Comedy writer and magician Robert Orben once said, “If you can laugh together, you can work together.” Although work can be a serious matter, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can all benefit from not taking ourselves quite so seriously. Team building activities can help us laugh with our coworkers and lighten up a little, and in the process, help us work better together as a team.
There are many great team building activities out there, and you can choose them based on whatever factors are important to you: from quick exercises to complex games, from small groups to large gatherings, from games that stimulate concentration and memory, or collaboration and communication.
Team building exercises are great for both new and established teams. New teams can benefit from icebreaker games. For example, the “Truth and Lies” game involves stating three facts and one lie about yourself. One person takes a turn and each team member then guesses which statement is the lie. You can play the game in about 10 or 15 minutes around the conference room table before a team meeting. This can help your team members get to know each other better and feel more comfortable in the group.
Recharging and Energizing Games
Established teams can also benefit from team building activities. One game called “Concentration” can be played with 10 to 20 people. It’s helpful if everyone knows each other’s names. For this game, the participants form two equal lines and face each other. You can tell line “A” to take a mental picture of line “B.” Then have line A turn around while line B changes ten things about themselves, for example, swapping jewelry or jackets, putting hair up or down, or removing a tie. Then line A turns around and tries to notice all of the changes that line B has made. Once all of the changes have been noticed or revealed, then the groups switch roles and line A gets a chance to make changes.
This game is great for challenging your team members’ memories and can be a good game to play whenever you feel a lack of energy among the team or when you feel they are stuck on a project. It refocuses their attention and stimulates their minds while giving them a short break from their workload.
Besides playing structured games, team building can also happen during social outings, such as going out to lunch, closing the office an hour early and going out for appetizers, or hosting a potluck in the office. Potlucks can have fun themes, where every dish has to meet a certain criteria. For example, everyone could come up with a dish that is inspired by computer software. The open source 3D software blender could inspire healthy fruit smoothies, or a blended dessert, or Apple’s iTunes could inspire a fiery chili (think “musical fruit”) or a dish that includes apples. Be creative!
Anything fun that you can think of that involves a team can turn into powerful team building moments: indoor rock climbing, a game of softball, a team meeting held outdoors on a sunny summer afternoon, a team walk or jog, a scavenger hunt, a talent show – the options are as wide as your creative mind can conceive.
Terryberry can help you create that team spirit in your organization through employee recognition programs that foster collaboration and teamwork Contact us today to get started!