Understand that teams are an integral component to mission accomplishment

2.       Know the main components of an effective team 

3.       Understand how groups become teams.

Main Points

1.       Difference between groups and teams

2.       Impact of effective teams on mission accomplishment

3.       Value and types of team building activities


1.       TED Talk titled Build a Tower, Build a Team by Tom Wujec, (6:44)

2.       The Airman Handbook, Department of the Air Force Handbook 1, focus on Chapter 13, sections A and B.

Additional resources / links – There are a vast number of videos available on teams and team building. Here is a link to some.

There are also many team building activities available, based on group size, location, and resources.  Leaders should freely substitute team building activities that would be better suited for their local situation.

Here’s a link to the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (Tools/PaceSetters) page. Look for “Teambuilder Scenarios” to use as activities and discussion points. 



·         Goal: To increase communication among command teams and their Airmen to facilitate trust and team building. This lesson will facilitate that goal while discussing a specific topic with a small group members of your unit.

·         Questions for Command Teams to discuss:

o   Why do you think this conversation is important?

o   What do you want your Airmen to walk away from this discussion with?

o   What group will you be discussing this topic with (i.e., First-Term Airmen, CGOs, NCOs/SNCOs, civilians, supervisors, flight commanders)?

o   What forum will you be discussing this in (i.e. as part of a staff meeting, at a stand-alone event, at a commander’s call, during a brown-bag lunch session)?

o   Who will lead the discussion? Which Command Team members have a role?

·         For additional information on how to facilitate discussions, recommend reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide under the “Leading Squadron-Centered Learning” tab.

·         For additional resources on the topic, click on the “Additional Resources” link.


·         Introduction – What we’re going to talk about today and why

·         Goal – to keep the importance of teambuilding in the forefront of our minds

·         Timeframe – 45-60 minutes

·         Part I – View the TED Talk and read the Airman Handbook section; complete activity

·         Part II – Discussion:  Review the questions for thought and questions for discussion to develop your own questions specific to your organization.

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 1: Why do you think team building is important?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 2: How do you think we can do a better job of talking about the impact of effective teams?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 3: How can we bridge the gap between how we talk about team building and what we do day-to-day to foster team development?

·         Part III – What do you want your Airmen to walk away with? Do you want to challenge them to take action or change their behavior or step out of their comfort zone as a result of this lesson?

·         Questions for thought

o   \Is your squadron intentional about building an effective team? 

o   How do effective teams contribute to mission success?

·         Questions for discussion

o   What is an effective team? 

o   How does a high performing team impact the unit/squadron/mission accomplishment? 

o   Do activities foster team building/team development? 

How would/can you improve this team?