Tag: Team Building Activities

Choosing The Right Types of Activities for Your Team Building Event

Choosing The Right Types of Activities for Your Team Building Event

Your team will expect that team building activities will be stimulating, interesting, and yes, fun. That does not mean that the facilitator has to be a comedian, but it does obligate you to incorporate some activities into your team building event that helps to engage your team members.

Planned team building activities will bring the following elements to your training:

  • Keeps the day moving at a stimulating pace
  • Fun helps to bring people together and break down barriers
  • Laughter leads to an endorphin release, which is healthy
  • Improves retention of material by providing hands on application and practice

In order to fully involve your team members, make sure that you preface activities with a discussion about safety. Let them know that what takes place in the team building sessions stays in there, so that they are encouraged to take risks, challenge previously held assumptions, and make mistakes and learn from them.

Choosing the right activity is very important. One sign of a good facilitator is someone who knows how to choose and even modify an activity to fit certain situations. A good resource library of activities is important so that you don’t find yourself re-using the same activities and tiring of them, or exposing them to people over and over, especially if you are an in-house fcilitator developing workshops for the same people.

The following list is a handy reference of the types of activities that can be the right fit for your training. Although some of the headings may overlap, the definitions are here to give you a better understanding of the range of activities that can be used.

Team Building Games: A game is an exercise that normally has a set of rules and an element of competition. Games often include some kind of reward.

Team Building Icebreakers: Icebreakers are used as an exercise to introduce group members to one another (break the ice), encourage some energy into the beginning of a workshop, and lead into the topic material. They are an important starting point to your training session.

Team Building Energizer: An energizer is a brief pick-me-up activity designed to invigorate a group if energy in the room is waning, or to bring them back together following a break. Energizers are often about five minutes long.

Simulations: A simulation is useful to train equipment operators when the tools that they will use are either very expensive or dangerous. Simulations are designed to be as realistic as possible so that participants can learn from the situation without worrying about damage or financial cost. Flying aircraft, offshore emergency evacuation procedures, combat training, and driving all make use of simulation training.

Role Plays: Role-playing is a helpful way to understand how participants react to certain situations. They are a very useful approach for practicing new skills in a non-threatening environment, where a participant learns to apply behavioral techniques and gets feedback without fear of making a mistake in front of their own customers or clients. Roleplays are helpful in learning conflict management, counseling, sales, negotiating, and many other skills.

Case Studies: Case studies are stories normally extracted from a participant’s workplace or industry. They can also be written specifically to simulate a scenario. Case studies are often examined by individuals or groups and then analyzed to stimulate discussion or demonstrate aspects of training.

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.

 

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.

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The Amazing Place Team Building Venue in Sandton

Team Building Venue in Sandton

The Amazing Place is situated in the Woodmead suburb of Sandton. The venue offers small to medium size conferences, functions and team building events in a beautiful garden setting. The Amazing Place also offers an excellent alternative to the standard conference room in their bedouin tent.

The Amazing Place has excellent facilities for a wide variety of team building activities. The activities are facilitated on lush green lawns among beautiful gardens. The venue is suitable for a variety of outdoor team building activities including Potjiekos Cooking Competition, Tribal Survivor Challenge, Wacky, Wet, Weird and Wonderful, SA Mini Olympics, Corporate Fun Day, Boeresport, Sports Day and Hitting the Target.

The Amazing Place’s conference rooms are also suited for indoor team building activities such as Minute to Win It, Murder Mystery, Drumming, Movie Making, Creative Construction and Art Workshop.

Some of the recent team building events at The Amazing Place included companies such as Nobel Biocare South Africa, Standard Bank, Ottobock and FNB.

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More team building venues in Sandton.

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The Role of Personality Types in Team Motivation

The Role of Personality Types in Team Motivation

Any successful team consists of a mix of personality types. A team in which everyone has the same personality type, is more likely to experience conflict between its members. When a problem arises in the team, everyone is more likely to try and take the same role in solving it. To motivate your team effectively, it is vital that you identify your personality type as well as the personality types of your team members. It is also essential to realize that different personality types have different ways of motivating others, and different ways in which they are motivated.

