Group building activities are simple and easy ways to engage your employees in improving their abilities to collaborate more effectively. They are often thought of as “fun” events, but they contain powerful lessons on problem-solving communication, trust, and respect. Participants aren’t always the only ones to benefit from these lessons. Activities for team building give management the chance to observe the dynamics that are taking place within their employees and give them a better understanding of how to lead them and interact with them.
Exercises for team building can cover the entire spectrum of a straightforward child’s game to more challenging problems to solve. They can be performed outdoors or indoors, either at night or in the daytime. The equipment that is used for these exercises is cheap. The only element of these exercises you will need to put some funds in is a qualified facilitator. Professionally trained facilitators are vital for coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating the exercise. Untrained facilitators can quickly turn what is supposed to be an enjoyable experience into an unproductive experience. The significance of the facilitator’s function will be evident when you read through the exercise suggestions below.
1. The Mine Field
This is an essential exercise that is designed to build trust and develop communication abilities. It can be done outdoors or inside and does not require any special equipment. The first step is to prepare the minefield. It’s an issue of placing items on the ground, such as balls, Styrofoam dishes, or cups in the defined “field.” Then randomly pair players from the group. You could draw names from a pot if that is what you prefer. The idea is to have one of the team members navigate the minefield without their eyes closed upon the direction and guidance by the second. In essence, you’ll have one member of the team who cannot talk or see while being led by a third member who can speak and see but should not physically touch or direct the other.
Before you begin the actual journey in the field, give about 2 or 3 minutes to allow the pair to experiment with the best ways of communicating. After the first walk, participants swap places and repeat the exercise. It is possible to make this exercise as simple or complicated as your group can manage.
2. Group Juggle
This is a test of group problem solving and collaboration. Ideally, your team will comprise 6-8 individuals, but you could alter it to suit your needs. The group should create a circle and then introduce the ball. The ball is to be handed out to each member of the circle. However, nobody can handle it more than twice. Hand them the ball, and let them play with it. Record their first effort. After they’ve completed their task, let them know how long it took them and ask them to finish it quicker. Give them two minutes to discuss. After the second time, ask them to accomplish it quicker and request them to share with you exactly how quickly they can finish the job. Plan for 3 minutes. This allows the group to resolve a problem but also estimate how quickly the team will be able to complete the task.
3. Improvisation Circle
This is an easy way to break the ice and is a fantastic exercise for teams that have just formed. All team members should gather in a circle, facing one another. The facilitator will explain that they’re about to present a story on the subject, and the team is the one who creates it by introducing one word at a time. The subject is presented, and the person who will begin the story will go toward the person on his or her left and make eye contact and then say”the first” word. The second person will then be the one to turn to the right to make eye contact and say the next word, etc. So if the subject was “birthday cake” the story could start like today..is..my..birthday..and. The most exciting part is when one of the team members alters the direction of the story by one word, and then the responses of others or getting back on track or enjoying the new direction. When the story, they have not only made something new and shared their thoughts, but eyes have made strangers an even more cohesive team.
4. Chew Gum and Walk At The Same Time
Another way to break the ice for new teams that provide the opportunity for competition, but also the safety of failing. The game is pretty straightforward. Two people begin with one of them questioning the other, “what are you doing?” If the person who is responding says, “I’m ironing.” The first person has to impersonate a person who is ironing. The second person confronts first, “What are you doing?” and the person who is miming ironing must respond by describing another task. The second person is then required to mimic whatever the activity is. The process repeats until one person is unable to keep up in answering a question or simply gives up. After that person has left, an additional team member takes their place.
It’s not just an issue in the sense that the body is performing a task, and the mind is forced to consider another task and allows individuals to showcase a different side of themselves which they are hesitant to share in a professional situation.
This is a challenging game of group problem solving that requires some pre-planning. The group is presented with an emergency scenario in which they crash into the Alaskan wilderness with sub-zero temperatures, and the pilot and co-pilot were killed. The team was able to salvage twelve things, and their job was to rank these items in relation to their importance to the recovery and survival of the group. The team is not just with determining the importance of items but also explaining the reasons behind them. To make this game work, the facilitator needs to be aware of what is the “right” answer as provided by an experienced expert. In this case, it will require an experienced instructor of survival training. The team has 20 minutes to finish the task. Then, their answers are evaluated against the experts. This test provides a glimpse into the team’s thinking process and the depth to the direction they are willing to think through the challenge.
6. Build Your Own
This exercise will test the team’s capacity to come up with a creative solution to an objective for which they have no prior experience. After the team has gone through several exercises, the facilitator demands them to design their own game that encourages the team to engage in certain behaviors like communicating or problem-solving. They do not only have come up with the game but also explain how it will accomplish the goal.
This is the “real game” that is played by both managers and team members alike following each exercise. Every activity must be analyzed by asking questions to assess whether the entire team did a good job and what could be learned or enhanced by the experience. Facilitators can be invaluable with coaching techniques that can assist members as well as management in formulating honest and precise assessments.
Practical team-building exercises could have a significant impact on the efficiency of an organization. Do you think your business could profit from this? Do you want to at least consider the possibilities?