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16 Incredibly Useful Team Building

Exercises and Games


Team building activities help team members bond with each other. For this,
exercises and games are formed keeping in mind that they are supposed to be fun
and effective. The bottom line is that, without realizing, these team members
come together for a particular task, and it helps in their bonding.
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These games can be played in pairs or in


small to medium-sized groups. Every activity
should have a facilitator, and this is an
important aspect, as it depends on that
person to make these team-building activities
fun as well as effective. These activities are
useful for a group of college students, small kids, adults, and corporate
professionals. The article focuses on exercises that are useful for corporate.

Lower Management
The lower management consists of a large number of employees. It is very
important to maintain the team spirit in this level of management. The following
exercises will help in this cause.
We Are Connected:
All the employees are asked to stand in a
circle. Any one member of the group is
asked to find another member with at
least three common alphabets in their
names. Then they are asked to join
hands and find other members who
have the same common letters. By the

end of the game, all the team members will be holding hands with the common
letters. This will make the members realize that they are all connected as a team.
E.g.: If there are three members whose names are Joseph, John and Daniel, Then
Joseph and John have three letters in common. In this way, the chain will go on
increasing.
Guess:
Divide the employees into teams of 4 - 5 members each. The facilitator will give a
situation which a member will have to enact, without talking to his team. His or
her team members have to understand the actions and then join him in the
acting. At the end, when all the members are enacting the situation, the facilitator
will ask each of them what their guess was about the situation. The team whose
maximum members have enacted the right situation, will win. This exercise will
help develop communication among the members, if the activity is repeated. E.g.:
A situation like a person walking into an ATM branch can be given. The members
can enact the various things in the branch, like the ATM, the air duct, door, etc.
Treasure Hunt:
Everyone is divided into teams of 4 - 5 people each. Clues are placed in the office
premises which lead the teams to the next clue, and finally to a common place.
The members need to decode the clues in order to get to the next clue. During the
game, they can pass through the office building, the cafeteria, and all the
important places in the office. This will help the team understanding develop, and
they will come up with strategies to get to the next clue.
The Bigger Picture:
The facilitator uses a picture that is wellknown to all the participants. This
picture is then cut into small pieces that
are treated as puzzles. These small
pieces of the images are distributed
among all the participants. They are
handed a piece of paper and asked to
reproduce the image that they have

received. At the end of the session, all the images are placed together to make the
whole picture. All the images will not be of the same size, and this will make the
lower management realize that their contribution too is also important to the firm.
Sing Along:
This activity will make the employees feel comfortable at the start of the session.
Everyone is divided into a group of 2 - 3 members. The facilitator will give a word
to each team. The members have to sing songs using that word, only for a minute.
This will help the freshers loosen up and have fun. They will also bond with the
other members of the team. E.g.: If the word given is 'love', the team has to sing
songs using it, for about a minute.

Middle Management
Middle managers are the link between the top management and the lower
management. They tend to interact with other team managers as well. Hence, the
need to build stronger team values for this group is essential. Here are a few
useful exercises for them.
Blindfolded Animals:
The employees are asked to stand in a circle and allotted numbers. 4 - 5
employees receive the same numbers. The numbers are not disclosed to others in
the team. Then the team decides an animal for each number. When the facilitator
calls out any number, the members allotted with that number should find the
others by making the sound of the animal. This is a fun activity that can be played
to help the employees loosen up. It can be more fun if 2 - 3 numbers are called
out together. E.g.: All the members who are allotted the number 5, is associated
with a cat, then all the members with this number will imitate the sound of a cat
and find each other.
Mine Field:
The members are asked to form pairs. One team member in the pair is
blindfolded. A field containing lots of items will be laid down. The other team
member has to guide his partner through the field to reach the other end. This is

an activity which helps increase trust among the members. This can be played
with those who work in the same team professionally.
Pass the Rope:
Everyone present is divided into a team of not more than four members. The
members of each team have to stand close together. They are given a rope that is
tied into a circle. Together, the team members have to pass through this circle.
The team that does this the maximum number of times is declared the winner.
This activity will help in increasing the coordination between the members.
Helium Stick:
A helium stick (a thin and long rod, which actually contains no helium!!!) is needed
for this game. Two rows are formed, and the members of each row are asked to
hold the helium stick only using their index fingers. The task is to lower the helium
stick. The main point of the game is that the more the members try to lower the
stick, the more it gets lifted. This is because, since the team members cannot
lower the stick simply by taking off their fingers, they actually tend to strain their
fingers in the quest to lower it, which ends up applying greater pressure
collectively than what the stick actually weighs. This is where creativity and team
spirit comes into the picture.
Catch the Ball:
Members are divided into equal groups and asked to stand in a circle. Each team
is given a soft ball, which they need to pass to another member while calling out
his/her name. This is to be repeated, till all the members get the ball. The time
taken for this is noted. They are then given a goal of the least time taken to pass
the ball. Most teams tend to form smaller, closer circles to accomplish the
task .This will help them to understand the need of teamwork for achieving a goal.

