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Team building activities

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As clichéd as it sounds, there’s nothing like a good team building session to help bring a workforce together. When done well, team building activities can be useful for a number of different reasons such as breaking the ice between new members, boosting morale, motivating employees and improving communication.Team building sessions can be used by any business or group of people, however big or small, as good teamwork is often the cornerstone of any successful venture. If you’re thinking of running a team building event, the most important thing is to make sure it is done properly, with effective activities/challenges, a well planned out timetable and a confident host. The activities need to be fun and challenging in equal measure so that participants stay engaged enough to benefit from the additional teamwork skills they will learn as a ‘side effect’ of the event. So the first hurdle is coming up with the challenges. There are different types of activities depending on the desired outcome, whether that’s communication, problem solving, decision making or trust building. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

Truth or Lie

This is an easy icebreaker and is a great way to get people talking without the obligatory round-the-table introductions. Get everyone to write down three statements about themselves on a piece of paper – two which are true and one which is a lie. Then allow 10 to 15 minutes of open conversation around the room, much like cocktail party mingling, in which people can quiz each other on their statements. The idea is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while trying to figure out everyone else’s lies. Then gather the group together and have each person read out their three statements. The rest of the team should vote on which statement they believe to be untrue. The game can be played competitively with points awarded for guessing lies or for convincing others of your own lie.

Sneaky Peek

team buildingThis is a problem solving game using little more than a few sets of children’s building blocks. The host should build a small sculpture using the blocks and hide it from the participants. Split the group into teams of around four, depending on how many people are in attendance. Give each team enough materials to be able to recreate your structure. Keep the sculpture hidden from view but allow each team to send one member at the same time to have a look at it for 10 seconds. They then return to their team and from memory try to instruct the remaining members on how to build an exact replica of the structure. After one minute each team can send another person to sneak another 10 second peek at the sculpture and so on until one team has an exact copy.

The Egg Drop

This is a classic problem solving activity which is engaging but can be very messy. Split the room into two groups and give each the challenge of building a vessel for a raw egg that can sustain an eight foot drop. Provide each team with a variety of tools and materials and give them a set amount of time in which to create their packages. Make sure teams have enough time to actually come up with a design. The groups must then present a short advert for their package, explaining how it works and why it’s unique.  At the end of the presentation the groups have to drop their egg in their package to see if it really works – which is where the mess often comes in!

DIY activities

Sometimes if you’ve been on several team building days, there’s a danger that you know all the games already. So if you’re faced with a group of seasoned team builders, then you could present them with the challenge of inventing their own problem solving challenge. Split the group into teams and give them an hour or so to come up with a new activity. Get each team to present their idea and, if schedules permit, you could vote on the best challenge and give it a test run by having everyone take part.

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About Linda Ram

About Linda Ram

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