Activities for Team Building
Teambuilding-leader can provide you with some team building activities. These activities will improve your team’ s communication, performance and productivity. Try out these activities can for your next meeting, workshop and event
Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces :
Help teams think about collaboration, communication and strategy.
A jigsaw puzzle, but ones with pictures are also ok. It is also helpful to have cups or small bags (to hold a some of the pieces).
· Divide up the puzzle into chunks - 1 for each functional group or team.
· Pass out the pieces for each group (it helps to divide them into bags or
· Identify the goal you want the team to work towards - e.g. highlighting current challenges fitting teams face in working together, or
· Introduce the activity - goal is to put pieces together
· Give people time to work on it (varies depending on complexity)
· Facilitate discussion about how this relates to what the group is doing in real life (i.e. how group is working together)
· How is this similar to what we are trying to do as a team?
· How is this different?
· So what? what do we want to take away from this? ] Alternatives
· Pass out the puzzles in advance and have teams draw their vision of success on them
Fun Team Building Games
Elephants In Denmark
Get the group's attention and emphasizes listening to directions. Also a fun riddle.
Tell the group you can read their minds. Then follow the steps to prove it.
· 1: ask each person to think of a number from 1 to 10.
· 2: take that number and multiply by 9
· 3: take the result and add the number together (i.e. 72 = 7+2, 9 = 0+9).
· 4: take that number and subtract 5
· 5: take that result and equate it to the corresponding letter of the alphabet (i.e., 4 = D).
· 6: think of a country beginning with that letter.
· 7: Ask them to think of an animal that begins with the second letter of the country name.
· 8: Ask the group: "How many people are thinking of elephants in Denmark?"
This exercise works because any number they think of for step 1, will result in the answer of 9 for step 3. From that point on, the country will begin with D (there are only 4 countries that start with D - Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic and Djibouti - and the majority of the group is likely to think of Denmark). There are many animals that start with E but Elephants are the most likely guess.
Building the Tower
Improve Communication | Collaboration | Team Strategy
· Illustrate the importance of collaboration among groups working to achieve similar goals.
· Demonstrate how competition can be potentially destructive.
1 package of candy (with enough for each participant to have some)
1 pre-built tower made from:
· 15 Paper Cups
· 25 Popsicle Sticks
· 5 sheets of Construction Paper
· enough Masking Tape to hold it together
3 packets containing the following items:
· 1 roll of Masking Tape
· 10 Paper Cups
· 25 Popsicle Sticks
· 4 sheets of construction paper
· 12” strip of Masking Tape
· 25 Paper Cups
· 15 Popsicle Sticks
· 8 sheets of construction paper
· 6” strip of Masking Tape
· 10 Paper Cups
· 35 Popsicle Sticks
· 3 sheets of construction paper
The setup requires pre-building a tower and dividing the materials into each packet. There is no model for the pre-built tower - it can look like anything you want - the more complicated it is the harder it will be for the groups to replicate.
Big Picture: Participants will work in small groups to build towers that look like a pre-built tower. Each group will be missing some of the supplies necessary to build their tower, but between the groups they will have enough to build 3 towers identical to the pre-built tower if they decide to collaborate and share supplies. The facilitators should make sure this is not immediately obvious, and once it becomes more obvious, the facilitators should neither discourage or encourage collaboration. The groups will be purposely set against each other through competition (and therefore they will be less likely to collaborate). Use appropriate additional debrief questions based on the groups choice to collaborate or not to collaborate.
Procedure: 15 min Begin by randomly dividing participants into small groups and organizing the groups in different areas of the room. You should have the pre-built tower (hidden from view) e.g outside the room, or in a corner where not everyone can see it. Introduce the activity by saying: “Your goal is to build a tower that matches the pre built tower.” Ask for one volunteer from each group to be their group’s representative, and explain that only the representative will be allowed to see the pre-built tower. Announce that a prize will be awarded for the group that builds the tower that most closely replicates the pre-built tower. While one facilitator is showing the representatives the pre-built model, another facilitator should be distributing the supply packets to the group. The representatives should only have a short time (~30 seconds to see the model) and no one but the representative should be allowed to see the model. Answer any questions at this point, and then announce that the representatives will return to the groups, and once they return, the facilitators will not answer any questions.
[The facilitators should not answer any questions so that the groups are forced to figure out how to build their tower on their own. If the groups figure out they need to collaborate, the facilitators should neither encourage or discourage them (this will come up in the debrief).]
Send the representatives back to their groups and announce that each group has 10 minutes to build the tower. 5 minutes into the building, ask for the representatives to come to the center of the room and report to the other representatives one thing they are doing well and one challenge they are having. Then let them see the model again for a short time (~30 seconds.
[Again, the facilitators should not answer any questions, encourage or discourage collaboration! ]
After 10 minutes of building, have a representative from each group present their tower to the other groups.
Report Back: 10 min Give some candy to everyone who participated, and debrief!
The facilitators should ask the following questions of the entire group.
· Raise your hand if your group built a tower!
· Did you achieve the tower in the picture? Why or why not?
· What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
· How did competition add from or detract from what you were trying to achieve?
· What will you take away from this activity?
· How does building the tower in this activity compare to your daily work?
· How does this activity relate to being part of the larger company or organization, or group?
· How can we encourage collaboration and healthy competition among team members?
Additional Debrief (add the following questions if the groups did not collaborate):
· Why did you not to collaborate?
· Was it a conscious choice or did it not occur to you?
· What would have been possible if you had decided to share resources?
(add the following questions if the groups collaborated):
· How did you come to the decision to collaborate?
· What became possible once you made the decision to share resources?
The North Wind Blows
To get participants to find commonalities amongst themselves, and to get participants comfortable with speaking to the entire group. Also lets participants run around a bit.
· Circle Games
Have the entire group stand in an enclosed circle with one participant in the middle.
The participant in the center of the circle, or caller, announces "The North Wind blows for anyone who"...followed by a particular characteristic that the caller shares. Ex: "The North Wind blows on anyone who has more than one sibling" A personal favorite of mine is "The North Wind blows on anyone who has played this game in a language aside from English". Everyone to whom that characteristic applies then runs into the circle and switches places with someone else from the circle who also shares that characteristic. The caller must also find a place in the circle, and whoever is left without a place becomes the new caller. It's very easy for this game to become mundane (eg, TNWB for anyone who's wearing jeans, has glasses, etc.) so encourage participants to be creative and unique.
Optional-ask if anyone learned something new about a fellow participant, or enourage people to start a conversation with another person about one of the issues addressed in the game.
Have everyone take off their left shoe at the beginning of the game, and leave it where they start. At the end of the game, have everyone put on the shoe that they're standing next to (or try to), and then meet other people by switching shoes
Team Building Games
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