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How Many Makes A Team?

How Many Makes A Team? - Original article from Ice Team Build Events

If the objective goal is ‘Team Building’ in the literal sense, then logic dictates there needs to be a minimum of two participants per ‘team’. However, having groups of just two people per team may not achieve your ‘Team Building’ aspiration – unless you have cunningly and carefully chosen the two partners for a reason.

In its purest sense of the word, ‘Team’ Building, one has to first identify what the purpose or target of the Team Build is; it could be;

• Friendship building
• Seeing how colleagues ‘work together’ on a project or task
• Breaking the ice between new and old colleagues
• Observing characteristics traits or behaviours in people
• Analysing Management or leadership potential
• Evaluating problem solving skills – who can do and who cannot


With a team of ‘two’, one person will always emerge as the dominant character. Even if the two are best of friends, one person will always overshadow to some degree or other over the other. Observing this and how ‘dominant’ that person is could be a surprise or not as the case may be.

Two’s company, Three’s not a…
Three to a Team is perhaps the ideal. One person will emerge as a ‘Leader’ one as a planner/architect and one will be (within reason) ‘go along with the plan’ and ‘get on with the job’. For creating bonds or friendships, three can be a good number – depending on your industry and type of colleague.

Just the Four of us…
The dynamics will certainly change from 3 to 4 in the team. With three participants, they will fall in to ‘roles’. With four it will take someone of a ‘strong’ or very much likeable nature or personality to shine through and lead the group. Natural leaders may emerge; if not, the job of designating can fall upon you the organizer.

Five to Six…
With this amount of people in a Team, one could be heading towards potential problems or at least not being able to clearly see defined roles – if this is your goal objective. Five or six chisels all vying to carve could be problematical unless the planning stage of the Team Build has clearly been outlined and agreed.

Seven and more…
Teams of seven or more could in some circumstances lead to mayhem and all manner of problems. Although an ice block is a fair size (around 6-7 stone in weight), crowding 7, 8 or even 9 people around it will cause congestion and ultimately boredom and walking away as not everyone can carve at the same time. Everyone wants in their enthusiasm to ‘have a go’ but the dominant characters will edge out the lesser mortals.

The ideal as mentioned previously is around 3-4 to a Team – if the goal object is purely Team Building. For fun, games and for entertaining groups of two or more (staff parties, Christmas parties, fun-days-out and so forth) almost anything goes. Pre-planning is essential with larger groups.

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