Top Management
Top management employees generally do not focus only on the daily activities of
the firm, instead they manage the firm. As the final decision-makers of the
company, they have to enhance their leadership, creative and disaster

management skills time and again. The activities mentioned here help develop
these essential skills.
Great Egg Drop:
Groups of people of about 10 members each need to prepare an egg that does
not break when it is dropped. They need to be creative in finding the best method
to prevent breaking of the egg and what to use. They also need to develop a jingle
to promote their device that will prevent the egg from breaking. This exercise
helps people with creative differences to come together in a task, and it is also a
lesson in leadership and delegation.
Who's the Survivor?:
All those present are divided into small teams of 4 - 5 members each. They are
given a hypothetical situation that they are stuck in. Then they are given a list of
essential items, from which they will be allowed to use only a few. The team needs
to choose those items from the list that are needed for their survival. This will test
the leadership skills of the members, and also the quality of being a team person
gets reflected. Also, problem solving skills of the managers are improved. E.g.: The
members can be given a situation like they are stranded in a lift, and they only
have a laptop (with low battery back-up), some food items, a half-filled glass of
water, etc. They have to decide which items they should choose for their survival
till they are rescued.
The Negotiator:
This is a fun-filled activity. The
employees are divided into two teams,
and are made to stand facing each
other. A circle is drawn around the
teams. The goal is to make the other
team cross the boundary and move out
of the circle by using any verbal powers.
The teams can negotiate, argue, discuss;
they can use any verbal influence to make the other team step out. Each team
member will be given the opportunity to negotiate. This activity improves the

negotiating and convincing qualities of the team. Team strategy also plays an
important role in completing this activity.
Tied Down:
The members are divided into two teams. Each team is given a start and a finish
line. All the members of the team have to walk to the other end. The important
aspect of the game is that all the members of the team have to cross the finish line
at the same time. If the team fails to do this, they will have to start all over again.
The members can hold hands or walk at the same pace or can use any such
strategy to complete the race. This activity highlights the coordination aspect of a
team. The senior managers have to work coordinately to achieve a common goal.
E.g.: The members can hold hands, take smaller steps, or choose any such
technique to accomplish the task successfully.
Balancing Act:
This is an outdoor activity. The participants are asked to stand in a circle. They are
given a bucket that is filled with water. The participants are then asked to balance
the bucket on their feet. They can hold hands for better balancing. This can be a
timed event as well. The level of water in the bucket at the end of the session will
decide the winner. This activity signifies that the senior management should be
united in case of any crisis to reduce its impact on the firm. The team strategy and
trust qualities are also enhanced here.
Case Study:
Situation - A marketing team consisted of some newly joined employees. These
employees were put in the team which already had a handful of long-term
employees. The team was finding it difficult to work as one unit. This differences
were costing the company its profit margins.
Areas to Be Focused - Mutual Trust, Communication, Common Goal,
Coordination (Also, the results of exit interviews can help in understanding the
other areas that need to be focused on).
Solution - Each person is individually interviewed and their key skills are

identified. The lack of mutual trust and understanding amongst the new and old
employees is the area that needs to be focused on. Trust-building exercises
should be carried out with two teams, each consisting of new as well as old
employees. The second area that needs to be focused on is the lack of
communication. Communication-building exercises will help in achieving this. Also,
exercises like a treasure hunt will help in making the employees work as a team
towards a common goal.
Team building exercises enhance the basic qualities of the team, namely - Trust,
Communication, Strategy, Co-operation, Commitment, Problem Solving Skills,
Teamwork, and many more. These qualities help to improve the efficiency of the
team, and in turn increase the efficiency of the firm. When the team works as one
united unit, the firm is hugely profited. The following quote rightly gives the
meaning of a team.
Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve
their greatest success. - Stephen Covey

Khushnuma Irani

Last Updated: August 22, 2016

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