Category: Team Building Activities

Role Playing Team Building Exercises

Team Building Through Role Playing

Role playing is a useful tool for team building in social learning situations. It requires a minimum of two people, which makes it suitable for small groups. This type of team building exercise allows team members to examine situations from different points of view and prepare for different situations that they will face in the real world.

People typically love or hate role playing activities. The purpose of role playing is to encourage the team to engage with the topic, prepare for different scenarios, and see different points of view. Providing examples will help team members engage and learn in the role playing activities. Once role playing is acted out, the team should debrief and discuss what they learned from the scenarios. When done correctly, role playing is an effective social learning tool.

Identify Work Related Scenarios

The first step to effective role play is identifying work related scenarios. Scenarios will vary according to each team. Identifying the scenarios requires the topics to be researched and written well. Make use of scripts and take your time making decisions.

When choosing work related scenarios, try using open discussion. Brainstorm problems and situations that the team will face. Make a list of these, and determine which ones will make effective role playing scenarios.

Example:

  • Addressing inappropriate behavior
  • Helping customers
  • Improving listening skills
  • Handling dangerous situations

Add Variables

Variables are situations that change from one scenario to the next. These are what makes it possible to create different role playing scenarios for each problem. Things that change include the number and nature of the characters and the settings. As these details change, the role playing will change. For example, a role play scenario with a customer can vary. Variables include phone communication, returns, irate customers, etc. Each variable alters the dynamics of the role play and determines that appropriate response from the participants.  When choosing variables, identify the ones that target your team’s needs.

Assign Roles

The details of the role play must be clear. They include the setting, number of participants needed, the role of each participant, and the nature of the problem. The next step is to assign the roles to each person participating. The roles playing scenarios should be short. The goal is for each participant to play each role, which is why role playing between two people works well. Playing the different roles allows the participants to see things from multiple perspectives. It also helps everyone engage with the scenario completely.

Prepare Role-Players

Before engaging in role playing, it is a good idea to provide the players with a little guidance. Role play is not an excuse to act out. A few ground rules will help keep the role playing activities in line. You need to address appropriate behavior during role playing activities and how to stay focused.

Examples of Ground Rules:

  • Profane language is not allowed.
  • Sexual innuendo is not allowed.
  • Stay on the topic outlined in the scenario.

Act It Out

Role playing requires people to act out different scenarios. This can be difficult to for some team members if they are shy or uncomfortable. This is why it is important to create a comfortable atmosphere and begin with a demonstration. Remind participants that they are acting out a role, and encourage them to have fun with the situation. You may want to lead them in breathing techniques or visualization techniques to help improve their mindset before the team building activity.

Debrief

After completing the role playing exercises, groups should debrief. This allows participants to share their observations and what they learned. There are many different ways to debrief. For example, you may choose to have people write short explanations, lead a discussion, or a combination of both. The method of debriefing you choose will depend on the size and dynamics of the team. Regardless of the way you debrief, you should end the session by reviewing the main conclusions that the team made on the subject.

Mirror Good Examples

Demonstrating role play ahead of time will make team members more comfortable with the idea. It will also increase participation and provide an example that will guide them as they perform their own role play scenarios. Examples for people to mirror may be done in different ways. You may ask two volunteers to perform in front of the class, or you may perform a role play with another leader or a participant. When providing an example for people to mirror, it is a good idea to start with a prewritten script. This will prevent any awkward pauses or confusion.

General Role Playing Tips

Every role playing team building exercise and setting is unique and should be treated like it is. Individualizing role play will increase its effectiveness. Team leaders have different options that will improve role play for each team. Making sure that participants are comfortable is the single most effective tip for improving role play.

Tips:

  • Ask for feedback after the demonstration.
  • Do not force people to perform demonstrations.
  • Pair the role play with a game to make it more interesting.
  • Try to use small groups so you can better observe them.

The size and dynamics of the group will determine how the role play should be done.

