They broke the group down into six groups of four, gave everyone a bag of marshmallows, a box of toothpicks, and some magnets and asked each team to build a suspension bridge over some tables. They had 20 minutes. The best bridge would win a prize. But before the timer started, everyone did the Gallup StrengthsFinder test. Another, with too many doers jumped in and started building without listening to the instructions. They had to start over and never finished their bridge.
I thought they would use up all the time answering those. In the end, they worked so well together they won.
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When it works: This sort of facilitated team building where someone guides a team through a test works for any team and is a good solution for a team that needs to work on building trust and psychological safety. The bike building itself is something of a team building exercises, as the participants have to work. But giving the bikes away is when the real magic happens. And culinary team building events are wildly popular.
1. Throw sharp objects
Cooking classes can be fun. And someone who goes home from work to cook for a family might be annoyed by it. But events where the participants eat, preferably in some lovely setting, are welcomed by everyone. Then the group moved into the caves for the salad course. Each course got a new location — and a new seating arrangement. It was an excellent team-building event. When it works: This is a great for any team that needs to get to know each other.
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There is plenty of opportunity for conversation and no forced groupings or physical activity. Karaoke is so last decade.
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League of Rock specializes in team building events where you get to get up on stage and perform in front of a rock band. But it is just as fun if you don't want to get on stage. You are in the audience watching your teammates rock out. This is the sort of team building that takes a working team to the next level. It gives them a shared history and builds on their relationship rather than just helping them get to know each other. When it works: Got a team that works? Want to bring them closer? This is a great way to do that.
When Xavier Lee, now head of executive coaching at Ideal Coaching Global and a partner at Centered Leadership Institute, worked on a high-functioning team that had just had an immensely successful year, his team — of about 50 people — went to Thailand for team building. This is the sort of team building event that is, at least in part, a reward. We went to temples and took a guided tour of Bangkok. We went to a nice dinner with a show. Then we got a massage. When this works: When a team is really working, it shows in your bottom line.
Christina Wood is a freelance writer living in North Carolina. She blogs at GeekGirlfriends. Here are the latest Insider stories. More Insider Sign Out. Sign In Register. Sign Out Sign In Register. Latest Insider. Check out the latest Insider stories here. More from the IDG Network.
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Essential practices of successful agile teams. We find this approach works for all groups as no one player has an advantage over another. If you have up and coming warriors desperate to paintball but you are not sure your they are quite ready for the rough and tumble of paintball why not check out our Laser Tag event. Played in the great outdoors Laser Tag offers the thrill and excitement of paintball without projectiles so ideal for those wanting to take the next step after Quasar but not quite ready for paintball or having already played paintball they enjoyed the thrill but not the bruises.
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