Involving the team in deciding what activities to use is empowering and participative, and will help to lighten your management load. It's the team leader's, or manager's, or facilitator's responsibility to structure and help teams to ensure that all team members have the opportunity and incentive to contribute and participate in team activities, and ultimately the team's success. It is helpful to use and refer to these models when using, planning, designing, and evaluating team building activities or games:. Kirkpatrick's learning evaluation model.
Bloom's Taxonomy of learning domains. Introducing team members to Kirkpatrick's and Bloom's concepts can also help them to develop a clearer understanding of their own needs, and their preferred methods of training and development - individually and for the team. Team building games and activity tips. Tips for quick games and exercises for warm-ups and team building.
First of all - use your imagination - you can simplify, adapt, shorten and lengthen most games and exercises. To turn a long complex game into a quick activity or warm-up, scale down the materials, shorten the time allowed, and make the exercise easier. Most of the games on the free games page can also be used for children's education and development, and for kids party games - adapt them to suit.
The number of members per team affects activity time and complexity - teams of four or more need a leader and tend to take longer than a pair or team of three. Increasing or reducing team size, and introducing or removing the team-leader requirement, are simple ideas for increasing or reducing game complexity and exercise duration.
Whatever you choose, as the facilitator, practice it yourself first so you anticipate all the possible confusions, and so that you have a good idea of how best to do it you'll generally be asked by the delegates after the exercise. Think carefully about team sizes - pairs or teams of three are best for short 'construction' exercises, unless you want a leadership element in the game.
Without a leader, too many team members causes non-participation and chaos, so avoid this unless the purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate why teams need leadership. Remember your tape measure, and practice the activity yourself to try to come up with an ideal solution for when they ask at the review. Larger teams are fine for quizzes because teamworking is less crucial. Giving a tight deadline will encourage the teams to share out the puzzles, which emphasises leadership, communication and use of skills and resources. Tips for working with syndicate groups for team building or training.
Team building games and training exercises work better using syndicate groups, or teams. This is particularly so if you want a competitive element, which is very effective in building teams and team spirit. Working with syndicates also encourages and enables more participation, activity and ideas, and managed well, it makes the trainer's or facilitator's job easier. Using syndicates in team building needs thought and planning - here are some pointers:. Train the team building trainer ideas. These ideas concern training people or learning for yourself to become a great team building facilitator.
The job of training managers and trainers how to run team building sessions is different to running a team-building session per se. How to become a great team builder. Becoming an expert in team building is a wonderful career speciality to pursue. The growing popularity of team building, and the recognition of structured, organized team building as a significant factor in the performance and well-being of individuals, teams and organizations, will fuel growth in demand for, and provision of, specialist team building training.
Team building potentially includes a very wide variety of methodologies, techniques, theories and tools. And also values and philosophy. This is what sustains and fuels people in organizations. It follows then that to become a great team builder you should open yourself to philosophical ideas and values, as well as learn and experience as many methodologies and related techniques as you can, which together will combine to give you the character, skills and breadth for becoming an inspirational leader in team building - and in the training of team building to others, be they trainers, managers, facilitators or team leaders.
Here are some examples of useful methodologies, concepts, etc. Team building variables. When planning and running team building activities, exercises, games, etc. It also adds a bit of hard theory to the inevitable other soft content. Ongoing competitions are excellent for team building, but If you are training the trainers don't run a competition through the whole day - mix up the teams from time to time to show how team dynamics can be changed and the effect of doing so. Use a mixture of games to cover different logistical and environmental constraints - small room, large room, syndicate rooms, outdoors.
Include a mixture of games to develop different skills and aspects within team building - leadership, cooperation, communication, breaking down barriers, planning, time-management, etc. Ask the delegates in syndicates to design their own games to meet specific scenarios. As well as the ideas, look at all the variables: clarity of instructions, timings, team numbers and mix, logistics, venue requirements, etc.
Outdoors, use traditional games like rounders, cricket, touch rugby, relay races, to demonstrate the big team dynamics, and the physical exercise effect - stress reduction, endorphins and neuro-transmitters, etc. Also cover 'workshops' and how to plan and run them - practical sessions dealing with real business issues, with real content and real action-based outcomes, including the team-building effect - use a real business issue as an example. This would also require some pre-session preparation and coached and measurable follow-up, which are also extremely useful and under-used mechanisms.
