Teamwork is an important factor that determines the success of any organization. Whether it's on the sports field or in the office, a team must be able to work together in order to succeed. Using team challenges can help you develop the camaraderie that you desire while building leadership and communication skills. Many different types of challenges are available to help your team grow into a cohesive unit.
The Ropes Course
The ropes course is a challenging team event that helps develop a number of skills. The course consists of obstacle courses created from rope combinations. The team must overcome each obstacle. For example, one test would require the team to climb a rope ladder while supporting and guiding teammates who must act out specifc disabilites such as blindness. After each session, the program leader then facilitates a discussion on what the team just completed. The ropes course is also a good program to use to see who will emerge as leaders and help the team mesh together.
Survival Scenario is a team challenge activity that helps build critical thinking and problem solving skills. The program leader describes an accident that leaves the group stranded with low supplies. The group has an emergency kit with 20 different items available. However, they can only carry 15 with them. The team must rank their top 15 items and the five they will leave. Give the group 15 to 20 minutes to create their list. The program leader will then facilitate a discussion about the process to make their list. Survival Scenario can be completed with groups of six to eight people or by splitting larger organizations into smaller segments.
Multi-Way Tug of War
The Multi-Way Tug of War is a physically demanding game that can also be used as a team building program. Take two sections of rope and tie them together to form the letter X. Split your organization into four even teams. Each team will grab one section of the rope. At the sound of the whistle, the four teams will begin to pull on their section of the rope. The goal is to pull all the other teams past the designated line on the ground. Once one team is left, they are declared the winner. This program forces the groups to learn how to work together to achieve a common goal; even if for just a moment. Before you begin, be sure that everyone can physically participate.
Back to Back Drawing
Back to back drawing is a program that helps develop communication skills and the ability to take directions without visual cues. Divide your group into teams of two and have the participants sit back to back. Provide one person with a simple picture. The other receives paper and pencils for drawing. The person with the picture must describe the image while the other recreates the drawing. The teams have 5 minutes to complete the picture to the best of their abilities. Once the time is up, the groups must compare their drawings, and the program leader chooses which one best replicated their image.
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