Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top qualities of great team building exercises

Great team building exercises can strengthen group ties and encourage teamwork, at the same time employees learn something new. We all know a great training activity or team building activity when we see one, but what are the essential qualities of effective team building exercises?

According to Michael VanDervort at HumanRaceHorses:

Trainers are often looking for new team building exercises that they can offer to their business clients. Typically, such exercises should provide the following qualities so as to enhance the team-building experience:

  • A challenging task, to focus the participants on creativity or problem-solving
  • An element of competition to encourage both rivalry and cooperativeness
  • An activity that is both difficult and achievable, to generate interest and the desire to bond with your teammates
  • An element of rivalry, to create the desired “us vs. them” mentality needed for team-building activities when working with different groups.

Adding one more to the list, activities should also be fun. Creating fun team building activities gives people a break from their day-to-day work and facilitates learning in an informal atmosphere.

It’s always enjoyable to watch people learn something new about themselves and coworkers while they think they’re just having fun at work. It’s like getting a workout by playing with your kids and not realizing the calories you burned until your biceps hurt the next day. Everybody wins!

What other qualities do you think great team building exercises should possess? Please share any examples of training activities you’ve created or been a part of that you think encompass VanDervor’s qualities of a great team building activity.


Michael VanDervort said...

Thanks for the link love. I appreciate it.

-- Michael VanDervort

Berry said...

Team building should definately be fun, challenging and a little competitive. However, it must also be inclusive other wise you will lose memebvers of your team who don't want to participate which can be devisive!

Michael VanDervort said...


I agree with your comment about inclusiveness, but if there is the right edge of competition, I usually find that the people bond around that.

-- Michael VanDervort

Lisa said...

Team building activities are important to enhance employee working skills as well as their relationship skills. It's also a good break from all the stress in work. We had a great experience with Ripe Stuff. They were able to help us with our communication skills as well as conflict resolution.

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