Identifying Your Own Personality Type
Those aspects of your character that arise when around others or when doing something important, defines your personality type. Various tests have been created to identify your personality type, but perhaps the best way to detect your personality type is to examine your reaction to a problem which affects the whole team. How do you react to a problem?

  • Do you immediately look for a solution to the problem?
  • Are you instinctively worried by what happens?
  • Do you ask other people to help with the problem?
  • Do you comfort the people in the team that are stressed by the problem?
  • Do you stand on the fringes, making comments and jokes?

All these reactions are helpful in the team and can contribute to overcoming the problem. The “problem solver”, the “consensus seeker”, the “nurturer” and the “humorist” are all classic personality types. All these personality types have an equal part in making up a successful team.

  • Without problem solvers,  the team would be more likely to deviate from the team’s plan.
  • Consensus seekers make sure that problem solvers do not become too independent.
  • Nurtures ensure that a problem does not become a crisis.
  • The humorist ensures that everybody remains in high spirit despite the problem.

How much we allow our personality to show is often limited by convention and reason. Most people will also avoid being seen as too one dimensional.

Identifying the Personality Type of Other Team Members
While most people have a clear idea of their own personality type, it is more difficult to identify the personality type of other team members. The best way of identifying the personality types of others is by speaking to them and observing how they behave in various situations. Ice Breakers and Team Building Activities are also effective ways of getting to know the personality types of your team members. These activities highlight people’s priorities and show a lot about their personality type outside of the activities. The team building activities will show which team member is a dominant character, who is pragmatic, who is light hearted and so on. In these activities,  you will pick up if two or more people are competing for the dominant position and which members choose to play a less confrontational part. Ice breakers and team building activities are excellent for learning about the personality types of all the team members.

Motivating the Different Personality Types in Your Team
Different personality types motivate other people in different ways and different personality types are motivated differently. The conciliatory personality type will motivate the rest of the team by speaking to them one-on-one. They will allow the other team members to see where they can excel and improve. They have the ability to share good news discreetly and put bad news in a good way.  The dominant personality type is more likely to deliver criticism one-on-one as they will be wary of not de-motivating the rest of the team by delivering criticism in the open. Good news, on the other hand, will be delivered loudly and shared throughout the team. The dominant personality type will want to spread the joy and motivate the rest of the team to try and achieve the same.

Different personality types will contribute to your team’s motivation in different ways. By assigning each team member the correct role within the team, you enable them to get the best out of themselves and their team members.

Employee Motivation Training Course

Blindfolded Minefield Team Building Exercise

Blindfolded Minefield Team Building Exercise
Blindfolded Minefield Team Building Exercise

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Faculty Training Institute’s team building event at Lanzerac Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch. It was raining on the day, and our team building facilitator did an excellent job at creatively utilizing the indoor space that was allocated to the team. One of the team building exercises that I enjoyed observing was the Blindfolded Minefield.

In the Blindfolded Minefield activity, participants have to navigate through a minefield of objects while they are blindfolded. To get through the minefield, they have to listen to the instructions of their team members who have to guide them around the obstacles. To make it even more challenging, two teams competing against each other, start at the same time from opposite sides of the course. The blindfolded team member has to listen closely and make sure he/she is following the instructions of their own team and not of the other team. The further the blindfolded team member moves in the course, the further away from the team members he/she moves. Hearing their own team members becomes more difficult, but the voices of the opposing team become more prominent.

Once one of the team members crosses over to the other side, they can start giving instructions from that side as well. This should make it easier for the rest of the team to cross the minefield while at the same time interfering with the instructions given by the opposite team. If the blindfolded team member steps on one of the obstacles they have to go back to the beginning and another team member can take their place.

The Blindfolded Minefield exercise is about team work and communication. Participants learn to recognize and follow the instructions of their team members. They have to focus on the voices of their own team and tune out the other voices. If they follow the wrong voice they end up standing on a landmine.

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Team Building Exercises that Promote Communication and Team Work

Over the years,  TBAE has developed a collection of fun exercises that promote team work and communication skills. The following is a selection of some of the team building exercises that TBAE offers in their various group and indoor activities.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Team Building Exercises for Communication

Bhati  In this exercise, one team must pick up as many objects as possible and put them into a crate, only using their feet. They need to achieve this while avoiding ‘fire’ from the opposing team. If anyone does get hit by a ‘missile’, they need to get out of the designated area. Once all the team members have been hit the objects are counted, and the teams swap over to see whom the winning team is.

