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Different Types of Games for Team Building

By Wendy Rose Gould ; Updated June 13, 2017

Team-building exercises serve multiple purposes. Among groups who have never worked together before, you can use icebreakers to create a sense of unity before getting down to the job at hand. Team building exercises can also boost overall team morale, improve the general mood of a workplace and, at the very least, provide some fun. When choosing a team-building activity, consider what your goal is as well as the existing dynamic of your group.

Back-to-Back Drawing

This team-building exercise hones communication skills. Members of the team break off into pairs and sit on the floor back-to-back. One person in each team is holding a picture of a simple shape; the other, a pencil and piece of blank paper. The one with the picture has to give instructions to his partner on how to draw the shape; without revealing what the shape is.

Compare both drawings at the end of the exercise and discuss which aspects of the communication process needs work -- description or interpretation, or both.

Survival Scenarios

The survival scenario team-building exercise aims to improve communication, problem-solving techniques and compromising among group members. To play, tell your group they've just encountered an extreme situation, such as a plane crash, shipwreck or a lost-in-the-desert scenario. Ask members to then decide on 12 items that would be most useful to their survival in that situation, the Wilderdom website instructs.

Encourage various techniques, such as voting on paper, open debates and small group talks. Afterward, debrief by asking questions like: "How did you decide on your items?", "What roles did each team member adopt?" and "How comfortable do you feel with the final decision?"

Mine Field

This team-building exercise is excellent for building trust, communication and relationships within the group. To begin, pair everyone with a partner and then ask each pair to choose a member to be blindfolded. After the chosen person is blindfolded, create a small to medium-sized obstacle course. For example, you can place chairs or other objects throughout, items that need to be crawled over or under and so on.

The person who is not blindfolded must talk the other person through the course. Once finished, exchange roles and re-design the obstacle course.

Alliteration Name Game

Play this game when working with a group where most have never met each other. It helps team members learn names and promotes working together when necessary. Start by having everyone stand in a circle and ask each person to come up with an adjective to describe themselves that begins with the same letter as their first name. For example: brave Bob, silly Susan and zany Zach.

Have one person begin by saying their descriptor and name. The next person in line must say the previous person's descriptor and name, then their own. The person after that must say the previous two and so forth.

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