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Building a Powerful Team - 10 Highly Effective Team Building Exercises


Team building exercises can be very useful in helping a team bond. They encourage the team to work together, promote creative thinking, and foster team spirit. Use the following exercises to help your team come together.

Manager conducting a team building exercise with employees at work


1. Truth or Lie?

Goal: To help team members get to know one another

Give each person on your team a sheet of paper. Have each person write down two things that are true and one lie about themselves. The lie should be believable. The goal is to make it hard to distinguish between the truths and the lie.

Go around the room and have each person read their statements. Their teammates must try to guess which statement is a lie. You may be surprised by what you learn about your fellow teammates!

2. What’s Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?

Goal: To promote creativity

Asking employees what their Unique Selling Proposition is can be a solid team building question to ask

Ask each person to bring an item from their desk. The item from their desk is the “product” that they must promote. They must come up with a plan to sell this item. Logos and slogans are required.

Once everyone has come up with a promotional plan for their product, have them present their plan to the group. Then have the group discuss which presentations they felt were the most effective.

3. What’s the Picture?

Goal: To strengthen communication between the team members

Divide everyone into teams of two, facing in opposite directions so that they can’t see each other. Give one person on the team a picture. They describe the picture without saying what the picture is. The other person tries to guess what it is.

4. How Are You Alike?

Goal: To help teammates get to know each other better

Divide your team into smaller groups. Each group must discover something that all the group members have in common.

Find a common thread within the group for the team building exercise

Once a common thread has been found between all the members, they need to come up with a list of other characteristics that people with their common trait share. For example, if everyone in a group loves dogs, they would come up with a list of traits that are common to dog lovers.

5. Watch Where You Step

Goal: To encourage teamwork and communication

Using tape on the floor, make a large rectangle approximately 12 feet long by 7 feet wide. When making it, keep in mind that people will be trying to get from one end of the rectangle to the other end while blindfolded. Place some pieces of paper in the rectangle. These papers represent bombs that must be avoided.

Divide your team into groups of two. One individual will be blindfolded and stand inside the rectangle. The other person will stand outside the rectangle.

The person standing outside the rectangle must guide their blindfolded teammate from one end of the rectangle to the other end using only their voice. If they step on a sheet of paper, they must start over.

6. Different/Alike

Goal: To promote creative, outside the box thinking

Gather a bunch of random objects and put them on a table together. Then, divide the team into groups. Each group must come up with some characteristic that describes how all the objects are alike.

Set a time frame for the teams to collaborate. When time’s up, each group explains their decision about how all the objects are similar in some way.

7. Favorite Memory

Goal: To help team members develop deeper relationships with each other

Have each person close their eyes and think of their fondest memories. This should be things that were true highlights of their lives.

Then tell everyone to open their eyes. Ask each person which one memory they would love to relive. You’ll be amazed at what some people share about themselves.

8. Negative / Positive

Goal: To help teammates learn how to reframe negative events into learning experiences

Divide everyone into groups of two. One person shares a negative event from their life with their teammate.

Then they share the same event again, only this time they focus on the positive elements of it. Their teammate helps them find positive aspects.

Then have their teammate do the same exercise.

9. Productivity Mingle

Goal: To improve meeting productivity and participation

This game is to be played immediately prior to a meeting. Every person tells the others what they plan to say at the meeting to make it more productive. You can give prizes to those who share the most or are most accurate.

You’ll be amazed at how this activity enhances the overall quality of meetings.

10. Scavenger Hunt

Goal: To promote team unity and deeper relationships

Divide everyone into teams. Make a list of fun, even silly tasks for everyone to perform. These tasks can include things like taking a video of dancing in front of a particular building, collecting specific objects, and more.

A scavenger hunt can be a creative way to connect with your team

Be creative when you come up with the tasks! You may want to create a point system for the tasks based on how hard they are.

Each team receives a listing of the tasks, which must be completed by an established time. The team that finishes the most tasks the fastest (or gets the most points) wins.

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