Creating a sense of unity among the individuals who make up a team can result in a surplus of goals completed more efficiently and a wide variety of new ideas bubbling to the surface. When team members feel more comfortable around each other, they are more likely to express their thoughts about the problem and offer unique solutions. An easy way to build rapport among individuals in a group setting is through the use of quick team building activities. As well as functioning to help each team member realize the effect of their individual efforts, these games are very fun to participate in and usually result in smiles all around. In the sections below, we will discuss a few team-building exercises that are enjoyable and easy to execute.
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Now onto the activities:
Activity 1: Two Truths and a Lie
For this activity, which should take the participants fifteen minutes to half an hour to complete, begin by instructing each individual to write down two truths and one lie about themselves. Have the participants then drop their written responses into a hat and allow time for socialization among the team members. While interacting with one another, the individuals should be attempting to trick the other team members into believing the lie they wrote down instead of their truths. While doing this, they should also be analyzing the other team members to figure out what their truths may be. After ten to fifteen minutes, call the members back from socializing and gather in a circle. Proceed to draw the slips with the truths and lie out of the hat and read all three for each individual, keeping secret which fact is the lie. This game can also be scored by how well the individuals convince the others that the lie is one of their truths or how many occasions an individual guesses correctly the truths and lie. Exercises like this promote unity among members and help all involved get acquainted with each other more quickly.
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Activity 2: Life Highlights Game
To begin this activity, which takes approximately half an hour to complete, you will need a group of people, either large or small. Before you begin, instruct each individual to reflect on his or her life, adding a focal point to the most positive memories. The beginning of this activity should be done with eyes closed so the individuals can truly capture the moment. The memories can be unique to the individual (moments in time spent alone) or they can be shared with loved ones or strangers. The context of the memory does not matter nearly as much as the positive feelings associated with it. Once they’ve done as you asked, ask the participants to decide which memory they’d like to experience again one last time if they only had a small amount of time left of their lives. The catch is, they can only pick 30 seconds of that memory to relive in the moments before impending fate. Ask the participant to explain in detail those final thirty seconds, then go around the circle, instructing each member to divulge those last fleeting moments to the other team members. The purpose of this activity is to bring about a more enduring sense of rapport between team members and help each understand the passions and loves of the other members.
Activity 3: Picture Pieces Game
Unable to be classified as an icebreaker, this game plays more on the strengths of the logical left-brain, rather than the emotional right side. Before beginning the activity, the person deemed leader of the team should select a photograph or television show character that is renowned and easily recognizable. Once the image is selected, the team leader should slice the photo into a collection of pieces that are numerically the same as the number of members on the team. Pass out the pieces and instruct the individuals to not share their piece of the image with the others around them. Once each person has a puzzle piece, pass out markers, pencils, pens, and sheets of paper ten times the size of each puzzle piece. Ask the participants to recreate their section of the image on the paper in front of them and emphasize the importance of striving to accurately represent the section of the image that they have been given. When finished, instruct the individuals to arrange the enlarged pieces together until they have deducted what the overarching image is. This exercise helps to teach individuals about how their contribution is a necessary part of he big picture or, rather, what the team is trying to achieve. Without each piece of the puzzle, the completed image would be fragmented and meaningless.
Activity 4: Zoom
In order to successfully complete this activity, which will be played for about half an hour, you and your team with have to purchase the picture book, “Zoom” by Istvan Benyai. The pictures are arranged in sequential order inside the book and, when set together in the correct order, function to create a narrative. Begin by handing each participant one photograph out of sequential order. Instruct the participants to keep the photograph secret. Once all have a photo, the team members must work together to arrange the narrative into the original order without revealing each individual photo. The participants should describe each picture in detail to see if they are able to properly put the narrative back in sequential order. The goal of this activity is to elicit leadership by analyzing who takes control of the situation and to aid in helping team members to work collectively to resolve an issue.
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Activity 5: One Question Ice Breaker
The One Question Ice Breaker activity involves creating a situation for your participants in which they are only able to ask one question to assess whether or not the other is a suitable fit for the position. Begin by separating the members into groups of two and assigning each group a situation, such as marriage or babysitting, and ask them to decide together what an appropriate question would be to determine whether or not the other should become their spouse/babysitter. Instruct the team members to work together and construct a list of possible questions before deciding on one overarching question to ask. Once the participants have selected their question, ask them to present to question to the rest of the groups to determine whether or not it is appropriate. This activity is completed to assist in getting the team members to work together more efficiently and to get to know one another on a friendly basis.
Team building activities offer a simple and unique method of achieving a sense of trust between the individuals within the group. The activities mentioned above are just a few of many icebreaker options, including those listed in this post on nine outdoor team building activities to make work fun. To learn more about developing the speaking abilities necessary to both participate in these games and construct many more of your own, take a look at this course on communication skills. Now, what’re you waiting for? Get out there and bring that team together!