Team building exercises can be a vital part of building an office that works well together. But doing the same games over again won’t get you anywhere.
Here are a few new ideas for team building meetings…
1. Blind drawing
This is great for building communication skills. Divide your team into groups of two, and ask them to sit back to back.
One person will have a picture, while the other has a blank sheet of paper and pen. The team member with the picture has to describe the image without using words that give it away, while the other player draws what’s being described.
For example, the picture might be of a lion on a unicycle. You can’t mention the words lion or unicycle but you could describe a large furry creature with big hair above a small wheel. After a set time limit, the game ends and both team members view the original picture and drawing.
It’s revealing to see how different the interpretation of instructions can be even when they’re meant to be about the same thing.
2. Bears, cowboys and ninjas
Based on the classic rock, paper, scissors game, this is a great icebreaker to get everyone to loosen up a bit.
Each player chooses between three poses – a bear, cowboy or ninja. Bears eat ninjas, ninjas beat up cowboys, and cowboys shoot bears.
You roar for the bear, shoot finger guns for cowboys or strike a ninja pose. You might feel silly but it’ll help break down barriers and get everyone laughing.
3. Bonding belt
This game is designed to encourage discussion and interaction between teams. It lasts for around 15 to 30 minutes, so you can play it before staff meetings. You will need plenty of space though.
The aim is to get from A to B as quickly as possible while ‘stuck’ together with your teammates. For the best results, get at least six people involved in each team.
Each team is banded together with cling film to ensure they move as one unit, and given five minutes to discuss their strategy before ‘racing’ to the finish line.
You can record the times and give teams an opportunity to re-strategize their next attempt to try to beat their previous score.
4. Pencil drop
This is a quick warm-up game that encourages problem-solving. Beforehand, tie two pieces of string around the eraser end of a pencil.
Put people into groups of two, and tie the other end of the strings around each team member’s waist so the pencil is hanging down between them.
Place a bottle on the floor and choose one of the pairs. Ask them to stand back to back and attempt to lower the pencil into the bottle without using their hands.
5. Paper tearing
How well do you give instructions and how well do your team members listen? You can find out with this exercise.
Give out an A4 sheet of paper to each team member, and keep one for yourself. Each team member must close their eyes while following your instructions. For example, you can start by telling them to tear the paper in half. Then tear the halves in half again, tear off the upper right-hand corner and so on…
After you’ve finished giving your instructions, each person looks to see if their torn paper looks like your torn paper. You’ll be surprised!
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp
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