Carefully planned and executed team building exercises unite employees, develop strengths and bring weaknesses to light. As a result, employees learn effective strategies, boost their productivity and communicate better with co-workers. Consider trying one or more of these great team building exercises.

Improve Communication with the Life Highlights Game

This exercise allows employees to reflect on the best moments of their lives and then share a particular 30-second glimpse they would relive if they only had 30 seconds left to live. Start out by asking participants to close their eyes and think about the best moments they’ve had in life. Then, ask them to select which 30 seconds they want to relive if they only had that much time left to live. Allow them to open their eyes again and have each person share with the group what those 30 seconds was and why they chose it.

The Picture Pieces Game for Problem Solving

This game shows employees the importance of working together for the big picture. It should take about 30 minutes to complete this exercise. Select a well-known picture that is full of detail, and cut it into equal squares based on the number of participants. Give a cut square (puzzle piece) to each person and ask him to create a copy of the puzzle piece five times larger. Make sure to pass out rulers, pencils, markers, and paper for this exercise. After employees have finished their enlargements, instruct them to put the pieces together to form the original image.

Tag Team Adaptability Exercise

A good team building exercise that enhances the adaptability of employees is the “Tag Team.” To lead the tag team exercise, you must prepare large sheets of paper and writing utensils. Divide participants into groups of 4-8 people. Each member of a group will share with their teammates their strengths and positive attributes. After each person has shared what he wrote down, the group creates the “ultimate team member” on a large sheet of paper by combining the strengths and positive traits of all participants. They must also name this imaginary person and draw a picture of him. Then, the group writes a story starring this ultimate team member. What’s the benefit of this team building exercise? Participants will realize that they accomplish more when they work together.

Running Free – An Exercise in Trust

Running Free involves splitting up employees in teams of two with one in the role of “follower” and the other as “leader.” Blindfold the follower while the leader holds his or her hand and guides him or her on a slow walk for three minutes. Then, instruct the leaders to take their partners on a normal-paced walk for three minutes. After that, go for a fast three-minute walk. It doesn’t stop here, however. In order, the next paces are a 30-second jog, 15-second run, and 15-second sprint with breaks in between. Let the followers rest with their blindfolds off after the final stage before letting them switch places with their partners. The leaders must now experience walking and running as the follower. Afterwards, hold a discussion about trust for further insight.

Eye Contact Exercise

A simple team building exercise for building trust is eye contact. Divide the employees into teams of two, and instruct them to look in each other’s eyes for a full minute. No matter how awkward it seems, partners are not allowed to look away. Those who are wearing sunglasses must take them off for this activity. Change the partners around numerous times, so that employees have the chance to build comfort and trust with multiple people. When team members are more comfortable around each other, they will naturally perform better, too.

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