This is an amazing collection of team building games that come to us direct from our friends in the UK. Each game draws from a unique collection of specially-crafted building materials. The complete suite of team building experiences is perfect for every stage of team development. Each game is appropriately challenging and promises to generate a plethora of learning points pertinent to the real life worlds of your participants.
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Six team development exercises encourage and support participants to explore, understand and develop a wide range of interpersonal and team skills:
- Achieving objectives
- Motivation and Engagement
Ten short activities (10-15 minute, plus debrief) to introduce team development concepts, break the ice, or energize flagging groups. All involve lots of action and most an element of competition. Each is quite different, and despite being quick, will raise salient points about the way individuals in the group are working with each other. Use these quick activities to:
- Stimulate fresh thinking
- Introduce new topics
- Energize your group
- Practice effective teamwork
6 TEAM DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCES
Engaging activities and thought-provoking review questionnaires make it easy for facilitators to develop learning opportunities. Each activity is designed with specific discussion topics in mind:
1. Over the Bridge – learn and practice basic team development skills
In this energizing activity, the task of making a bridge and a car should be easy, but the instructions are intentionally ambiguous. How effectively will teams question the key stakeholders, clarify their objectives, and develop plans before starting work? In the first part of Over the Bridge, team learn basic team working concepts. Part two provides an opportunity to apply that learning.
2. Rectangle – explore different of styles of communication
Playing Rectangle – creating the largest rectangle they can with the given game pieces – is an interesting challenge. Success requires effective communication and highlights differing personality styles (i.e., conscientious vs. dominating). The task seems to be straightforward but necessitates planning, listening, and recognizing one another's needs.
3. The Frame – focus on inter-team communication and big-picture thinking
In The Frame, facilitators are guided to break a team into two rooms or spaces that are out of sight of one another. The "instructors" in one room must coach the "constructors" in another room to build a complex structure. The team's shared task would be easy if they were in full site of each other and could work together to solve the problem. Frustration mounts until groups, step back, think, reconsider their assumptions, and overcome the obstacle that separates them.
4. Digital Display – discuss the interplay of individual and team success
Digital Display is a powerful activity experienced in complete silence. Everyone has an individual task—to form a unique number or letter with a handful of game pieces. Will each member of their team be successful? Or, will players be tempted to complete their personal task without regard for the rest of the group. Tending to personal needs first is tempting but may have unintended and unwelcome consequences that inhibit team success, require work to be redone, and harm relationships.
5. The Trailer – practice delegation, leadership, and team empowerment
See what happens when your team leaders have an overview of a task, but don't provide their teams with everything they need to complete the task. In The Trailer game, teams are divided into "designers" and "builders," and moved to separate locations. Each subgroup is working on a different part of the same project. Teams wrestle with delegation, incomplete information, and uncertainty until they are joined together later in the exercise.
6. The Tower – develop negotiation, conflict resolution, and inter-team cooperation skills
The Tower is a unique "coopetition" activity in which teams are challenged to build a tower as tall as they can. Teams tend to seek individual success over win-win solutions, but their ultimate success requires them to share ideas, work together, develop trust, and accept suboptimal height on their own tower construction. If a team works against another or tries to beat another, everyone loses out. The Tower demands effective analysis, clear and effective communication, leadership between teams, planning, building, and retaining trust and negotiating.
10 QUICK EXERCISES TO INTRODUCE, ENGAGE, & SET THE STAGE FOR LEARNING
Each of these last 10 activities can be played in just 10 to 15 minutes, plus debrief. Intersperse one or more into your training day to build peer relationships and keep groups energized:
- Where's the Chair – identify what helps and hinders teamwork
- The Stack – consider the impact of competition on teamwork and practice group decision making
- Getting to Know You – establish relationships and differentiate between assumptions, expectations, and facts
- Through the Bolt Hole – practice team problem solving, planning, consensus building and decision making
- Domino Theory – understand the value of developing and testing multiple ideas, changing your mind, and learning from others.
- Hold Everything – challenge assumptions, consider how success is measured, and differentiate between working to requirements vs personal preferences.
- Rectangles – differentiate between customer requirements and personal standards when focusing on quality, goals, and expectations.
- Roulette Wheel – explore the challenges of giving and receiving instructions, whether leading or following.
- Playhouse – consider assumptions about competition and collaboration as teams race to be the first to enclose all team members in a 3-dimensional playhouse structure.
- Creating Obstacles - each team designs an obstacle course to be completed by another team. Themes of communication and leadership emerge as they create hurdles, hoops, and more.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE ACTIVITY GUIDES
- Comprehensive facilitator's notes
- Participant briefs
- Thought provoking review
- Learning transfer sheets
- Online access to review questions and learning transfer documentation.
TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY INFORMATION
- Time: 10 mins - 2 hours
- Levels: Introductory to Advanced
- Participants: 6 - 12