Team building activities are essential in the workplace. Not only do these promote fun and camaraderie amongst team members, these also enhance their business skills. If you are planning to have a team building event with your peers soon, here are some great team building games to help them improve their communication and problem-solving skills:
1. Two Truths and a Lie
You can start out by having every team member secretly write down two truths about themselves and one lie on a piece of paper. Ask them not to reveal to anyone what they wrote down. Once each person has completed this step, allow 10-15 minutes for open conversation where everyone asks each other about their three questions. The concept is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths and lies by asking them questions. Never reveal your truths or lie to anyone even if the majority of your peers have already figured it out! After interacting with each other, gather in a circle and repeat each one of your three statements and then have the group vote on which one they think is the lie. You can play this game competitively and award points for each lie you guess or for stumping other players on your own lie. This game helps develop better communication in the office, as well as it lets you get to know your coworkers better.
2. Picture Pieces Game
This game requires the leader to choose a well-known picture or cartoon character that is full of detail. The picture needs to be cut into as many equal squares as there are participants in the activity. Each participant should be given a piece of the “puzzle” and instructed to create an exact copy of their piece of the puzzle five times bigger than its original size. They are posed with the problem of not knowing why or how their own work affects the larger picture. The leader can pass out materials such as pencils, markers, paper, and rulers in order to make the process simpler and run more smoothly. When all the participants have completed their enlargements, instruct them to assemble their pieces into a giant copy of the original picture on a table. This problem-solving activity will foster teamwork among the participants and it demonstrates ‘departmental’ working, with the understanding that each person working on their own part contributes to an overall group result.
3. Life Highlights Game
This is an awesome icebreaker activity. Start by asking each participant to close their eyes for one minute and consider the best moments of their lives. These moments can be moments they’ve had alone or shared with family or friends. These moments can also be related to professional successes or exciting life adventures. After the participants have had a moment to run through highlights of their lives, inform them that their search for highlights is about to be narrowed. Keeping their eyes closed, ask each participant to take a moment to decide what 30 seconds of their life they would want to relive if they only had thirty seconds left in their life. The first part of the activity gives participants to reflect back on their lives, while the second part allows them to get to know their coworkers on a more personal level. The second portion of the game is the “review” section. The leader of the activity will ask each and every participant what their 30 seconds entailed and why they chose it, which will allow participants to get a feel for each other’s passions, love, and personalities.
4. The One Question Ice Breaker Activity
This icebreaker not only gets coworkers talking to each other, but it also gets them working with one another. It’s quite simple: the leader gets to decide the situation the question will pertain to. Example situations include babysitting, leading the company, or being married. After pairing participants into teams, the leader will pose this question: If you could ask just one question to discover a person’s suitability for (insert topic here), what would your question be? Say the leader chose to go with a marriage situation. That means each person in a two-person team would come up with one question that would help them discover whether or not their partner was suitable to be married to them. If the topic was babysitting, each team member would have to come up with just one question whose answer would help them determine whether or not the person was suitable to babysit their child. This ice breaking activity can also get mixed up by issuing one situation for the entire group or allocating a different situation to each team member or pair to work on. Depending on the situation chosen, the activity can be very fun, but it can also demonstrate that crucial questions should be developed properly.
5. Sneak a Peek Game
This problem solving activity requires little more than a couple of sets of children’s building blocks. The instructor will build a small sculpture with some of the building blocks and hide it from the group. The participants should then be divided into small teams of four. Each team should be given enough building material so that they can duplicate the structure you’ve already created. The instructor should then place their sculpture in an area that is an equal distance from all the groups. One member from each team can come up at the same time to look at the sculpture for ten seconds and try to memorize it before returning to their team. After they return to their teams, they have twenty-five seconds to instruct their teams about how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s sculpture. After one minute of trying to recreate the sculpture, another member from each team can come up for a “sneak a peek” before returning to their team and trying to recreate the sculpture. The game should be continued in this pattern until one of the team’s successfully duplicates the original sculpture. This game will teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.
This problem solving activity requires the wordless, picture book entitled, “Zoom” by Istvan Banyai. This book features 30 sequential pictures that work together to form a narrative. The book should be fairly easy to find, as it’s been published in over 18 countries. The pictures can even be laminated to prolong their usage. Hand out one picture to each participant, making sure a continuous sequence is being used. Explain to the participants that they can only look at their own pictures and must keep their picture hidden from other participants. Time should be given for the participants to study their pictures because each picture will contain important information that will help the participants solve the problem of putting them into order. The ultimate goal is for the group to place the pictures in sequential order without looking at one another’s pictures. The participants can talk to each other and discuss what is featured in their picture. This activity brings coworkers together and gets them communicating with the common goal of solving a problem, but it also allows for leaders to emerge and take control of the task.
Team building activities are definitely fun and educational. Take the time to delve a little bit deeper into your employees’ personalities so you can understand how to help them progress in their career. It will be such a worthwhile investment.
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