Buy a big basket. Buy lots of sweets or candy, lollipops too, wrapped preferably for hygiene and maintenance reasons and put them into the big basket. Put the big basket of sweets and lollipops on the table before people arrive for work, or the meeting, or the training session. And then watch people smile. Sweets and lollipops break down barriers. They are a universal language for feeling good and being happy. After a week or two of different sweets throw in some bubblegum. Also some bubblegum with collectible cards. This gesture is not restricted to the training room; you can put baskets of sweets all over the place.
Even in the reception and the board room; and even in the finance director's office. You can ask the receptionist if she or he would be so kind as to make sure that the sweet basket is always filled to the brim at the company's cost of course , and to make sure she or he always invites every single visitor to dip their hand in and take a big handful for their kids. And you'll see how wonderfully well people react to being treated in this way. When you've firmly established the practice of having baskets of sweets everywhere, you can move on to fresh cut flowers Next of course you'll need to appoint a flower monitor, which every right-minded person will want to be, so you can have one per floor, or one per day of the week, or one per department, whatever Before you decide to use any team building games with a group of people, think about whether the activities are appropriate for the team members and the situation.
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Think beyond providing traditional work skills development. Explore everything, and show your people that you have a broader view about development - they'll have lots of ideas of their own if you let them see it's okay to think that way. Team building games are just a part of a very wide mix of learning and and development experiences that you can explore and facilitate for your people - try anything.
If it helps your people to feel good and be good, then it will help your organisation be good too. Ensure that team-building activities comply with equality policy and law in respect of gender, race, disability, age, etc. For example, a demanding physical activity might be great fun for fit young people, but if any of the team members are old or in any way disabled, then think again, because it wouldn't be fair, and it might even be unlawful. The same applies to any activities that discriminate against people on grounds of gender, race, etc.
Team-building games and activities have to agreeable and acceptable to team members, and the exercises have to be fair. These free team building games and exercises generally last less than one hour, and can be adjusted to create longer team building activities, depending on the sort of team building, ice-breakers, training development activities required. Review and discussion are often useful and helpful after exercises which have raised relationship issues, or changed people's perceptions. Plan and practise all unknown aspects of the activities before using them.
Logistics, facilitation and especially how you split the group into the numbers of team members per team are factors which have a big effect on how the exercises work and the experience for all. This simple exercise format is adaptable for a wide variety of training and development situations. Before moving to the next question, the group should discuss, refine and agree the correct answer. You can expand the exercise by splitting the group into teams and giving points and offering incorrect answers as bonus questions.
These questions are just examples. Create your own, and ensure you clarify questions where ambiguity could exist. The exercise is especially relevant for a group after a break, for example after holidays, or when a boost or intervention is required to help people shift habits or assumptions.
The task suggested is 'how to tie a shoelace', but you can substitute any other easy instinctive skill e. Ideally something that people can actually do for real in the review. The purpose of the activity is to start people thinking and working, and particularly to assist thinking and learning about:. Obviously avoid arrangements that will be unnecessarily time-consuming and tedious, for example do not ask a group of twenty people to do the task individually and to present their results individually, or the exercise will take til lunchtime..
Ideally review the group's work so that at least some of the resulting instructions can be viewed by the whole group. You should also encourage people to try to follow - in practice - at least some of the resulting instructions which is often overlooked by writers of manuals and instructions. The activity offers a very neat association with the concept and principles of empathy, and the metaphor of 'putting yourself in the other person's shoes' when communicating to others. This is a very simple and amusing introductions activity, and a super icebreaker and energizer, for groups of people, any age and level, or bigger groups subject to splitting people into smaller sub-groups and giving guidance to self-facilitate as required.
Then, after everyone has taken their sheets do not issue these instructions until everyone has taken their sheets :. Aside from the obvious values of the activity energizing, ice-breaking, quickly introducing people to each other in an interesting way , the exercise cleverly makes the points that:. Tuckman's Forming Storming model. Presentation skills. Christmas Quizballs Instruct delegates to individually consider and describe the personality of a well known admired person which you can suggest, or assist the group in deciding who to describe.
A common cause of differences between delegates' views - and a fascinating aspect of the exercise - is that delegates' descriptions of a greatly admired person commonly match their own self-image. For obvious reasons it can be preferable to omit 'self-image' from the name of the activity before you run it with a group.