What to Do When Team Building Activities Go Wrong

Even if we create excellent team building programs and training plans, as facilitators we also recognize that a game or activity that worked with one team may not work with another. In order to be comfortable that you have selected the best activities, consider the following:

  • Avoid activities that would annoy you if you were a participant.
  • Adjust the length and type of activity to suit the length of the team building session. A one-day workshop may or may not benefit from a 45 minute icebreaker at the beginning; a five or ten minute icebreaker is probably just fine. However, if your team is taking part in a three to five day workshop and the outcomes improve when participants get to know one another really well, then an extensive game of up to an hour is appropriate.
  • Know your audience. Senior staff does not usually want to look silly or foolish in front of their subordinates. Junior staff may not be comfortable looking silly in front of their boss.
  • If participants arrive in business clothes, they may not be comfortable with really active games. If your session will be highly active or calls for casual clothes, make sure that participants know that ahead of time.
  • Participants who work together may know each other very well will find some exercises redundant. Be selective about the team building activities that you choose.
  • Learning dealing with personal development subjects such as communication or team building will benefit from games more so than training that relates to computer software, for example. The software group, however, might really need one or even several short energizers throughout the day to maintain motivation levels as well as retention.

If an activity flops: If a team building activity does not go over well with your team, don’t push it through to the end just because it’s a part of your lesson plan. Sometimes the dynamics of a group do not support an activity.

Here are some things that you can do if an activity flops.

  • Stop the activity and refocus the team. You can let them know that something went wrong, and that you are going to try again or you can abandon it altogether and move on.
  • Watch the energy levels. It is not unusual to expect that if an activity fizzles, the energy in the team will decrease sharply. People may feel that they have done something wrong. An energizer will get everyone reinvested in what is going on and restore those energy levels.
  • Organize an on-the-spot debriefing session and have the team identify what went wrong, and how to remedy the problem or move beyond it. Do not focus on why things went wrong, since that can lead to blaming or negativity that shouldn’t be introduced to the team building session. Focus the conversation on what and how.
  • If the team  building activity was applicable to the learning objectives and would work with some modifications, then make some changes and use it again. If it really isn’t applicable, then let it go and develop something that will enhance the training session the next time that it is offered.

 

The World’s Tallest Constructions

The World’s Tallest Constructions

We have put together a list of the world’s tallest constructions as published by Guiness World Records.

Related:
Creative Construction Team Building Activity
Creative Thinking Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Tallest Stack of Pancakes
Center Parcs Sherwood Forest in Rufford, Newark, UK has racked up a mouth-watering Guinness World Records title for the Tallest stack of pancakes – securing the record just in time for Shrove Tuesday. The holiday company’s The Pancake House chefs – James Haywood and Dave Nicholls – expertly whipped up a total of 213 pancakes and created a staggering 101.8 cm (3 ft 4 in) pile.

The Tallest Residential Building
The tallest residential building is the Princess Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates stands 413.4 m (1,356 ft) high, 101 stories above ground. Architectural height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires (but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment). The highest occupied floor stands at 356.9 m (1,171 ft). Construction of the tower began in 2005, and is estimated to have cost (£134 million ($210 million).

The Tallest Swing
The tallest swing measures 88 m (288 ft 8 in) from the seat to the top of the cross bar and was constructed by B!g Rush (South Africa) in Durban, South Africa, on 14 May 2011. The swing was installed in the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where it was attached to the roof. Participants could swing from a platform across the football ground. For safety reasons the swing seat was 9 meters above the ground.

The Tallest Cemetery
The permanently illuminated Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, in Santos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, is 10 storeys high, and occupies an area of 1.8 ha (4.4 acres). Its construction started in March 1983 and the first burial was on 28 July 1984.

The Tallest Cookie Tower
The tallest cookie tower measured 1.83 m (6 ft 1/8 in) tall and was constructed by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County (USA) at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York, USA, on 9 January 2010. 22,800 cookies were used to build the tower. 60 girl scouts participated in shifts of 2 hours.

The Tallest Unoccupied Building
The tallest building that is completely unoccupied is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. Although it had reached its full height of 330 m (1,082 ft) the building was not finished when construction was halted in 1992. The hotel is the world’s 18th tallest building and would be the world’s tallest hotel if completed.

The Tallest Matchstick Model
The tallest matchstick model was a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower built by Toufic Daher (Lebanon) that measured 6m 53cm in height and was unveiled at City Mall, Beirut, Lebanon, on 11 November 2009 in celebration of Guinness World Records day. Mr. Daher used approximately 6 million matches in building the model.

The Tallest Rideable Motorcycle
The tallest rideable motorcycle measures 5.10 m (16 ft 8.78 in) tall from the ground to the top of the handlebars. It was constructed by Fabio Reggiani (Italy), and the motorcycle was ridden over a 100-m course at Montecchio Emilia, Italy, on 24 March 2012.

