You’ve only got 5 or 10 minutes to fit in a quick team building activity that will provide a focus for your training session. How are you going to manage that? And what is the team building activity going to achieve?
Through my 20 years of planning, running and being part of some great teamwork exercises, I have a few ideas that you might find useful. To help you pick the right one, I have organised them into themes focussed on what skills or messages you want your team to learn.
Themes for Quick Team Building Activities
- Working together and cooperation
- Leadership skills
- Problem Solving Techniques
- Soft skills, people skills, influence and motivation
Blindfold Team Building Activities
Using blindfolds are a good way to introduce the “trust” aspect with minimal risk of someone injuring themselves. The stupid idea of falling backwards and hoping that your so called colleagues are going to catch you is not just trusting that they want to catch you but also whether they are able to catch you. So don’t go there. People will hate you for it.
Back to the blindfold thing. You can do many variations on a theme which don’t take much time to set up.
The blindfold obstacle course can be as easy of difficult as you wish. You can just place chairs around the room as obstacles, and then get members of the team to try to navigate their way without touching any chairs. You have the team leader at the other end of the room calling out directions for the blindfolded team member to follow.
You can introduce confusion by having two teams trying to accomplish the room crossing at the same time. Having two people call out the directions means that you have to carefully listen whether it applies to you.
You can also have the team blindfolded and not have any obstacles. They have to be directed to a location on the floor.
Other variations on the blindfold team building activities include the team all holding hands blindfolded and having to lead each other through a course.
The Levitating Stick
This is very easy to set up, but it may or may not work depending on whether members of the team have done it before.
The team lines up so that they are in two lines facing each other. Each person holds out their two index fingers. You then place a garden cane so that it rests across everyones’ fingers. The aim is for the stick to be lowered to the ground.
The rule is that everyone’s fingers have to stay in contact with the stick at all times. What happens is that when you say go, the pressure of the stick on the team’s fingersis so light that they lift their fingers to keep more contact. The effect is that everyone then lifts their fingers to keep contact and the stick appears to be lifted up in the air as if made of helium.
Team Through a Sheet of Paper
Each team is given a sheet of letter sized paper (A4) and a pair of scissors. The challenge is to cut a hole in the paper in such a way so as to create a big enough hole for the team to climb through. Sounds impossible? It’s not. Hint – Fold it in half and cut in zig zags.
This is an easy one to organise, but does have to be done outdoors. In pairs, one person throws a raw egg to the other person who has to catch it. The pair have to see how far apart they can stand and still successfully catch the egg.