Select a well known admired person. Involve the group in this if you wish but avoid being distracted by other discussions about the selection, unless you welcome such discussion. You may select more than one well known person to repeat the exercise, but of course the point of the exercise is for the group to describe the same person at one time. If the group has expertise in personality theories and psychometric systems, then for extra focus on the technical aspects of personality theories you may select more than one theory for delegates to work with which means delegates give more than one view - i.
Importantly you must be able to explain the basic workings of the chosen personality theory to the group, or the group must already understand the chosen theory to a very basic level. If working with young people or others who have no appreciation of personality theory then begin the activity by helping the group to establish and agree key describing words of personality, which can then be used for the exercise.
Encourage delegates to use only words to describe the dominant features of the personality. You and the group will perhaps think of more appropriate examples for your local situation and the group's interests. Personality theories. Johari Window theory. Interviewing and selection.
Multiple Intelligences theory. Commonly staff social events, especially at Christmas time, involve eating and drinking in a pub or restaurant somewhere. The format tends to be: drink, eat, more drink, maybe dance a bit, maybe fall over in the car-park, and for many, have a hangover the next day. The organization, and more likely these days the staff too, spend a lot of money and have little to show for it, let alone a sense of fulfilment or spiritual uplift.
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Many organizations now seek more wholesome and responsible ways for team members to socialize, celebrate and bond at Christmas parties and other social events. Instead of spending or asking people to spend a big amount per head on a meal out - instead do it yourselves 'in-house'. Perhaps ask every staff member of staff to bring in some interesting food. This can be especially rewarding for groups of varying ethnicity.
Food reflects culture, and so offers a helpful basis for improving mutual awareness.
If you have a kitchen most workplaces do , then you can handle a certain amount of hot food. If you don't have a kitchen, then be creative with some camping stoves or an outside barbecue. That's assuming you want to serve hot food. Otherwise keep it to a cold buffet, which depending on the weather and time of year, can be perfectly acceptable. When you feed people in-house, on a biggish scale, it is very cost-effective and can produce excellent quality and quantities of food, for a fraction of eating-out costs.
Many groups will expect an alcoholic drink of some sort. Often alcohol is appropriate. Again be creative and imaginative. Again seek help and involvement from staff members with experience and skills in making and providing drinks for large groups. Recipes are available on the web. Consider the strength of drinks that you provide and consider implications of people's health, proper behaviour, transport, driving, etc.
Most offices have a big space somewhere which can be quickly reorganized to produce a good-sized area for setting up a buffet and eating. Maybe offer starters, mains, and deserts in different departmental rooms, so people circulate and get to know each other better. If you don't have a room or rooms then go out and find the space you need. Again be imaginative and creative.
There are interesting spaces everywhere. Find some space and make it work. Decorate the venue. Appoint a team to do this - and to dismantle and tidy up too. A consistent problem affecting traditional workplace parties and social events is that people tend to drink a lot when nothing else entertains them. People engage relatively little, with the event, and with each other. Organized activities instead get people involved and mixing and having fun together, which develops mutual understanding, builds relationships and teams, and diffuses tensions.
So think of some activities on which to build your event - to give people some entertainment apart from eating and drinking. Think about activities which will be different and participative, so that people will be active and entertained, rather than sat down drinking and chatting about work and office politics, etc. As already suggested, a really useful tone-setting idea is to have the bosses and executives take a leading role in serving and waiting on the staff.
The tone of the event is important. Staff will be positive if the tone is right. If the bosses stand aloof and refuse to help and get involved, then the tone will be unfair and wrong, and staff will not put effort and commitment into the event. If the tone is right and good and fair, then staff will respond positively. Consider that in very many organizations throughout the year, staff see senior managers and bosses enjoy longer lunch-breaks, expenses-paid-for trips and meals, big company cars, reserved car-park spaces, better salaries, bonuses and perks, and all sorts of other privileges.
So wouldn't it make a refreshing change for once if the bosses served the staff? You bet it would. A workplace social event is an opportunity for the organization to say thank you to its people. A sit down meal with drinks in a restaurant will achieve this to a degree, and of course in many cases is entirely appropriate, but for many other situations, a social event can achieve a lot more. Emotions and feelings within each of us are 'triggered' in different ways. We think differently and therefore see things differently. We often do not imagine that other people may see something quite differently to how we see the 'same' thing.
