Once there are enough words, read the mission statement back. Now that the team knows what the goal is, ask them for the same word types. Repeat the exercise until you get a mission statement that the team feels is correct. Most people are eager to let others know interesting things about themselves, but not all team members are able to make that happen. Most teams are lopsided, with some members dominating discussion. Using regular “show and tell” sessions gives all team members a chance at center stage while also becoming familiar with giving a presentation and fielding questions.
This is also a good ice-breaker activity if you have team members that do not know each other yet. For a set amount of time, the entire group should mingle, and ask and answer questions. They should treat each other according to the stereotypical way based on what kind of person they have been labeled.
Telephone, On Paper
It also gives your team a chance to challenge other team members in ways they might not otherwise find the opportunity to do so in regular workday activity. Bring in four objects of the same type (e.g. four different sets of mittens, four different coffee mugs). Write up a conversational scenario for each set that outlines what the perfect item would be, in the order of preference. While none of the four objects is an exact match, each have qualities that reflect that perfect list. Read this scenario to your team, and instruct them to order the objects from best fit to worst fit. When all object sets are done, have team members explain why they ordered the objects that way.
This exercise deals with both communication and leadership styles. There will inevitably be team members who want to take charge, and others who want to be given direction. The team team building will have to work together to create the square, and find a way to communicate without being able to see. By introducing the “muting” feature, you also inject the question of trust.
Company Concentration: Debate Version
You might use cards illustrating user personas, products you sell, procedures you use in development, customer support problems, known issues you’re trying to solve, and so on. The idea is the same as the “Company Concentration” format, where pairs of cards with visuals on one side are used. When you are finished, hand out paper to each team member. Then, ask them to write down what they thought you talked about. If your real sentences contained random information, quiz them on that. Discuss who heard what, and see who was able to actively listen.
Divide your team into equal sized groups, and send them out with a list of items to locate and bring back. Whether they remain in the office or are to leave the building is up to you. The ultimate goal is to get back first with the most items. You may want to set a time limit so that all groups are back in a reasonable time, whether they found all items or not. A scavenger hunt can be themed, and might involve a variety of clues or other twists that force a team to get creative and work together. This exercise helps your team break down a scenario or problem and figure out which things are the best fit.
Next, have them write below that, leaving a slight space, two things they think causes that problem . Draw a line from the two ideas up to the main problem, much like a family tree structure. Then have them break down those two ideas further, two for each, as far as they can go. The idea is to figure out what small things have led to the big things.
Their only guidance is the vocal commands of those outside the shape who are not blindfolded. Taking a long rope with its ends tied together, place the rope in each person’s hands so that they all have a hold of it. Instruct them to form a perfect square out of the rope without removing their blindfolds. Once the team believes they have formed a square, they can remove the blindfolds and see what they’ve accomplished. Get your team together and decide if you want to create an economy or some mini-aspect of larger society. Set up the rules you will abide by, leaving enough wiggle room to experience problems that need group agreement to solve as the system is put into action.
Each team member can use that treatment, as well as the answers to questions, to figure out what the label is. As each team member figures out who they are, they can exit the game and let the rest continue. For example, you might, at random, instruct a team member to not speak. One by one, members of the group are muted, making communication more challenging.
Since instructions can’t be vocally verified, the team member calling out instructions has to trust those who cannot talk to do as they are told. This is an exercise that focuses on communication and language. For example, the picture might be of an elephant standing on a ball. The description cannot be “draw an elephant on the ball” but instead must use other adjectives and directions. After a set time limit, the drawing time ends and both team members view the original picture and the drawing. Before your regular staff meeting, break your team into groups.
You Get One Question
Each team member looks at the drawing they now have, fold the paper in half, and write at the top what they think the picture is of. Each person reads the description, folds the paper over to hide the words, and draws a picture of that. Come up with several scenarios in which a person would be chosen to do something. For example, it might be a new job hire, marriage, leading an organization, or commanding an army. Ask each team member to come up with the “perfect” question — but only one! — that should be asked of a person that would determine if they were the perfect fit for the scenario.