The Tallest Artificial Climbing Wall
The tallest artificial climbing wall measures 41.89 m (137.42 ft) and was constructed at Historic Banning Mills, Whitesburg, Georgia, USA. The wall was measured on 9 December 2011. The wall was measured by William Hutson (Land surveyors & engineers, state of Georgia, License LS002312) of Georgia & West Inc., using a Topcon GTS 233W total station laser measuring device. The wall was climbed by Kalib Robertson, an experienced climber, in approximately 12 minutes on 9 December 2011.

Drumming World Records

Drumming World Records

We have put together a list of fun and interesting drumming world records as published by Guiness World Records.

Related: Drumming team building activities

The Longest Marathon Drumming by a Team
The longest marathon drumming by a team is 3 days 8 hours 2 minutes and was achieved by Janel Spalding, Aaron Houseago, Holly Jones, Ryan Murray and Lorraine Dorrington (all UK) in Dereham, UK, from 26 to 29 August 2016. This is the third time this record has been held by J.D.T. MUSIC ACADEMY. The event was live streamed and the team received messages of support from locations including Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Singapore and Norfolk.

Longest Marathon Drumming by an Individual
Carlos Santos from Portugal recently attempted this musical test of endurance. The determined drummer sat at his kit and played for an amazing 133 hours and 3 minutes, achieving the record and completing the marathon on his son’s fourth birthday. The challenge was no easy feat as Carlos was not permitted to play randomly, but had to accompany recognizable songs, with no more than 30 seconds between each track and limited rest breaks.

The Largest Drum
The largest drum measures 5.54 m (18 ft 2 in) in diameter is 5.96 m (19 ft 6 in) tall and weighs 7 tonnes (15,432 lb 5.76 Oz) and was created by Yeong Dong-Gun local government and Seuk Je Lee (all South Korea) in Simcheon-Meon, South Korea, on 6 July 2011.The drum is a traditional Korean “CheonGo” drum.

Longest Individual Drum Roll
The longest drum roll by an individual is 12 hours 5 min 7 seconds, and was achieved by Jayson Brinkler (UK), in Dartford, Kent, UK, on 16 May 2015.Jayson’s witnesses throughout his attempt included the local mayor and TV actress Cheryl Fergison.

The Longest Group Drum Roll
The longest group drum roll is 64 hours 27 min 59 seconds and was achieved by the Corps of Drums of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Service (UK) at the Tower of London, London, UK, on 3 May 2014. Forty members of the Corps of Drums of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Service took it in turns to drum on the same single snare drum. The record attempt was to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines founded in 1664. The actors Harrison Ford and Tom Hardy were present to launch the record attempt on 30 April 2014.

Largest Group Drum Roll
A total of 1,682 drummers, led by Guildo Horn, (Germany) played a drum roll for 5 min 2 seconds, in an event organized by Lebenshilfe-Werke Trier GmbH, Diedenhofener, Germany, on 30 August 2009. Guildo Horn was also a former Eurovision song contestant. The record attempt was in conjunction with the organizers celebrating their jubilee.

Largest Steel Drum Ensemble
The largest steel drum ensemble consisted of 286 participants, who played the composition ‘Orange’ by Zbigniew Lowzyl (Poland) for five minutes in Mikolajki, Poland, on 21 September 2007

Largest Drumming Lesson
The largest drumming lesson is 1,827 participants, achieved by Inspire-works, Street Child United, and London Schools (all UK), in London, UK, on 3 October 2016. The attempt took place at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Children from 25 London primary schools took up the challenge as part of their Bang the Drum project, with Inspire-works as drumming facilitators. The aim of Bang the Drum 2016 was to unite drummers of all ages and abilities across the globe to bang the drum for street children’s rights.

Longest Marathon Hand Drumming
The longest performance on a hand drum was 501 hours and was achieved by Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan (India) at the Rhythm Therapy Hall, Nandavanam Hospital, Ottapalam, Kerala, India, from 5-26 July 2009. An incredible achievement, beating the previous record by 177 hr! Kuzhalmannam already had a record in this category before, with 101 hr, which was beaten in May 2009.

Most People Playing the Same Drum
The most people playing the same drum is 263 and was organized by PLAY (Poland) at the Przystanek Woodstock Festival, in Kostrzyn nad Odra, Poland, 2 August 2013. The music piece played was We Will Rock You by Queen. The size of the drum was 10 m in diameter and 1,6 m in height.

