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Modern Team Building Exercises That Don’t Suck

As a manager, you probably recognize that team building is important. The approach to teambuilding can be difficult, however. Teambuilding exercises seem to be so cliché. Anybody who has been in the workforce for very long has probably seen too many teambuilding exercises that are awkward and uncomfortable.

If this concern holds you back from teambuilding, do not fear. This article will discuss a few teambuilding exercises that actually do not suck and will elicit participation from some of your more difficult critics.

Remember, even with the most entertaining of teambuilding exercises, it is always a good idea to involve rewards for participation. The prospect of reward has a way of bringing down barriers faster. Ideas for rewards can range from food, to gifts, to money, to special privileges at work (think designated parking spot for a month).

Here are some ideas to try:

Charades

Charades has been around probably since the dawn of time. However, it is still a great way to build team unity. Charades is a great way to promote teamwork in achieving a common goal. It can also be entertaining and will encourage some employees to let down their guard. Consider breaking your group up into several smaller teams, and keep score. The group with the highest score should win a nice prize.

Birthday Line-Up

Get everyone in the group to stand in a line. Without speaking, everyone in the group is required to organize themselves according to birth day and month (year is not necessary). This activity can be fun and interesting as alternative methods of communication are explored.

A Truth and A Lie

Break out into smaller groups of at least 4-5 people. Ask each person to think of something from their past that is true, and then make up something else that is a lie. Each person will take a turn telling their truth and then their lie and the rest of the group has to guess which one is which. Some of the most outlandish truths (and lies) will come out of this exercise. Everyone will be entertained, and members of the team will learn something interesting about the other participants.

Team Name, Logo and Tagline

Break out into smaller groups of around 4-6 people. Encourage them to find one thing they all have in common and create their own team name based on this common identity. Give each group a paper and some art supplies and ask them to come up with a logo and tagline to go along with their team name. This is a fun exercise to foster creative cooperation. Consider having a judge and offer a prize for the best name/logo/tagline.

Building blocks

Break into smaller groups of no more than 5-6 people. Each group gets an identical set of building blocks. The facilitator will build something out of his set of blocks and only one person from each group gets to see it for a very short time (i.e. 30 seconds). The goal is for each group to build an exact replica of the facilitator’s creation based on one person’s eyewitness description.

Team Photo Scavenger Hunt

This activity could be part 2 of the Team Name, Logo and Tagline activity mentioned earlier, or it can stand alone. You might even consider letting each team create a uniform that matches their name, logo and tagline. Set aside a half-day when you can send the team out of the office on a photo scavenger hunt. Each team will be given a list of 5-10 things that they must get a picture of, or otherwise locate. As soon as the photographic evidence is obtained, they can text it to the facilitator, who will keep track of each team’s progress. The first team to complete the entire list should win a nice prize for their efforts.

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Ken Strong
Ken Strong
Retail automotive veteran and writer for CBTnews.com

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