Sunday, July 19, 2009

Interesting Team Building Activities and How They Work

Do you have a sports team or church group? Maybe you are trying to create better cohesiveness in your company? Here is a brief introduction to a few great team building activities.

The entire point of exercises like this is to improve a group's ability to work together and become closer as a team. This could be virtually any type of group from school age children to business professionals.

They can be simple games or can be a set of challenges lasting a few days. You can use these in meetings, training, or just for fun. You can learn even more from this if you reflect on and discuss the results as a whole.

One activity that is a lot of fun is an obstacle course setting. The interesting part is that you will be blindfolded! Create a course of any type of challenging obstacles you think would be good. Everyone will work in pairs. One person will wear a blindfold and their partner will verbally guide them through. No physical contact! See which team gets the fastest score or least faults!

If your people do not exactly know each other all that well, try this task. Create a questionnaire with statements such as "I have blue eyes, " or "I am from the South." Make a list about 25 statements long and hand them out to each person.

Now everybody has to find someone that matches each description and write his or her name by the descriptor. This will function as somewhat of an icebreaker and get people talking.

A popular classic that tends to get folks pumped is tug of war. You know how this one works, right? A large rope is laid out with a flag or bandanna tied around the middle. There is a vertical line that the flag has to be pulled over to win.

Arrange teams as equally as possible on each side and let them go! It's not all about strength. It involves cunning as well, which will spark communication.

Create some survival scenarios to run through. As a whole, the team must decide the twelve most important pieces of equipment to have if you were lost at sea. Other options include stranded in the desert or survivors of a plan crash in the snowy mountains. Make sure there is a time limit and watch them go. This is great decision-making and group communication task.

Have a competition to see who can win an egg drop! Divide up into small teams, around three depending on how many people you have. Each must come up with and design a container that will protect an egg from a large fall. Dropping from a two-story building is good. If this doesn't inspire teamwork, nothing will! It's a lot of fun!

So, how do you like some of these team building activities? They are fun, challenging, and require different types of interaction among your group. You will definitely see an improvement in teamwork, attitude, and comfort level. Don't wait; try a few of these gems out for yourself with your people!

By James Carruthers

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