Those team meetings or team building exercises can be a real struggle to get off the ground sometimes; especially when people are new and/or just weary of the team exercise routine. Having been through plenty of these team sessions myself over the years I thought it worthwhile to share some of those exercises that have worked, sometimes to a rather limited extent, in getting people talking and engaging with each other and starting to build some team strength.

1. Discover something new about each other

  • Bring a bag of random items
  • Lay them out
  • Ask the team to identify one which they can use to help describe themselves – including one thing that no one knows about them.

2. How well do we know each other?

  • Hand out a piece of paper to each participant
  • Ask them to write down the name of an object which describes them (do not share with the rest of the group at this point)
  • Write the objects down on a flipchart
  • Ask the team to guess which object represents which team member
  • The team can explain why they chose that object.

3. Memorable Moments

  • At the beginning of the session ask the group to individually write down anything that has happened to them that was really embarrassing/funny. As the day progresses and you need to inject some humour into the proceedings, ask individuals to share with the group what they had written down earlier.

4. The 9-dot Exercise

  • Ask participants to join the dots only using four straight lines, without the pencil leaving the paper and without retracing any line. Once they have achieved this ask them to repeat the exercise now only using three lines.

5. The Ball Game

  • Bring a small ball
  • Ask the participants to stand up
  • They should pass the ball to everyone in the group in 60 seconds
  • Then try the same exercise but with a 30 second time limit
  • Then as quickly as possible

6. Our Car

  • The group should imagine the team as a car (or any object for that matter)
  • Which type of car would it currently be and why?
  • What is the car’s specifications in colour, size, registration etc
  • Now the group should imagine the team in an ideal world, ie where they would like it to be, and how this would relate to their previous imaginary car
  • And then work through what were the key differences and how they could be effected by the team

7. I Wonder

  • Ask one half of the team to write down statements that their customers (internal or external) would say about the team
  • Ask them to explain why (the other half of the team can challenge them)
  • The other half of the team write down what they want their customers to say about the team
  • Ask them to now also explain why (the whole team can challenge them until the team agrees on this)
  • Is there a gap?Discuss what needs to be done to close this gap.