Blindfold Collection – Two team members at a time are blindfolded, and the rest of the team need to communicate to them which objects to pick-up. Each team member will have a chance to be blindfolded.

Bubble Pie – In this team building exercise teams have to “make” as many bubbles as possible in a bucket filled with soapy water. The team is given a tin can which needs to be filled with bubbles. When a team member has the tin can filled with bubbles, he/she needs to run to a bucket on the opposite side and deposit what is left of the bubbles in the empty bucket. They then run back to the line, passing the empty can to the next person in line. That person repeats the whole process, which continues until everyone in the line has had a turn. Team with the most bubbles in the bucket wins.

Bucket challenge – This exercise take place in the form of a relay race with teams racing against each other while trying to transport as much water as possible. The buckets need to stay on top of the team member’s heads at all times which makes staying dry extremely difficult.

Catty Shooting – The Catty is a small hand-held weapon that is powered by pulling back an elastic band that is joined to the small pouch that holds the items being shot. In this team building exercise, a target needs to be hit a certain number of times with the team members taking turns at trying to hit the target.

Frisbee Golf – In this exercise, instead of hitting a ball into a hole, you throw a Frisbee until it lands in a Hoola Hoop. Like normal golf, the object of Frisbee Golf is to complete each hole in the least number of throws. The player with the least throws on the last hole throws first on the next.

Hula Hoop Down – The team stands in a circle, and the goal is to move the Hula Hoop down from above waist height to the ground. There are certain restrictions in terms of how the Hula Hoop is allowed to be held.

Magic Carpet – In this exercise, each team member needs to stand on a small carpet. The team must then turn over the carpet without any body part of each team member touching the ground.

Marble Run – In the Marble Run exercise a marble needs to be rolled from point A to point B using pipes. The team members need to join the pipes together without the marble falling to the ground. If the marble hits the ground at any time they have to start again.

Memory Tester – The object of this exercise is for the team to build a replica of a structure. The teams are given all the pieces that make up this structure. However, the structure is not in front of them, and only one team member at a time is able to see the structure. They can move back to the structure as many times as they want to but time is of the essence in the race against the other teams. Communication and team work are crucial in this team building exercise.

Mummy Race  In this exercise a team member is mummified with toilet paper by the rest of the team. The mummy must then be carried by the team members to the tomb. The team whose mummy is the most intact wins the exercise.

Over & Under – Teams stand in long lines facing each other back to front. At the head of each line,  there is a bucket of water and at the other end a plastic empty container. A sponge is given to the person at the head of the line where the water bucket is. That person has to dip the sponge in the water to soak in as much water as they can. Then they have to pass the wet sponge over their head to the person behind – who then passes the sponge to the person behind them through their legs. The sponge makes its way back over the head of one person and between the legs of the next until it gets to the person standing next to the empty container. That person must squeeze whatever water is left into the empty container and run the sponge back up to the head of the line. The team with most water in the container wins.

Plank Walk – Teams race against each other with multiple participants from each team sharing a couple of planks. To move forward on the planks the team members have to work together and coordinate their movements.

Tyre Race  In this exercise, members of the team need to maneuver tyres around certain obstacles using the two wooden poles provided. This is a relay race.

Water Balloon Toss  Team members from the same team stand facing each other at a two meter distance and throw a water balloon to the member on the opposite side – after every successful toss and catch the members each take a step backward – the 2 team member that can successfully throw and catch at the furthest distance from each other win for their team.

Water Transfer – Teams need to transfer water from one side to the other using a combination of different equipment including canvas sheets and pipes with holes in them. Prepare to get extremely wet.

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Team Building Ideas for Winter

Team building events in the winter months can be just as much fun as in the summer months. TBAE’s has a wide range of team building activities for the winter that can easily be enjoyed indoors. These events can be facilitated at your own venue or a venue that TBAE will arrange. The following is some of TBAE’s team building activities suitable for those cold winter days and nights.

