Because team building is about bringing out the best in people, team leaders must be familiar with the most common and the most obvious sign of the health of the team – the mood.

Team building is never stagnant.The team grows and moves to a different level of personal and working relationships. The mood, the level of communication, the nature of the conflict – all these will change as time goes by. Team leaders must have the natural capacity to check the mood of the team. It is the equivalent of checking the outside temperature before going out, or gauging the temperature of am oven before baking.

Here are some easy-to-do steps to check the mood of the office:

a. When you pass them by, look at their faces. Yes, it is often good to look at their faces. Sometimes, because team leaders are often busy they just look straight ahead. Looking at their faces will give you a good idea what the overall mood of the office is.

b. During individual encounters – formal or informal – look at their eyes. There you will see whether your staff members are afraid, or in pain, or are happy, or are excited. Psychologists have established that the spoken words might lie and not speak the truth but the eyes do not lie.

c. Feel the ambiance of the room, especially if you are having a meeting. As in literally, feel with your own skin. Sometimes, if people are cold towards each other, you can feel it. If they are warm towards each other, your skin can feel it. There is a scientific explanation to this that involves the interaction of body chemistry and the environment.

d. Set up an emotional feedback board. Encourage people to write – or check their feelings for the day. Or, you might want to check their social media sites such as their facebook and twitter accounts to check their moods of the day.  

e. Send e-blast! Ask people through email if they are feeling sad or happy while working this week. You might also want to encourage them to share the reasons for their feelings. What factors contributed to the sadness, or the happiness? If you want to be formal about it, you can also initiate a team building activity where the staff, using creative activities, can share how they feel about working as part of the team.

Betty Robinson, one of Philadelphia’s the first female chefs was known for her creative, non-conventional style of cooking. These qualities define her current passion as founder and CEO of Philly Hops Team Building, an innovative team building company specializing in team building activities that build trust and promote high performance teamwork.