Management and relationships, in work and outside of work too, depend heavily on our being able to understand the other person's view, and what causes it to be different to our own. To illustrate this, and to explore how mental associations can 'colour' US-English 'color' our worlds differently:. Note: If anyone sees all the days as the same color, or sees no colour association at all, or perhaps sees or senses a more powerful alternative association, then this is another equally worthy personal viewpoint and difference.
The days of the week are a simple fixed pattern. Yet we see them in different ways. It is easy to imagine the potential for far greater differences in the way we see more complex situations - like our work, our responsibilities and our relationships, etc. Human beings will never see things in exactly the same way - this is not the aim or work or life - instead the aim should be to understand each other's views far better, so that we can minimise conflict and maximise cooperation.
Johari Window. Transactional Analysis. The Psychological Contract. Erikson's Life Stage Theory. Generational Differences. Personality Theories and Models. Versions of the 'Iceberg' may be mapped according to different perspectives, for example - how people see it currently; how they'd prefer it to be; from a personal, departmental or workforce standpoints. The exercise can be used as a basis for all sorts of learning and development activities, for example relating to:.
For groups of any size. Split into pairs, threes, or work teams and review as appropriate, or run the activity as a quick ice-breaker. What acronym can you devise or suggest one you know already that is particularly appropriate for modern times? Where groups devise their own acronyms you may optionally award a point for each letter in the acronym and bonus points for:. This is a simple and adaptable exercise which can be used to explore various themes. You could run a version on a table-top, or use it to get people moving around quite a lot.
As facilitator you need just a tape measure and a pad of small sticky notes. Here is the basis of the exercise. Adapt it and use different exercises to suit your own situations. This is an experiment to explore the brain's capability to estimate scale. Your guesses will be measured and results given. The exercises involve simple guessing, but provide a basis for understanding more about how reliably or unreliably our brains can estimate scale, etc. Sometimes guessing and instinctive assumptions are effective; often they are not. Note: As facilitator it will take you a while to measure and note scores for lots of guesses, so think how best to do this.
If using the exercise as a quick icebreaker, or if time is tight, especially if group is large, think carefully about how many measuring exercises to include.
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Just one is fine for an icebreaker. With big groups and treams issue people with tape measures and have them score each other. Or see the examples for simplifying the activities below. Depending on time and how you want to use the activities, other materials and measuring devices can be used for different exercises, for example:. Adapt the exercises depending on how active and logistically involved you wish the activities to be. This is a simple exercise for groups between 8 and 30 people, and involves many different learning elements: understanding strategies, teamwork, presentations, argument, debate, analysis and group decision-making.
The activity is based on the funny one-liner often attributed to comedian Stephen Wright , which is deeper than first seems:. Nominate one team to be 'early bird' and the other team to be 'second mouse' or allow the group to decide this themselves, which can be an interesting mini-exercise in its own right. Give the teams minutes, each to develop a second presentation or longer for bigger groups and more learning depth as to why their strategy 'early bird' or 'second mouse' is best for business or work or life, depending on your situation.
Optionally, ask the teams if in light of the presentations they would prefer to frame the question in a different way. People might now see a more constructive approach to the question. Again this can be a useful mini-exercise in its own right. After the debate hold a 'free' vote to see what the combined group now believes about the question. Allow but do not encourage abstentions 'don't knows'.
Encourage group members to vote as individuals, putting their team loyalty to one side. There are many possible learning areas to review after this exercise, depending on your situation and development purposes, for example:. Problem-solving and decision-making.
Here are some ideas and exercises to explore human physical contact and touching; the types, benefits, risks, associated feelings and reactions, in relation to self others. Touching people is understandably a neglected aspect of relationships and communications, especially in management and education relating to sexual harassment and child protection. Nevertheless touch is a highly significant part of body language, and crucial to human interaction. We therefore benefit by improving our understanding of touch and using it appropriately, rather than avoiding it altogether. A New York Times article by Benedict Carey reported some interesting findings on human touching:.
Many and various other studies have reported the positive powers of human touch. As with physical exercise, human touch triggers the release of chemicals in the brain. These are basic primitive human responses, not easily understood, and even now only beginning to be researched and analysed in reliable scientific terms. In time we will know what it all means and how it all works. Meanwhile a little practical experimentation can be helpful and enlightening.
Here are some ideas:. Love and compassion at work. Stress management. The nature of anything - especially feelings, relationships and communications - changes according to situation and context. This is vitally important in understanding ourselves, others, and the way that human systems operate, in which subjective views are commonly more dominant than objective facts, figures and evidence. Perceptions among people, especially given group effects, has a huge effect on systemic and organizational behaviour.
