Team building activities can be a real waste of time. Or, if intelligently planned, carefully mapped out and tailored to suit the needs of your particular group, corporate team building activities can genuinely achieve their goal. That is, they can enable the forming of closer bonds between people who really should place their trust in one another. They can help those very same people have fun and understand more about themselves after a hard day’s work. They can create an light, carefree atmosphere, while at the same time enabling more efficient professional communication and the formation of a closer-knit team. However, selecting exercises and activities that grown men and women will actually enjoy is no easy feat. You need to carefully consider your options as a team leader and figure out all possible pitfalls to your choice of activities. Irrespective of what you do decide to do with the group, their initial reaction will probably be one of rejection or derision. However, we have prepared a list of exercises that are what one would call ‘sure-fire missiles.’ The Scrambled Jigsaw
This activity starts from a children’s game, but adds a cool twist to it, which will promote a set of values among members of your corporate group. You will need to purchase several jigsaw puzzle set, be they wood or cardboard, in 2D or 3D. Chances are the more complex 3D models will be more successful with the adult set. Divide the team into groups of two to four members, have them stand in front of tables and prepare the jigsaw puzzles in front of them. The trick is that the puzzle pieces have been mixed up between groups, and no group is allowed to us anything else in solving them, save for what they have in front of them. The groups will proceed to assemble the puzzles, which will lead to some frustration and, ideally, several creative solutions, as they discover that they are missing pieces. Once all groups have discovered this, have the groups mingle and exchange pieces, in cooperating toward solving the puzzles. This corporate team building activity promotes cooperation, creative thinking and problem solving skills.
The Poisonous Web
This is a more physical type of exercise, for which you will need a clear door frame and two pieces of rope. You have to secure the two pieces of rope to the door frame, one of them three feet above the ground, and the other four and half feet above the ground. The goal is to have each team help each member get through the ‘window,’ or the ‘Poisonous Web,’ as you will tell them it is called. They are not allowed to touch the ropes at all, and if any player does touch them, the entire team must go back and try again. This corporate team building exercise will see the members learn and exercise cooperation, trust, communication and creative problem solving skills.
The Creative Assembly
This exercise also uses puzzles as a starting point, but it resolutely requires 3D wood puzzles. Each team receives a puzzle, but no one is allowed to see the box it came in, or receive any hints as to what it contains. Essentially, they will all be left clueless, with a bunch of wooden pieces they need to make into… something. Laugh and play along, as the teams will invent their own products, which will probably never even come close to what the boxes actually contain. The aim of this exercise is to enhance the team’s creativity, as well as communication and cooperation between its members.