Team Building Ideas for Winter
Moro Group’s Minute to Win It Team Building Event

Creative Construction
The “Creative Construction” team building event, emphasises the importance of creativity, planning and teamwork in the workplace through a number of challenges involving building or construction. Some of the activities included are Hidden Bridge Building, The Longest Bridge, No Lose Ends, Mirror and Match, Marshmallow Tower and Model Replication… more info

Minute to Win It
This event is based upon the popular Minute to Win It television program. In this event participants need to complete various activities within a one minute period. Teams compete against each other in challenges that increase in difficulty as the event progresses. The challenges are completed using household objects such as paper cups, uncooked spaghetti, toilet paper, pantyhose and paper clips. The challenges include entertaining games such as Back Flip, Bouncer, Dizzy Mummy, Elephant March, Face the Cookie, Penny Hose, Spoon Frog and Tilt-a-Cup… more info

Drumming
TBAE’s interactive drumming team building event is an excellent tool for stress release, group bonding, team building and synchronizing of thought processes in the Business environment. Group drumming is a non-competitive activity where each person, regardless of age, sex, race or position within the company has an equal role to play. Drumming helps to overcome barriers of race, language, gender and hierarchy. It is a fun team building activity that encourages spontaneity and laughter… more info

Noot vir Noot
This team building event is loosely based upon the popular Noot vir Noot television show. Short snippets of music are played, and the contestants need to guess either the songs name or the name of the artist. A wide range of different music are available that can be customised to suit your group… more info

Murder Mystery
Murder Mystery is a popular indoor team building activity that is perfect for those cold winter days. Guests arrive looking like their character role as a murder plot is played out over a meal. Your Murder Mystery facilitator will set the stage for the theme, and entertaining instructions are given for each stage of the activity. TBAE will provide costumes and fancy dress accessories suitable for all shapes and sizes, which include wigs, make up and murderous accessories… more info

Art Workshop
Get your team’s creativity flowing with an Art Workshop team building event. Participants are divided into teams, and each team is given an individual canvas on which they will  work. At the end of the exercise,  all the canvasses are combined to make one work of art. Each team works on their section of the painting believing that the object of the event is to produce the best work of art on their canvas. While the teams are working on their canvas, they have no idea what the other teams are doing and that they are, in fact, working on a single goal and not competing against each other. The result is a combination of art works, each one having its own unique style but creating one new original work of art… more info

Cook Around the World
Teams will be provided with; cooking equipment and utensils, a recipe, ingredients and a table. Each team will be told which country they represent, and the team will then prepare a meal. Points will be given for teamwork, colour, presentation and taste. The winning team, as well as the runners up, will be announced and there after the meals will be enjoyed by all… more info

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Team Building Ice Breaker – ‘Who is Who in the Zoo’

‘Who is Who in the Zoo’ is an excellent Ice Breaker for a team building event, especially where participants need to be divided in to groups. This Ice Breaker helps the participants to get to know each other better in a hilariously funny way while at the same time,  random groups are formed and cliques broken up in a non-threatening way. It is an extremely easy activity to prepare for, and all that is required is a pen and few sheets of paper.

Team Building Ice Breaker

The team building facilitator needs to know beforehand how many participants there will be, and into how many groups they will have to be divided. For each group,  you need to select an animal that will represent that particular group. For example, three groups could be represented by pigs, cows and sheep alternatively. Other suitable animals that you can use are monkeys, elephants, donkeys or any other animal which you can think of that can be acted out.

Now take the number of participants and divide it by the number of groups required, for example, 21 people can be divided into three groups of seven. You will need a small piece of paper for each participant on which you write down a name of an animal. If you have three groups of seven, you will write down one animal on seven pieces of paper and another animal on another seven pieces of paper for the next group and another animal on seven more pieces of paper for the last group. You will then, for example, have seven pieces of paper with the word pigs written on it, seven pieces of paper with the word sheep written on it and seven pieces of paper with the word cows written on it.

All the pieces of paper are mixed up and thrown together in a suitable container such as a hat. Before the team building event starts, and after the facilitator has done the introductions and discussed the purpose of the event, the participants are invited to draw a piece of paper from the container. The participants are told not to show or tell anyone what is written on the paper which they have drawn. When everyone has drawn a piece of paper, all the participants are told that the animal name written on their piece of paper represents the team in which they will participate. They are then told that they need to find their team mates by acting out the animal or making the sound of the animal which represents their team.