Here is a simple and pleasing demonstration of how something can change when experienced in a new context, particularly when the warmer spring season approaches in the northern hemisphere :. The demonstration is clearest if first people pour the drink and take a few sips indoors, and then walk outside, so as to compare the indoor and outdoor taste.
Strangely the taste is quite different, sometimes remarkably different. This is probably due to the fresh air being smelled and tasted along with the drink. I am open to better explanations. The effect also works with cold drinks. And picnic lunches, if you've time. In some situations the exercise will work better by not warning people of the reason for going outside, other than to get some fresh air and a leg-stretch, both of which are good for groups anyway.
Taste is not the only characteristic altered, for example, in cold weather the drink cools far quicker. Small and insignificant though it is, the drink experience and memory is altered by the different outside environment. The indoor cup of tea or coffee is perceived to be different because of the outdoor context and situation. The analogy can be used in many subjects which benefit from interpreting differences and implications within relative positions, for example:.
Very many theories and models for learning, management, development, etc.
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Understanding relativity is not merely for theoretical explanation - it's a real practical tool for interpreting and acting with more appropriate meaning - rather than a 'one size fits all' mentality - especially concerning the widely different perceptions among people in different situations. For groups of any size, subject to splitting into working teams and managing the review of the team work.
The exercise will take minutes plus whatever review your think is appropriate for your situation. Enough for every person to have at least sheets. You may nominate specific models, or seek examples of models from the group, then write these on pieces of paper, fold, and have people pick them 'blind'. Allow discussion and debate of matters arising as appropriate, according to the needs and timings of your session. To save review time - ask people to work in pairs, or in teams - requiring each pair or team to present an interpretation of only one story, being the most powerful example that the pair or team can find in the time allowed.
If the group has access to computers, internet and group display this enables the use of online news websites rather than newspapers. Explore what alternative words people would use to describe each other? What words surprised us and why? What obstacles tend to exist when we don't know each other?
And when other aspects of mutual awareness are not good? Why is it that lack of mutual awareness tends to cause difficulties, whereas good mutual awareness tends to produce benefits? How does good mutual awareness in a team enable greater delegation of responsibility, and generally better and easier performance?
Where the exercise is used as more of an ice-breaker for a group which has only recently been introduced to each other, a separate learning illustration is how much or little we seek, observe and absorb about new people we meet, and whether we can be more attentive at such times, since this reflects on perceived levels of empathy, and can influence people's self-esteem and confidence, and readiness to cooperate, etc.
A quick icebreaker and kick-start activity with a helpful underlying purpose. Commitments tend to succeed where there is a plan, especially for aims which contain steps leading towards the final result. Without a plan, little can change. Work backwards, identifying the steps necessary for achieving it, back to the starting point: i. In this situation it is particularly helpful to clarify that people do not need to reveal or discuss their aims with the group unless they want to, since for some people this enables more relaxed and creative thinking. Here is a selection of quick easy fun party games, including some already on these team games webpages.
Very funny. Who Am I? Issue each with a heavy key or spanner similar cold metal tool, tied to about fifty feet of string. The winning team is the first to thread the string through the whole team, passing underneath each team-member's clothing from top to bottom. Issue each with an orange or potato or other similar sized fruit or vegetable.
The winning team is the first to pass the orange from person to person and back to the beginning by holding the orange between chin and chest no hands. Dropping the orange incurs a two-person-stage penalty move it back two people in the chain. Play in pairs. Give each pair a raw egg still unbroken in its shell. Pairs face each other in two lines, five paces apart.
The egg must be thrown and caught twice between each pair. Move the lines three paces further apart. Again, throw and catch twice. Etc, etc. The winners are the last with their egg intact. If you are disturbed by the wastefulness of this game don't play it. Can be played in teams of three - one upside-down standing on head being supported by a team-mate, being fed a half-pint of a suitable drink from a suitable receptacle. Drinking straws are optional at the discretion of the party games organiser.
The winning team is the first to consume the drink. For additional challenge make the drink a pint and require each team member to take a turn in each of the three positions - holding, feeding and drinking. Be careful when planning games to ensure that they are appropriate for your situation. I accept no liability for any untoward issues arising. The activity is a simple introduction to project planning, and helps develop awareness of structure, scheduling, etc.