Recipes for Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Making

Recipes for Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Making

Cocktail Making as a team building activity is an effective way for your team to bond and to learn how to work better as a team. Having fun together in a team building event like this will strengthen team bonds and create trust between the team members. It will help you uncover strengths in your team you never knew existed as the participants push the boundaries of their creativity in a safe environment. TBAE’s Mix It Up Cocktail Making team building activity also offers a non-alcoholic option. The following are some of examples of non-alcoholic recipes for cocktail making.

Vampire’s Blood Pomegranate Punch

This drink recipe is super easy to whizz up and makes a great punch bowl option for kids and non-drinkers at any occasion or get together.

Ingredients

  1. 500ml pomegranate juice
  2. 250ml grape juice
  3. 250ml ginger ale
  4. Fresh blueberries

Method

Pour the chilled pomegranate juice, grape juice and ginger ale into a large punch bowl and stir.

Sprinkle a generous handful of blueberries so that they bob on the surface of the cocktail. Use a ladle to serve.

Pink Grapefruit Cooler

The refreshing and tart taste of Grapefruit juice has become popular in cocktail making.

Ingredients

  1. 80ml juice from a ripe pink grapefruit
  2. Juice of half a lemon
  3. 40ml sugar syrup (made with equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar is dissolved then cooled)
  4. Cold sparkling or soda water
  5. 2 x mint sprigs
  6. Crushed ice

Method

Pour the sugar syrup into a tumbler and add one mint sprig, stirring and bruising it lightly. Add the citrus juices and stir, then top up with crushed ice and the sparkling or soda water. Garnish with the second mint sprig.

Shirley Temple

This classic cocktail is given a fresh lift with a squeeze of citrus juice.

Ingredients

  1. 15ml grenadine syrup
  2. 15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  3. 200ml chilled ginger ale
  4. Maraschino cocktail cherry and thin lime slice, to decorate
  5. Ice cubes

Method

Place a few ice cubes in a tumbler, add the grenadine and lime juice, then top up with ginger ale, and garnish with the cocktail cherry and lime slice.

Lavender Lemonade

The aroma of the steeped lavender heads is wonderful, but do be sure to use lavender which hasn’t been sprayed with any chemicals. It’s best made with flowers that have started to dry out naturally in high summer.

Ingredients

  1. 10g lavender heads
  2. 250ml boiling water
  3. 75g sugar
  4. 600ml cold water (sparkling if you prefer)
  5. Juice of 3 small or 2 large ripe lemons, strained
  6. Ice cubes

Method

Put the flower heads in a small pan and pour over the boiling water. Heat up again and simmer gently for two minutes. Take off the heat and leave to steep for ten minutes. Strain off the flowers, add sugar to the liquid and stir to dissolve it. Add the cold water. Add the lemon juice and stir (the mix turns pink here), then serve in tall, slim tumblers with a few ice cubes in them.

Firepit Steamer

Here’s a hot, spicy, but fresh-tasting drink to wrap your chilly hands around on those cold winter days.

Ingredients

  1. 100ml cranberry juice
  2. 100ml red grape juice
  3. Half a star anise
  4. Half a cinnamon stick, plus one to serve
  5. 2 cloves
  6. Slice of peeled fresh ginger root
  7. 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method

Simply put all the ingredients except the extra cinnamon stick in a pan and warm up very gently, stirring, and keep hot (not boiling) for several minutes until the spices infuse. Strain into a thick glass tumbler or mug and serve with the cinnamon stick for stirring to release the steam. Drink while hot.

Cherry Sparkle

Make your own red cherry juice with a tang of lime, topped up with sparkling water.

Ingredients

  1. 225g fresh, ripe red cherries
  2. 600ml freshly boiled water
  3. Half a lime
  4. 50g caster sugar
  5. Chilled sparkling water, to taste
  6. Ice cubes

Method

Destalk the cherries, wash them, halve them and take out their stones. Put the fruit in a big bowl and bruise slightly with the back of a spoon. Pour the hot water over them and stir. Peel the lime zest off in thin strips and juice the lime, adding both zest and juice to the bowl, with the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, cover and leave for two hours. Strain off the liquid, divide it between 3 or 4 tumblers and top up with ice and a little cold sparkling water.

Lime and Lemon Grass Spritzer

Easy to make, scented and mouthwatering cocktail.

