Don’t have the time to spend a whole day doing team building? Or maybe you want to incorporate regular, short team building activities as part of your on-going corporate development. Keeping it simple can offer a host of benefits with minimum effort. Here are some of our favourites.
1) I Had A Boss Who…
While many bosses are wonderful, many people also have an ex-boss horror story or two up their sleeve. This can be the basis of a great communication exercise, a lesson in team dynamics, and personal reflection.
1. Get each team member to write down one great boss, and one who fell short of the mark. [Tip: if the employee is younger, they can choose a teacher]. Spend five minutes reflecting on what was good and bad about each.
2. Tell the stories to the group.
3. As a group, pick one stand-out boss and one miserable failure, and discuss:
- What do you think caused the behaviour?
- What was the boss probably thinking and feeling?
- In the case of a bad boss, what could have been done to change the situation?
- In the case of a good boss, what are the main lessons to be learned?
2) If I Had A Dream…
Imagination is integral to creativity and innovation. ‘If I had a Dream’ encourages just that, whilst building deeper levels of understanding among team members.
1. Hand out paper, and ask each person to draw their dream workplace. They can do this in any way that they want. [Tip: to get the creativity flowing, it can be helpful to give vague prompts, such as “maybe it’s a bit closer to nature, or maybe it’s not in this country, or maybe it’s just a bit tidier,” etc.]
2. When the group is finished – usually around ten minutes – ask the participants to share their dream workplaces and explain the main points.
3. Ask the group to work together to choose what they think is the most beneficial idea from each picture.
4. Discuss how the ideas could be combined into one ideal workplace.
Afterwards, the feedback can be passed on to the HR department, empowering the group.
3) DIY Problem Solving
Employees may roll their eyes at team building activities, but they might feel differently if they tried inventing their own. This exercise challenges them to do just that. This great all-rounder exercise engages with a range of core skills, including creative problem solving, critical thinking, and time management.
This exercise works most effectively with two or more groups.
1. Challenge each group to invent a completely new problem-solving exercise.
2. Ask them to write out the instructions for the exercise.
3. Ask them to discuss – privately – what the exercise goals and acquired skills are.
4. After 30 minutes, tell the groups to swap their new problem-solving challenge with the other team.
5. The other team is asked to try out the exercise.
6. Finally, bring the groups together for a critical discussion about the success of each solution, and find out whether everybody agrees upon the skills that it was supposed to build.
Let’s Get Started
Short team building exercises can be great fun. For more ideas about building an engaged, creative, and problem-solving environment, call 01905 330660 today.
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