What are team building activities?

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What activities are available?

English: An improvisational comedy troupe in A...

English: An improvisational comedy troupe in Austin, Texas, United States doing a shortform improv game. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are plenty of fun team building activities that you can use for your business to enhance employee creativity, productivity and camaraderie. Although it may seem superfluous to take time away from a busy week to engage in activities that are purely for the purpose of building a sense of togetherness and a spirit of team togetherness. However it can be one of the best things you will ever do for boosting not only morale but also the kinds of quantifiable, measureable skill sets and outcomes that are so essential for an excellent business to thrive.

These activities do not need to be the admittedly lame types of ideas that you may have heard or experienced yourself when you were coming up through the ranks of business. However fields as diverse as improvisational comedy, psychology and sociology have all contributed to an increasingly large pool of information for you to choose from in order to make a great experience for your employees as you engage in great team building activities.

 What’s the benefit?

A group of Individual Placement members enjoy ...

A group of Individual Placement members enjoy a team building activity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Team Building activities range from improvisational comedy, games that involve your employees in creative play can be a perfect conduit for increasing your employees’ communication skills, their willingness to take risks with each other and their feeling of trust and camaraderie with one another. Telephone is an old gem, both from childhood and from theater games that works very well in this situation, with a slight twist. At the end of the game of traditional telephone where each person passes a phrase from ear to ear reproducing whatever changes may have come through the permutations the final person writes the sentence down on a card or slip of paper. They then choose a partner, tell or show them the sentence and start an improvisational skit with that sentence as the goal. In other words the end of the scene will be the first person of the two of them saying that sentence, word for word. When it will end and how is up to the two people to figure out.

An added fun twist can be to allow other people to “tag in” to the scene, saying a key word like “freeze” or another word decided upon by the group. You can put a cap on the number of people allowed in the scene or you can let it run amok. Either way this exercise will really allow your employees to let their guards down with one another as well as encouraging thinking on their feet and creative play.

What’s the end result?

English: Summer School students create their o...

Psychological sciences have a lot to offer in the area of fun team building activities. There are many websites that have great ideas for activities that involve art, drawing, song writing and puzzle solving. When your engaging in these activities as a team, your employees will learn about themselves and each other and for you as an observer it can be an invaluable experience. You should Be sure and watch for leadership qualities in your groups. Is there any particular person or group of people who are emerging as great organizers of their individual teams or of the teams as a whole? What sorts of techniques are they using and how are they communicating with people on their teams or to the other teams? Make a note of these important skills and be sure to utilize them in your business in the future.

In terms of sociological research there is a lot of information to go on that will help you have a great time with team building in the workplace. Creating puzzles, problems and opportunities for conflict resolution can mirror the situations that you might find in the workplace without the stress of real deadlines. Pitting teams against one another can foster healthy competition that will also translate into increased productivity in your business environment. Competition is good for you, so embrace it and take the opportunity to observe the interactions that your games and activities create and bring about among your employees.

Team building activities are a great way to enhance your business environment no matter how big or how small it may be. Fields of improvisational comedy and theater, psychology and sociology have contributed greatly to the ideas available for team building in the workplace.

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