Ingredients

  1. Half a lemon grass stalk, outer leaves removed, core sliced, plus an extra stalk to garnish
  2. 30ml fresh lime juice
  3. 15ml sugar syrup (make sugar syrup from equal quantities warm water and sugar)
  4. Chilled soda water, to top up
  5. Ice cubes

Method

Place the lemon grass in a glass tumbler and ‘muddle’ to release its oils. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the lime juice and the sugar syrup. Top up with soda water, stir briefly and garnish with the remaining lemon grass stalk.

Coconut Lavender Lemonade

This is a fresh squeezed lemonade made with coconut water and lavender simple syrup. It’s just as gorgeous as it is refreshing.

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice, from about 9 lemons
  2. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  3. 8 cups coconut water
  4. 4 cups water
  5. 1/2 recipe Lavender Simple Syrup (recipe follows)

Method

Place lemon juice, sugar, coconut water, and water into a pitcher and shake or stir vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved. Pour 1/2 of the lavender syrup into the pitcher and stir. You can add more or less lavender syrup to your personal taste. I personally find that 1/2 of the lavender syrup recipe is a good balance.

 

 

Fun and Interesting Facts About Karaoke

Fun and Interesting Facts About Karaoke

Karaoke originated in Japan, but it has become a popular activity throughout the world. The following are some interesting and fun facts about this popular past time.

  1. The word Karaoke actually means “Empty Orchestra” in Japanese.
  2. Karaoke was born in a Japanese town called Kobe when a band failed to show up for a gig in a bar. The innovative owner played some music and asked his customers to come up and sing.
  3. The most popular song requested at Karaoke Bars is “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.
  4. There are over 100 000 karaoke bars in China.
  5. The record for the longest karaoke performance by one person lasted 101 hours, 59 minutes and 15 seconds.
  6. The largest worldwide karaoke consisted of 160 000 participants.
  7. Japanese businessmen often hire professional singers to coach them how to improve their performance so that they can impress their clients.
  8. There is Karaoke World Championship, which started in 2003.
  9. Many Karaoke Champions go on to secure record deals.
  10. The 4th week in April is national Karaoke week.
  11. Some karaoke machines in Japan not only rates the performance of the singer, but also tell the singer how many calories were burnt during their performance.

TBAE’s Karaoke Challenge team building activity is a great way for your team to get to know each other and bond together. The Karaoke Challenge always results in a lot of laughter as fellow team members try and outdo each other to show off their singing talents. The Karaoke Challenge is also an excellent activity for encouraging the more withdrawn and shy team members to step outside their comfort zones… click here for more information

21 Benefits of Team Building Activities

Benefits of Team Building Activities

You have seen the team building events of other companies and know that your team will benefit from team building exercises, but management is not convinced that it is a worthwhile investment. We have put together a list of benefits that your team will gain from team building activities to help you state your case to management.

  • Team building activities will improve the morale of the team.
  • You can use team building activities to identify any barriers to creativity within the team.
  • Certain team building exercises can be used to teach your team how to clearly define objectives and goals.
  • Team building events help your team improve processes and procedures in the workplace.
  • Team building activities encourage communication within the team.
  • Taking part in team building activities helps the team members to identify and develop team roles.
  • Team building activities often lead to organizational productivity.
  • Team building exercises are an effective way of identifying strengths and weaknesses in a team.
  • Improve your team’s problem solving skills with problem solving team building exercises.
  • Team building is a non threatening, fun and participative way to break down any existing barriers in the team.
  • You can use team building activities to identify leadership qualities in your team members.
  • Outcome based team building activities help address specific areas of weakness in a team such as communication or team work.
  • Specialized team building activities such as Art Workshops highlights the unity that can exist in diversity.
  • Team building exercises can be used to develop specific skills that are required in the team.
  • Team building events bring teams together and help the members to get to know each other better which leads to better relationships within the team.
  • Team building events promote professional business relationships.
  • Participating together in team building activities creates respect for different personalities and cultures in the team.
  • The team spirit developed during team building activities can be taken back to the office environment for implementation in the workplace.
  • If your team seems to be running low on motivation, team building activities can be a great way to get the motivation up again to finish that important project.
  • Creative outcome based team building activities will encourage a more creative approach to problem solving in your team.
  • You can use team building events to reward your team and give recognition to team members.

 

Why Reviewing is an Important Part of Team Building Activities

Reviewing the Team Building Activity

Reviewing is an important part of any team building activity or learning program. It is a point in the activity session where you can connect the dots, confirm the learning with the team and consolidate any information that they may have taken on board during the team building activity.

