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Short & Sweet: Effective Team Building in Seconds

Team building is a proven method to boost morale and develop better communication in the workplace, however a 2012 study revealed that some team building activities may actually be counterproductive because they inflict peer embarrassment or test employee comfort levels. While growing franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts, Anytime Fitness and Subway are heavily spending on team building activities, you don’t have to break the budget to build morale. We have composed a list of activities that can easily be incorporated into a weekly business meeting or regular regroup.

No. 1: Back-to-Back Drawing

Have a problem with communication? Need to explain the importance of better directions? This is the game for you! Pair off your team and have each person in the pair sit back-to-back. One person will receive a picture of a shape, the other will receive a pen and paper. The person with the picture of the shape must describe the shape without actually saying what it is while the other person draws it. When finished, each pair should compare their drawing and consider how they worked together and where they could’ve communicated better.  

No. 2: A Truth & a Lie

This is the perfect activity should you have newcomers or if you want your team to welcome a new employee. Go around the room, introduce yourself and say one fact about yourself and one lie. The group then has to identify which is the truth and which is the lie. This is a great ice breaker and encourages group communication and creativity.

No. 3: Opposites Attract

This game is perfect for a team that’s just getting used to one another and is effective in just two to three minutes. The group is given a list of characteristics, and then instructed to find people that have different characteristics to them. For example, different gender, different height, different marital status, etc. This is an informal way to break down perceived barriers and encourages easy conversation.

No. 4: Tooting My Horn

Have you had a bad day? Is your team going through a tough patch? Has a team member just been let go? This is a great way to remind your team that they are valued and a vital part of an organization. The group is separated into pairs and then each player has 15 seconds to tell their partner ten things they do well. Each person then has to make two lists: one should be a list of ten things they do well professionally, and one list of things they do well personally. The goal of the game is that they should put these lists in a common place where they can re-read the lists and remember just how worthy they are! According to a study, after 21 days of reading the lists each day, the person will have a greater sense of confidence and pride.

No. 5: Have a Ball!

This is a fun game for a sales environment and can boost energy levels in an office. Use a ball, and agree upon a particular event, maybe a sale or a common question. Each time someone makes a sale, they throw the ball to another team member as a signal of success. This generates team acknowledgement of a particular event and connects team members.

As you can see – just a few moments can generate an upbeat and changed atmosphere. Team building exercises, while they sometimes have a negative connotation can be short, sweet and equally effective – all while not breaking the bank.





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