Ken Blanchard (leadership expert) once said “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Many companies are starting to agree with that statement. Businesses are creating team building environments to get the best out of their employees, because you can achieve more as a group than you can individually. Of course, a great team doesn’t just come together; it takes a lot of work and commitment on everyone’s part.
What you will need to start creating your team:
Having processes and team goals are a great start to creating a productive team. But, the most important factor is being able to accommodate individual personalities and relationships within the team. One of the best ways to help create positive relationships within the team is developing team building and spirit activities/events. Team building activities can come in many forms, from 15 minute events in the office to weekend retreats, and can be focused on different areas such as encouraging effective communication, eliminating stereotypes, creating trust or building interdependence.
Here are a few team-building activities you might want to adapt for your team.
Survival Scenario – This exercise forces your group to communicate and agree to ensure their ‘survival.’ Tell your group to imagine that their airplane has just made an emergency landing in the ocean. There is a desert island nearby, and there’s room on the lifeboat for every person – plus 12 items they’ll need to survive on the island. Instruct the team to choose which items they want to take. How do they decide? How do they rank or rate each item? Would they collaborate, so that they could share certain items instead of unnecessarily duplicating them?
Stereotype Party – This is a fun exercise for a medium-sized or large group. Write many different “personality types” on nametags. Pin or tape one tag to each person’s back. Don’t show people which tag is on their back – they’ll be able to see everyone else’s tag, except their own.
Now, ask each person to figure out which personality type is on his or her back by asking team members stereotype-based questions – “Am I a man?” “Am I an athlete?” “Am I an entertainer?” and so on.
Allow group members to answer only yes or no, and encourage participants to ask as many different people as possible.
Mine field – This is a great exercise if you have a large room or outdoor field. Set up a ‘mine field’ using chairs, balls, cones, boxes, or any other object that could potentially be an obstacle that someone could bump into. Leave enough space between the objects for someone to walk through.
Next, divide your group into pairs. Pay attention to who you match with whom. This is a perfect opportunity to work on relationships, so you might want to put together people who have trust issues with each other.
Blindfold one person, the ‘mine walker’ – this person is not allowed to talk. Ask his or her partner to stay outside the mine field, and give verbal directions, helping the mine walker avoid the obstacles, and reach the other side of the area.
Before you begin, allow partners a few minutes to plan how they’ll communicate. Then, make sure there are consequences when people hit an obstacle. For example, perhaps they have to start again from the beginning.
Team building events are a great way to not only energize individuals but the whole team. An inclusive, energetic team is a productive team!
Check out our blog on about building morale: www.onhold.on.ca/energize-employees-morale-building/
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