There can be many positive results from reviewing during a team building activity, including highlighting any learning points for the team to take on board for the remainder of the session and setting progressive goals for the team.

Reviewing Energizes the Team Building Activity

The more fun someone is having then the more they will learn from it. Reviews allow participants to holistically look back on the team building activity and offer a dynamic approach to learning – whereby learning can be made obvious through fun and stimulating methods.

Reviewing Enriches the Team Building Experience

Reviewing can encourage people to notice more about themselves, others and their surroundings. By team members, valuing their experiences more, they will increase in confidence and build a better rapport with others. By knowing a review is coming up, participants may also start anticipating the review and think about the team building activity and any other potential review material.

Reviewing Help Teams Make Sense of the Team Building Activity

Reviewing takes participants beyond their normal responses and helps make sense of their experiences. It may also introduce a fresh perspective, or provide the opportunity for team members to talk things through and be listened to. During the activity, participants may experience – fear, anxiety, exhaustion, peace, solitude, camaraderie, pain, anger, alienation, sadness, frustration and joy. Each team member may encounter a very different experience from each other or at different times during one activity or challenge. It is important that reviews can support these ranges.

Reviewing Helps the Team to Make Connections

Team building activity reviews help team members make the connections between the team building activity and everyday life (transfer of learning). It encourages them to think about the wider significance of the activity and by comparing experiences with others, they can reflect back in such a way to enhance the programme and what can be learned. It makes learning obvious and helps them understand the purpose of the session (especially in training specific to job role).

Reviewing Helps to Develop Learning Skills

Reviews enhances the team member’s ability to learn from individual or group experiences and therefore take more responsibility for own learning and development.

Reviewing Assists in Goal Setting

Sometimes it is important to set goals to help transfer or apply what has been learnt to future application, e.g. time management and how this can be applied to workplace schedules. The outcome of reviews may be goals for the task, session or the workplace. This can provide focus and a starting point for future reviews.

Step by Step Guide to Deliver Great Team Building Activities

Step by Step Guide to Deliver Great Team Building Activities

The following is a guide that will help you deliver effective team building activities that encourage teamwork, communication, creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, time management, trust and support. It takes you step by step through each phase of the team building activity, from selecting the appropriate exercise to reinforcing the learning outcomes.

Step 1 – Select Team Building Exercises Appropiate to Your Team

To select the right exercises you must understand the purpose of the team building event and identify learning objectives. The age, ability and any physical limitations of the team members also need to be taken into consideration. Select a number of team building exercises that suite the group and venue, and that will help you achieve your learning objective.

Step 2 – Prepare For Your Team Building Activity

Go through the activity notes and gather any equipment or learning materials. Practice presenting the team building exercises to gain a better understanding of the activity and identify potential problems. Set up the activity area at the team building venue and identify and remove any hazards or potential safety issues.

Step 3 – Introduction and Explanation of the Team Building Activities

Introduce yourself to the group, discuss the importance of teamwork and the learning objectives of the team building activities. Introduce the team building exercise and outline the rules of the exercise. Obtain feedback to ensure that the team understands the activity and clarify the instructions. Provide the team with the equipment needed for the activity.

Step 4 – Run the Team Building Activity

During the activity, encourage and support the team members. Observe and note anything you can use later during the review. If there are time constraints on the activity, make sure you watch the clock and give the team a ‘time check’ occasionally. Do not stop the activity unless you run into serious issues.

Step 5 – Debrief the Team Building Activity

During the debrief, try not to call on anyone by name unless you have to. Be comfortable with silence. Watch for head nodding, smiles, and other indications that they agree with what is being said by others. If any team members give a response that is wrong or inappropriate, ask the team how they feel about it rather than correcting someone. Remember that even if the activity did not go as planned, most participants probably learned something. Try to use a mix of reviewing methods, reflection and questions to engage the team and draw out key learning outcomes.

Step 6 – Reinforce the Learning

Encourage the team leader to display anything the team created during the activity at their workplace. Advise team leaders to often refer to the activities and the lessons learned when they are coaching, giving feedback, or conducting meetings. The team leader should watch for examples of how the participants used what was learned in the team building activities. The team leader can also follow up a couple of days later and ask participants to share what impact the activities had on them.

team-building-activity-quote

Creating a More Focused Team with Attention Management

Creating a More Focused Team with Attention Management

A distracted team is not an effective team. Not paying attention can lead to careless mistakes and valuable time wasted. Attention Management is a useful skill that team managers can employ to connect with their team on an emotional level and to motivate them to focus on the team goals. Attention Management increases the team’s ability to focus attention and involves an awareness of where they focus most of their attention.

