Do you have groups of people in your business, or teams? Here you will find team building techniques to help you create connections between team members.
You will also discover ways to increase motivation and have fun during team meetings.
These team building exercises are ideal for new teams in their first meeting to "break the ice" and make people feel more relaxed.
Put people into pairs and have them interview each other for approximately ten minutes. They can ask each other questions on some or all of the following topics:
Their birthplace and where they live now
Their home life and interests
Their work background and current job
Something that no-one else in the group knows about them
What they can offer the team in terms of skills and abilities
What concerns they have about the team (if any)
Each team member then introduces his partner to the rest of the group. As it gets people talking, the atmosphere lightens immediately.
Give each team member a sheet of flipchart paper and ask them to draw a picture around one of the following statements:
How they see themselves in their role on the team (strengths, concerns etc.)
How they would like the future to look for the team (preferred outcomes)
or choose another relevant topic.
This team building technique gets people thinking in a visual and creative sense. I have seen some people gain a deeper awareness through this icebreaker. It also encourages a sharing of personal values and viewpoints.
Get each team member to write a short description of themselves on a slip of paper. This could include some or all of the following types of information:
Their previous work experience
Their values (things they feel strongly about)
Their common personality trait (calm, rushed, happy, frustrated etc)
They do not add their name to this. They should aim to be a mystery person, so that others will not easily recognise them.
The slips of paper are then put into a hat and each person picks one out (avoiding their own).
Through interviewing each other, the team members have to put the description with the correct team member.
This teambuilding activity gets people moving out of their seats and helps them to learn more about each other at a personal level.
At the end of the team game, the tutor reads through all the descriptions to solve any outstanding mystery.
Here are team building techniques to bring life back into your team meetings and get your team members motivated.
Bring a soft ball along to meetings. During a brainstorm exercise where you are looking for new ideas, get team members to stand up, and throw the ball to each other. Each person that catches the ball must come up with an idea that goes on to the flipchart.
The fact that people are standing up adds energy to the meetings, and the ball is something different that adds fun.
Get one person on the team to bring along treats such as sweets or home baked goodies etc. Rotate this task each time. Team members will look forward to their time together!
If you tend to meet in the same place, and the energy in the room is not conducive to a good meeting, look for a new venue. Hold the meeting outside if the weather is nice. A welcoming environment can make all the difference to the mood of the team.
Get each member of the team to be a chairperson during meetings in rotation. This gives them new skills, as well as adding variety to your meetings.
To build the confidence of your team members, get each of them in turn to research a topic that is relevant to the work of the team, and present back their findings at the next team meeting.
There are many useful reference books available containing a wide range of team building techniques. Click here for some that I have found useful.
Click on What is Teamwork to learn about the stages of team development and the team leader role in supporting the team.
Click on Team Building Strategies to find out how to prepare for and structure the work of a team so that it can work as effectively as possible.
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