Have each person share something significant that happened to them in that year. For example, you might have “Climb Mt. Everest” and give it a value of 35, while “Give the dog a bath” has a value of 3. To show that assigning an attitude or telling someone they are “acting grumpy” can actually affect how they view themselves and how they act during the day. If they switch name tags, they will see how behavior and action often defines feeling, and not the other way around. Turn any device into a time clock that tracks attendance, breaks, and time off.
It shows the importance of listening to verbal communication, but also non-verbal communication. They can discuss why they tuned you out, and what you could have done to keep them tuned in. A variation is to use all of the challenges over a period of time so that your team-building activities come directly from your team itself. This team exercise creates a living history of your business that you can keep adding to. It is somewhat similar to the Zappos culture book, but allows your team a chance to build it more directly. This game encourages creativity, collaboration, and recollection.
Hopefully, once the game is over you’ll see that everyone has some kind of prize or reward, but it’s best to allow the team to not know that during game play. When the paper is back to the original owner, each member reveals what was written and drawn. The key to this exercise is to make the scenario complex enough that it isn’t immediately obvious which objects are best. At least two at a time, each person on your team must make their way from start to finish blindfolded. They cannot step outside of the boundary, nor can they step on a mine. They can only be unfrozen if someone else inside the shape steps on a squeak toy.
- See if they find a way to build a structure that can withstand removal of blocks.
- In groups of two, have one team member ask for the correct type of word and the other team member supply the word.
- Leave pens, markers, tape, and other items that your team can use to write and draw in the book.
- Take your company’s mission statement and turn them into the popular Mad Lib game.
- Then give each team the same supplies to work from, or create a pile of available supplies in the middle of the room.
When the thirty minutes is complete, the team will choose from one of the problem-solving challenges and actually do the activity. Once the time is up, allow each person to present the item and give a two minute presentation on their “product” as if they were selling it. Discuss, as a group, which products were successfully sold and why. This game is about communication, and trusting each other. Players learn to be observant of multiple actions as well as give clear and timely advice. Using masking tape, create a large polygonal shape on the floor.
The perfect question that each comes up with will reflect their motives and what they think matters the most. This is an excellent way to lead into a discussion on how team members determine who is capable and who they will follow or https://globalcloudteam.com/ trust. In groups of two, have one team member ask for the correct type of word and the other team member supply the word. Or, if you do not want to break the team into groups, ask the team as a whole to supply one word at a time.
It also gives you something concrete to look at in the future to see where your team has been and how far they’ve come. Create a specific project with clear restrictions and a goal. For example, you might have your team create a device that involves movement without electricity, and moves a golf ball from point A to point B. Give each team a distinctly different jigsaw puzzle of equal difficulty. Explain that they have a set amount of time to complete the puzzle as a group. Explain that some of the pieces in their puzzle belong to the other puzzles in the room.
Then give each team the same supplies to work from, or create a pile of available supplies in the middle of the room. Give them a specific time to complete the project, making sure to mention that they can only use what is available, though how they use it is completely up to them. The final reveal is a fun event, and a great opportunity for your team to compete.
The timeline should start as far back as the oldest member on your team was born or when the company was founded, whichever came first. The other person will have a blank sheet of paper and a pen. The team member with the picture must not show the other person the image. Instead, they are to describe the image without using words that give it away, while the other team member is to draw what is being described. Using wooden blocks or an actual Jenga game, mark blocks according to the hierarchies present in your company.
Some team members will reveal themselves to be rule-abiders and others as creative rule-benders. The team will quickly learn how others work, solve, and think outside of the typical work-related realm. This will bring new understanding to work-related projects that need solutions. This activity tends to create a lot of laughter and is an excellent ice-breaker at parties or before long meetings where you want people to be comfortable with each other. The drawings and interpretations tend to bring out discussion and jokes.
A scavenger hunt is a fun activity that forces people to work together as a team. It spurs creativity, particularly if clues or riddles are involved. Leave pens, markers, tape, and other items that your team can use to write and draw in the book. When the book is full, put it on the shelf and get a new one.