Attention can be divided into four different areas:

  • Intentional – Team plans strategically and prioritizes their activities.
  • Responsive – The team responds to the world around them and spends more time putting out fires than working intentionally.
  • Interrupted – Team spends too much time answering messages and handling situations that interrupt their work.
  • Unproductive – Team wastes time outside of scheduled breaks.

Various Types of Attention

Different situations call for different types of attention. To manage attention in your team it is essential to understand the various types of attention and how each type functions.

Focused Attention

Focused attention is the type of attention that concentrates on a single task and excludes everything else. This type of attention is difficult to maintain and makes people tired.

Sustained Attention

Sustained attention is also called attention span and is used when a person has to focus on a task that takes time to complete. The biggest enemy of sustained attention is distractions. In order to sustain attention, it is important to remove distractions and occasionally refocus.

Selective Attention

Selective attention is the type of attention that focuses on a single stimulus in a complex setting. Having a conversation in a crowded restaurant is an example of practising selective attention. It includes the ability to filter out background noise and focusing on what is essential.

Alternating Attention

When someone has to perform two tasks at the same time that require different cognitive abilities, alternating attention is required. Alternating attention requires the mind to be flexible and able to move seamlessly between one task and another.

Training Attention

There are various methods that can be used by your team to train their attention. Each team member is different, and it is important to find a method that works best for each individual.

Focus Execute

Attention management requires team members to focus and execute. When the team focuses on potential negative outcomes, it makes it difficult for the team to execute a plan well. Remaining positive will help the team to focus on its goals and execute their actions accordingly.

Visualization

Visualization is the habit of creating a mental picture of the goal and believing it will happen. Visualizing the goal allows the mind to accept it as a concrete possibility and not just a vague wish.

Visualization steps:

  • Choose a specific goal.
  • Find time to relax and focus.
  • Visualize the goal in detail and see it happening in the present.
  • Accept and believe that the goal will come true.

Attention Zones

Reactive Zone

People in the reactive zone spend most of their time putting out fires and handling urgent needs. These tasks are important, but they take time away from scheduled projects. While it is normal to have to handle a crisis occasionally, going from crises to crises should not become a way of life. In order for team members to move out of the reactive zone and stay in the proactive zone, they need to address the time they spend in the distracted and wasteful zones.

Proactive Zone

The proactive zone is where you want your team to operate most of the time. Teams in the zone work strategically and are able to plan and achieve goals. Time spend in the proactive zone reduces the amount of time spent in the reactive zone. Review the team goals and plan accordingly to improve performance the proactive zone.

Distraction Zone

Things in the distraction zone seem urgent, but they are not really important. Things like phone calls, emails and other people who monopolize your attention, fall under the distracted zone. Important time and energy is given to other people’s priorities rather than team goals.

Wasteful Zone

This zone is filled with activities that waste time such as personal emails, social media, online videos and other unproductive activities. People need to occasionally decompress and when time to relax and regroup is not on the team’s schedule, more time will be spent in the wasteful zone. Team building activities are one of the most effective ways you can help your team to relax and regroup.

Keeping Your Team Focused

The One Minute Rule

The one minute rule is helpful for getting the little things done that you never seem to get to. The rule advises team members to complete any task that only takes a minute. This minute does not really cut into your schedule, and saves you time in the long run.

The Five Minute Rule

The five minute rule advises team members to allow at least five minutes between tasks when planning your schedule. This buffer will provide time to complete one task before transitioning to another.

Keeping Focused When You Feel Overwhelmed

When you feel overwhelmed, it is important not to let your feelings control your actions. The following steps will help you regain focus when you start feeling overwhelmed:

  • Slow down and take a moment to relax and think.
  • Plan to take a five-minute break for every hour of work.
  • Break tasks into smaller steps.
  • Get enough rest to ensure you think critically.

TBAE’s Hitting the Target team building event is ideal for helping your team become more focused and working together as a unit. The event also emphasizes the importance of accuracy and correct decision making. It consists of a number of challenges that tests your team’s aim and targeting skills.

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