This blog post was published on the Blogging4jobs site on 23 February:
Being a leader is more than just managing your team effectively. It's about developing, growing, leading, and challenging your team. Earlier I talked about the 8 key concepts to drive your start up. Team building is more than just games and activities. It's about understanding your audience and developing a strategy in which to learn and work with them.
Finding budget friendly and effective activities to build relationships with your team are a challenge. Here are 5 activities that you can use to engage your teams, encourage them to collaborate, have fun, and work together at the same time. Many of these activities have down-loadable instructions that I have hyperlinked to the activity.
Paper Tearing Exercise. This is a listening based exercise that also helps your team understand how each of you listen and interpret spoken and demonstrated information and actions. This is a great exercise to kick off a short meeting or to regroup after a break. Download instructions.
Broken Squares Game. Although this activity takes approximately an hour or preparation, it is well-worth the time invested. Broken Squares forces team members to work together without speaking. Each team member has an individual goal and they quickly learn that in order to accomplish their own goal they must all work together. Download instructions.
Group Think. This activity involves an easel and groups of 5-7. One person starts with easel turned away from group and has 15 seconds to draw the first thing that comes to their mind. The next person continues the first's drawing without spoken words and so on. After the activity is complete, group members can reflect on how they interpreted the picture and their thought process.
Totem. A team will work to determine what animal each best represents themselves and then work together to build a totem with each animal represented. The team then determines how the group will use their qualities to the group's advantage. I've compiled a list of totems for you and your teams to choose from. I encourage you to have your teams display the totems in their work spaces and offices. This reminds them of the activity and their role within the team and the team's goal.
Paper Airline Throwing Exercise. View this short video first at Paper Airplane Movie. Divide your groups into teams of two and allow them 10 minutes to work together to create their own paper airplane that flies the farthest. Allow each individual team to compete against one another and fly their plane. Reward the winner and discuss alternative strategies that could yield the same or better results like the video discussed.
Please be sure to view the powerpoint presentation below that discusses the 8 key concepts for team building from the Oklahoma Entrepreneur Conference.