Teambuilding exercises, by their very nature, should be fun, inclusive and energizing for everyone involved. It all comes down to carefully selecting the theme, games and their execution to assure that everyone is fully engaged and participating in the activities. Creating an energized environment is integral to the participants walking away with a positive experience and, more importantly, with a positive eye to the future.
The group juggle is an energetic way to break the ice and for the participants to learn one another's names if there are new participants. Ask the group to stand in a circle, then toss in a ball, calling that person's name, and they will proceed to throw the ball and introduce themselves. The ball recipient can thank the thrower, by using their name, and then introduce themselves as they throw the ball to the next catcher. The group juggle provides a loose dynamic to introduce yourself since you are focusing on keeping the balls in the air. There is less chance to be self-conscious if you are focused on a task, and the tactile aspect of the game, throwing and catching the ball, may help some group members to remember names better.
This classic party game can be fun and a great way for participants to get to know the body language and general attitude of their fellow players and colleagues. The players' approach to this game can be quite revealing as in showing if the person is more tentative and introverted or if they are more gregarious and assertive. The focus on non-verbal cues and attention to personality traits are powerful tools and a great window into the personality of your team members. Along with those basic tools, the game is fun, physical, engaging and entertaining for everyone involved.
Follow the Leader
This childlike game can be a good way to involve everyone and get to know one another's body language, as well as letting participants understand how their body movements are seen, perceived and interpreted. Ask the game players to have a sense of humor and just enjoy themselves. Have the group stand in a circle then ask one player to leave the room for a minute. While that person is out of the room, choose a leader who the rest of the room will follow. Invite the person back into the room and have them stand in the center of the circle where they will be the guesser, trying to figure out who is the leader. The game begins by everyone in the circle performing the same movement, such as swinging their arms. The leader subtly begins to perform other movements that the rest of the group follows. This game allows subtle and brief eye contact between the followers and leader, establishing the balance between following the motions and not letting the guesser know who is following whom. The leader may jump, dance, clap, kick his legs or sing, as long as his followers play along. This game can be funny and silly, and absolutely energizing, up until when the guesser figures out who the ringleader of the madcap troupe is. The guesser may make up to three guesses.
This blindfolding activity can cause a noisy fracas among the participants, but it will surely be fun, silly and energizing for the group. Have everyone stand in a circle and help each other with their blindfolds. Whisper an animal name to each participant. There will be two of each animal, and the goal is for the team members to make the appropriate animal sounds until they find their respective fellow animal. No one is to speak, and they are only allowed to emulate their animal's sounds, as boisterously and creatively as they would like, to give clues. Be watchful of your participants so that no one is injured since this is a blindfolded activity. There is no need to move much as long as the team members make their sounds loudly and clearly.
- Photo Credit wooden people image by Darko Draskovic from Fotolia.com
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