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Team Building activities

Team Building activities are a powerful way for uniting a group, developing strengths and addressing their weaknesses but the exercises should be planned and carried out strategically because their purpose is to improve the team's problem solving and creativity skills.

1. Team Building that actually builds teams:-

You must start with the challenges your team faces. The exercises must be selected in a way to help them work on these issues. You should spend some time thinking about the team's current strengths and weaknesses. This will help your team to derive real benefit from the event and feel that it was worth their while.

2. Examples of team building exercises:-

There are numbers of team building activities that can address your issues.

- Improving communication:

(A) Back - to - Back Drawing:

Divide your groups into pairs and tell each pair to sit on the floor back to back. Give one person a picture of the shape and other a pencil and paper in each pair. Now ask the person holding pictures to instruct their partners to draw the shape actually telling what the shape is. Later compare the original with actual drawing.

(B) Survival scenario:

This exercise forces people to communicate and agree to ensure their survivals. Tell the group that their airplane has crashed in the ocean. There is a desert island nearby and a room on a lifeboat for every person with 12 items needed to survive on the island. Instruct the team to choose the items they want to take. How do they decide and rate the item?

Eliminating stereotypes and labeling:

(A ) Stereotype party:

It's a fun exercise for a medium - sized or large group. Write nametags of different personality types and pin one tag to each person's back without showing the tag to the person. Now, ask each person to figure out which personality type is on his / her back by asking stereotype questions of other people. Allow group members to answer only yes or no and encourage the participants.

Building Interdependence and Trust:

(A) Human spring:

Ask group members to stand to face each other in pairs. Their elbows should be bent with their palms facing each other. Instruct them to touch their palms and start leaning towards each other so that they hold each other up. Now tell to move their feet further which make them on each other to remain standing.

(B) Minefield :

Its a great exercise if you have a large room or outdoor field. Set up the game using chairs, balls, cones or any other objects which become an obstacle and trip, someone, up. Leave enough space between the objects to walk through. Now divide your groups into pairs. This is a perfect opportunity to work on relationships so put together the people who have trust issues with each other. Blindfold one person and instruct them not to say a word while the other is instructed to give verbal instructions to the partner to avoid the obstacle and reach the other side while standing outside. 

3. What not to do:-

Team Building works on the principle of regular, continuous training and exercise. Effective team building should happen continuously if you want your team to be successful. Team Building activities should be incorporated into a weekly and monthly routine which helps everyone to work on their issues and have fun and learn to trust one another but the exercises should not be competitive. Competition makes a person or team work against another which is not a good way to build team spirit and unity. Plan an event that makes people truly depend on others to succeed and stay away from competition and winning.

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