For groups of any size and any age. Split the group into pairs or teams appropriate for your situation. The task is to produce a simple project plan for making a cooked breakfast. Issue pens, rulers and paper, or arrange other presentation media as you wish. As the facilitator you may substitute or offer alternative tasks.
Cooking a breakfast is merely an example; see other examples below. Introduce the group to a project management tool s as appropriate, for example a Gantt chart, critical path analysis flow chart, or a 'fishbone' diagram. To extend the activity you can add the requirement that teams must indicate where training or preparation needs are most likely required for any of the process elements. Additionally you can introduce a financial element, so that plans must show a breakdown of costs, and a structure to monitor the budget for the project by each separate item.
Note that this financial aspect can be a big extra challenge for some learners and is best excluded if the main development need is to learn the basic structure and process of building a project plan. Project plans can be presented, discussed and reviewed according to your own situation and timings. Other potentially useful reference materials, depending on the expertise and interests of the group are:. Balanced Scorecard. A novel paper-cutting icebreaker exercise, played in pairs, or threes, or as a group.
The activity can be used as a bigger group problem-solving and team-working task. Depending on your purposes, situation and group, you can change this exercise in various ways, for example:. As facilitator it is recommended you practice the suggested cutting solution so that if necessary you can demonstrate it before or afterwards, depending on your adaptation to the group. Beware of using this activity in any situation that could cause embarrassment to overweight people or where delegates would be uncomfortable with the inter-personal proximity required. The qualification of putting the ring of paper over a given number of people is that while standing necessarily very close together they are able to pass the paper ring over their heads and down to the floor, enabling them to step over and thereby through the ring without breaking it.
Here is the cutting diagram, assuming that the sheet of paper is first folded. This is one solution to the exercise. Fold the sheet of paper in half, and cut it through both sides of the paper, as shown in the diagram, in the following sequence:. Cut slits 8 are adequate - the diagram shows 12 , from the folded edge up to about cm of the open edge, each slit being about 1. Cut a slit between each of the above slits, from the open edge to about cm of the folded edge.
Cutting more slits increases the size of the ring, as would using a larger sheet of paper. Slit dimensions can be increased for larger sheets. A further adaptation of the exercise is to issue one large sheet of paper for example from a broadsheet newspaper to a group of people up to ten or even twenty people and task them to work out how to cut or tear, for added difficulty the paper into a seamless ring which will fit over the entire group. This creates lots of problem-solving activity in the planning stage, and much physicality and togetherness when the ring is being passed over the group.
Team members can also plan the step-through strategy and other logistical aspects of the exercise. You will be surprised how large a ring can be created. An A4 sheet easily makes a ring circumference of 3m. A big newspaper sheet easily produces a ring circumference of 7m. Cutting lines are shown in red and blue. The diameter of the ring produced would increase by lengthening the parallel spiral pattern, requiring cuts closer together.
I understand from another contributor thanks Brian that in s London this method was used by young lads with bus tickets, to ease the boredom of the daily school commute.. The cutting lines are shown in red. The solution is similar to the first folded solution, but without the fold. Inspired by a sketch on Armstrong and Miller's TV comedy show in October , this is an amusing variation of the usual around-the-table introductions at the start of courses and other gatherings.
You have 30 seconds to think of your statements, after which according to the order decided by the facilitator each person makes their statements, pausing after each truth and lie for the group to decide which is which. While producing some amusement, the exercise can reveal surprising and impressive information about people hidden talents and claims to fame, etc. The exercise also requires group analysis and decision-making in deciding which are the true statements and which are the lies.
This exercise is adapted from the Armstrong and Miller comedy sketch. Adapt it further to suit your own purposes. According to myth, due to planetary gravitational effects or similar nonsense, it is possible to stand an egg on its end during the vernal Spring equinox, which is on or close to 21 March, when night and day are equal. In fact it is possible with a little patience and a steady hand to balance an egg on its end on a flat level surface, any time. The big end is much easier. Here's one on my kitchen table. This interesting feat of manual dexterity and myth-busting provides the basis for an enjoyable and fascinating group exercise.
The temptation to pun is almost irresistible. A raw egg is perhaps easier to balance than a hard-boiled egg because the weight sinks to the bottom and creates a sort of 'googly-man' effect. The science is not especially clear about this and if there are any professors of egg balancing out there I'd welcome your input. You can use this activity in various ways, to demonstrate or emphasise patience, discovery, positive thinking, questioning assumptions, breaking barriers, stress avoidance; and for team contests.