The result is usually hilarious chaos, with the various animal actions and sounds the source of considerable entertainment. This Ice Breaker also gives the team building facilitator the opportunity to see how the different personality types react to the task. The facilitator can also see which team members are reluctant to participate. The ‘Who is Who in the Zoo’ team building Ice Breaker is particularly effective to loosen everyone up and prepare each participant for the team building activities ahead.

Image Source: suneko

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Quick and Easy Ice Breakers for Team Building

Ice breakers are a particularly good way to start a conference, team building retreat, company get together or any other social or business event. It helps team members to get to know each other better in an efficient and non-threatening way. The following is a short list of some quick and easy ice breaker games that can be done with little preparation and resources.

Quick and Easy Ice Breakers for Team Building
Team Building Ice Breakers

Paperclip and Straw Sculptures

This is a brilliant activity to start off a team building session and can even be used as a team building exercise on its own. All you need for this ice breaker is a box of straws and a box of paper clips. Participants are divided into groups and given the task to build a structure using only the straws and paperclips provided. The creations that result can be judged on a variety of criteria such as the strongest, tallest, most creative or most functional structure. This activity is not only an effective ice breaker but also encourages teamwork within the group and is particularly useful for identifying leadership skills.

What I did last night

This ice breaker is ideal for a conference or team building weekend. First thing on the second morning of the event the participants are divided into groups and asked to act out something they did the previous night. It could be the meal they ate, a movie they saw, a place they visited or anything else that may have occurred the previous night. The activity is acted out individually or in groups, in front of all the participants who have to guess what the activity was.

Human Bingo

This tremendously fun way to play Bingo is a remarkably effective ice breaker where participants get know each other better in an informal manner. Little preparation is required as Bingo cards need to be created before hand with categories consisting of things that people may have done before, such as hot air ballooning, skydiving, hunting and bowling. Each participant gets a copy of the card and is told to circulate it among each other. They are then asked to find someone who has done one of the activities on their card and sign their card accordingly. The first participant to get all his/her blocks signed shouts bingo and collects their prize.

All Tied Up

For this ice breaker, all participants are divided up into groups of 6 to 10 members. Each group is asked to from a tight circle, standing and facing each other. The members of the group are instructed to extend their arms and take hold of the hand of another group member. Each hand should be holding another hand, and one person cannot hold both hands of the same person. The result is a knot which the group is told to try and untie without letting go of each other’s hands. Team work is required to complete this task as people climb over and beneath each other’s arms in order to untangle the knot. This activity is not just an excellent ice breaker but is also an extremely beneficial team building activity in its own right. The activity promotes team work and identifies leadership within the group.

Pass the toilet paper please

All you need for this ice breaker is a roll of toilet paper. Circulate the roll of toilet paper through the group and ask each person to take as much of the toilet paper as they need, no further explanation should be given. After each member has received their portion of toilet paper, they are told that they now have to share an fascinating fact or something about themselves for each block of toilet paper that they have.

Happy Birthday

This is a quick ice breaker that requires no preparation. Ask all participants to form a line and then tell them to organize themselves according to the their birth dates, starting from the 1st of January and ending with the 31st of December. The catch is that they have to do this without talking to each other or writing anything down.

Circle of Friends

This ice breaker is particularly useful for the start of a conference or team building event where a large group of people is involved. It is an especially valuable tool where two different departments come together for the first time. All the participants are asked to make two large circles, one within the other. The participants in the inner circle are asked to face the participants in the outer circle. The participants, facing each other, introduce themselves to each other and then the circles moves slowly in the opposite direction, allowing two new participants to meet each other until all the people in the inner circle had a chance to meet all the people in the outer circle.

Story Telling

Many people may remember this game from their childhood, but it also makes for a fun ice breaker game. The facilitator starts the story with one sentence. Each member of the group has to add to the sentence after repeating the preceding sentences. This usually has hilarious consequences as members try and remember the previous sentences of the story.

Lying Game

In this ice breaker,  each participant is instructed to write down four things about themselves on a piece of paper. Three of these things should be true about themselves, but one should be a lie. As each person reads out the four things about themselves, the rest of the team members write down  one statement that they suspect is a lie. After everybody has read out their four things the first person starts again, this time telling everybody which statement was not true. The rest of the people can then see how successful they were in spotting the lies from the truth.

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