In our previous blog, we looked at the benefits of team building as a tool for pulling your ultimate dream team together. Here are some suggestions for individual team building exercises that you could incorporate into your next event. ..
Jumping straight into activities can be a little awkward, especially for staff who do not know a great deal about each other. Help your team members to drop their barriers by asking them to take turns in introducing themselves and giving one fact about themselves that most people in the room don’t know.
You can expand on this exercise, by using it to tie all other activities together nicely, by using it in between each new activity. Rather than asking for a random fact, choose a specific question such as “If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?” or “You’re going to be turned into an animal. Which one do you want to be and what is your reason?” This simple activity will get people engaged and encourage them to let down their guard, have a giggle and share some of their qualities, contributing to the bonds within the group.
Willow In The Wind
Ask your team to stand in a circle. Choose one member to stand in the middle, fold their arms across their chest and then, once the group is ready and focused ask the central person to fall backwards. The objective is for the person behind them to catch them and then push them sideways to the next person in the circle and so on. The group can pass them around, spinning them until they return to facing in their original direction. This trust building exercise relies on a focussed and mature group as allowing a co-worker to fall is not acceptable!
For this exercise, you need to split your team into smaller groups and give each group a large sheet of paper and a pack of drinking straws. Give your teams a time limit and ask them to build the tallest structure they can. This is a fantastic problem solving exercise as your team will have to debate possible options and rethink as they encounter design issues, which will be inevitable with such flimsy building materials! Award a prize at the end for the tallest tower.
For this game, you could do with some blindfolds but can equally make do by trusting your team members to close their eyes! Choose a large indoor or outdoor space and scatter the area with obstacles to play the part of the “Mines”. These could be office chairs spread around; you could use balls or books – whatever you have to hand.
Split your team into pairs – one will be the blind and the other will be the leader. The objective is for the blind team member to get from one side of the space to the other without touching any mines. The leader needs to stand outside of the obstacle area but close enough to be able to hear. You can up the ante for this one by finding a way of creating things for a person to step over or duck under.
Lastly, be sure to get involved yourself, as this is an important part of developing your own relationships with your team. Feedback in the workplace is invaluable and team building exercises can create a culture of peer-to-peer feedback. Getting involved in your own events is an effective way to build a foundation on which you will find it easier to give future feedback as a leader, and on the flip side your employees are more likely to feel able to approach you with their own concerns and ideas.
Happy team building!