Incidentally you can tell the difference between a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg by spinning the egg. A raw egg spins slowly and speeds up, and continues spinning after you stop it; a hard egg spins faster and stays stopped. These differences are due to the independent motion of the liquid in the raw egg, whereas a hard egg behaves as a single mass. An additional point of interest is that a few grains of salt enables a very quick balancing 'trick', which is of course cheating. Facilitators are recommended to practice the task before asking others to try it.
The balancing is easier on slightly textured surfaces and a lot more difficult on very smooth surfaces. Eggs with slightly pimply shells are much easier to balance than eggs with very smooth shells. Some eggs are easier to balance than others so have a few spare for any that simply will not balance. The game can be used to make introductions a little more interesting than usual, or as a separate ice-breaker activity. Split large groups into teams small enough to review answers among themselves. A quick flexible exercise for groups of all sizes and ages.
It's based on a simple drawing game we have all played as children. Time spent by each person in turn on the drawing is limited to 5 seconds. The facilitator can shout 'change' when appropriate. No discussion is permitted during the drawing, nor any agreement before the drawing of what the team will draw. After one minute of drawing each team must agree privately a description maximum three words of what they have drawn, and pass this to the facilitator, to be referred to later. Teams must identify their drawing with a team name. The drawings are then passed around the group for each team to guess and write on the reverse of other team's drawings what they believe the drawing is or represents.
Teams are not permitted to look at the reverse of the drawings at other descriptions guessed until they have decided on a description. Drawings are awarded two points for each exact correct description achieved, or a point for a partly correct description. Teams are awarded two points for each correct description guessed, or a point for a partly correct description guessed. If you score the exercise, ensure teams are instructed to put their team name on their drawing, and alongside their guessed descriptions on the reverse of all other drawings.
Deduct ten points for teams drawing any of the following 'obvious' subjects: cat, house, car, man, woman, spacecraft, etc. Award bonus points for teams drawing anything highly obscure and yet recognizable, especially if resulting from no prior discussion. When the facilitator calls out 'team change', one person and the drawing must move to a different team, which can be likened to certain changes that happen in real organizational work teams.
It produces complete chaos of course. You have five minutes to discover an interesting, surprising and separate connection you share with each person in your team. A different connection with each person, not a single connection that every team member shares. Try to find a connection or something in common that surprises both of you.
The purpose of the exercise is to ensure that each person of the team ask some questions and gives some answers about themselves and all other team members, and so gets to know each other better. Discussions can be in pairs or threes.
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The team can decide how best to enable each person to speak to every other team member in the time allowed. This requires more care in larger teams. Group review of individual connections is unnecessary although particularly interesting connections can be volunteered and highlighted as examples if people are keen to do so.
More general review aspects include for example, optional depending on your own situation and wider aims for the group :. Larger teams need more time to ensure everyone learns something new and ideally establishes an interesting connection with each other team member. Younger people might be happier with questions about less deep subjects, which is fine. Guide the group as you consider appropriate. Multiple Intelligences. Personality types and models. Play as a team game in pairs, threes, fours or fives, which keeps everyone involved all the time, and introduces teamwork and tactics.
The game is essentially team bowls played like beach bowls or green bowls using balls of newspaper. Scoring is one point for each ball closest to the 'jack' ball. If a team gets say three or four of its balls closer than the balls of any other team then three or four points would be scored accordingly.
The potential to score high - notably for big groups split into big teams - means a winning team can emerge surprisingly late, which sustains full involvement of all players. The larger the floor area then the more energetic the game will tend to be.
The game can also be played outside provided there is no strong wind. For a more messy game outside for kids, supply a bucket of water and instruct that the balls should be wet.. The game is very adaptable. Consider and decide your own rules and scoring for your own situation. If playing the game with individuals for example in a small group of five , allow players two balls each. This makes the game more interesting for individuals, in which the order of throwing can be reversed for the second ball, making it fairer for all, assuming playing only one 'end'.
Or play big 'marbles' instead - best on a square playing area - in which players eliminate other players by rolling their ball to hit another player's balls. Players take turns to roll their balls. The winner is the last player remaining whose ball has not been hit by another ball. Players have to decide how close to risk leaving their balls to other balls, so it becomes quite a tactical exercise. Simplest rule here is to eliminate only the first ball hit with each roll, not rebounds. This is a quick adaptable exercise for small groups, or for large groups if split into self-facilitating teams, or alternatively pairs.
