What’s the first thought that pops into your head when you hear the words team-building exercises? Most people want to run for the hills as they claim that they make them very uncomfortable. However, experts say they have their place and purpose and that they facilitate better communication, break down barriers, foster collaboration and creativity, and boost morale.
Whether you are a new boss looking for ways to bring your team together or an old-hat at employee activity days, there are some team building activities that are fun, effective and don’t completely suck. Here’s our pick of the best.
Salt And Pepper
This is a great icebreaker activity for even-numbered groups of all sizes. All you need is tape, a pen, small pieces of paper for each person and a list of well-known pairs, like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, yin and yang, male and female, Bert and Ernie, etc. Next, take the well-known pairs and write each word on a separate piece of paper. Then tape a word on each person’s back – don’t let them see the word. Once that is done, have everyone mingle asking yes or no questions only to figure out the word taped on their backs. Once they’ve figured out their word, they need to find the other half of their pair. After they do, have them sit down and find three things they have in common or three interesting facts about each other.
This activity helps people get to know each other a little better while having some fun!
Who hasn’t made a paper airplane at some point in time? Believe it or not, you can do it as a team-building exercise! All you need is a long hallway, tape, a measuring stick and card stock. Break your group into teams and give each one a variety of directions on how to build paper airplanes. Together, each team decides how to construct the plane they think will fly the farthest. They can decorate their planes if the wish with team names, colors, slogans or messages to the other teams. When all teams have completed their planes, it’s time to see whose plane flies the farthest.
Not only does this activity get everybody working together, but it also helps you identify the natural leaders in each group.
If you want an activity that refreshes and energizes your staff, as well as being fun, try a quick game of Concentration. For this, you will need to arrange people in two equal lines facing each other. Choose one line to go first. The people in this line have to study the people across from them in the other. Then, the first line turns around and faces away from the others. The second line then has 40 seconds to change ten things among themselves, like changing hair style, removing a tie, roll up sleeves, swap pairs of glasses, etc. When the 40 seconds are up, the first line turns back around and tries to find all the changes that have been made. Once they find all the changes, it’s the other group’s turn to guess.
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