Take a minute to consider - What thirty seconds of your life would you most want to re-live, if you only had thirty seconds left? For the purposes of the exercise participants can choose several different life experiences, provided the total time is no more than thirty seconds. Exclude sex from highlights if there is a risk that it will unhelpfully distract, embarrass or be too dominant.
Shorten and concentrate the exercise by reducing the highlights time period from thirty to ten seconds, or lengthen and deepen the exercise by increasing the time period to ten minutes or an hour. Note: To make the exercise more dynamic and forward-looking you can encourage people to consider especially life highlights which can be repeated or extended in some way. Childbirth is for many people a highlight which is not likely to be repeatable, although this can of course prompt thoughts and discussions about the importance of family compared to other life issues.
This website accepts no liability for any marital or romantic strife arising if you play this game socially in couples, especially under the influence of drink or other inhibition-reducing substance. Here's a really quick exercise, ideal for ice-breakers - minutes - for groups any age or size. Equipment: Lots of coins, in case participants need extra. At last a use for all the shrapnel in your piggy bank.. Large groups can be spilt into teams of people. Combine team coins. Produce a single team logo, themed according to the situation.
Optionally ask teams to guess the meaning of other teams logos, before the explanations. Split the group into two. Half leave the room while remaining half make their personal coin logos.
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Half return to room and try to match logos to people. Repeat the process enabling the guessers to make, and the makers to guess. Ask participants to explain their logos to the group, or if pressed for time and for large groups - split the group and have the logos explained among teams of threes. If running the exercise in teams - review the discussions and feelings leading to the design of the logo, and the team theme if appropriate.
The activity is more dynamic if played in competitive teams, minimum three players per team, ideally per team. The exercise involves devising and using a simple coded non-verbal unspoken communications system. This is a very flexible game concept, and can be adapted in many ways to suit your situation and purposes. These instructions are for competitive teams playing the game.
Adapt it accordingly for a single group. For groups of four people or more, best with six people or more. Teams of more than ten become chaotic which is okay if that's what you are seeking to demonstrate. It's a very flexible concept; adapt it to suit your needs. This exercise is subject to a lot of variation, including the solutions that people devise. If you are a facilitator trying to imagine how it works, this might help..
At least three strings need to be connected to the top open end or near the top of the transporter tube, which keeps the tube upright and hanging from the connected strings being pulled tight by team members, and enables the tube potentially to be suspended and moved anywhere by and between the stringholders. Given that people cannot move their positions once the ball is loaded into the transporter tube, the method of 'playing out' string, as well as pulling it, is crucial.
Strings that are too short become a problem. At least one team member needs a string connected to the bottom of the tube to enable the tipping. If just one string is connected to the bottom of the tube then the tube can be tipped from just one direction, which means the team needs to have good control over the positioning of the tube. Having more than one string connected to the bottom of the tube from more than one position increases the options for the direction of the tipping, but the downside is that beyond a certain point, depending on the coordination capability of the team the difficulty tends to increase with more people having more strings connected.
Any bottom-connected string that crosses with a top-connected string will encounter a problem when it comes to tipping, because logically the bottom-connected string must get higher than the top-connected strings, hence the example solution which follows. At its simplest, imagine the receptor tube the target into which the ball must be tipped being in the centre of a clock face.
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Three team members are positioned at, say, 12, 4 and 8 o'clock, each of whom has a string connected to the top of the transporter tube, and a fourth team member, say, at 6 o'clock, has a string connected to the bottom of the transporter tube to enable the tipping. The ball is placed in the transporter tube, say by the team member at 12 o'clock. At this time no one can move from their position. The people at 4 and 8 take up the slack while 12 string is kept tight enabling the tube to be lifted. While 4 and 8 pull the tube towards the clockface centre, 12 plays out, keeping a tight string.
When the tube is in the correct position for tipping, 6 can pull, while the other three strings stay tight to keep the tube's position, or adjust as necessary. A quicker simpler version of this game can be played using drinking straws, a ball of rolled-up paper and a very thin dinner-table place mat:. A quick simple ice-breaker or bigger exercise related to questioning, and working together, here is the instruction, for groups of any size and any ages:. Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
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