Tag: Team Building Exercises

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.

Related: The Benefits of Team Building

  • 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.

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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.

Related: Effective Team Building Activities

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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Quick Team Building Activities That Are Easy to Set Up

Quick Team Building Activities

Team building activities motivates and brings your team together. These activities teach your team members to work together and communicate clearly and effectively. There are numerous team building activities that target different outcomes which will benefit your team immensely. In this article, we will be sharing with you some quick and easy to set up activities that will get your team working together and communicating effectively.

Related: Effective Team Building Activities

The Magic Carpet
All you need for this team building activity is a large piece of cloth. The size of the cloth will depend on the size of the group participating in the activity. Get each member of the group to stand on the piece of cloth. The group needs to work as a team to turn over the piece of cloth (the carpet) while they are standing on it. They have to turn over the cloth without any body part touching the floor.

Marble Run
For this team building activity,  you will need four short dowel sticks and a marble. Set up a starting point and a finishing goal. The object of this activity is to roll the marble from the starting point to the finishing goal using the four dowel sticks. If the marble falls to the ground at any time, the team has to start again.

What is the Difference?
Divide your team into two groups of equal amounts and ask them to face each other. One line is told to turn around, and the other team is given 40 seconds to change five to ten things about themselves. They can change their jewelry, swap clothing items, untie shoelaces, and change their hair or anything else that the other team can see. When 40 seconds are over, the line that was turned around can turn back again and try and find all the changes that were made. After all the changes have been recognized, the other line gets a turn to make the changes.

Blindfolded Collection
For this team building activity, you will need to place a variety of objects on the ground. Two members of the team are blindfolded, and the rest of the team needs to direct the two blindfolded team members to the objects that they need to pick up. Each team member must get a chance to be blindfolded.

Line Up the Feet
This team building activity is suitable for smaller teams. Ask the team to line up and then blindfold everyone in the line. The team now has to rearrange themselves according to their shoe size without talking to each other. This activity encourages team work and creative communication skills.

Memory Game
In this team building activity, the team needs to build a replica of a structure. Teams are given all the pieces required to build the structure, but the example is not in front of them. The sample structure is placed away from the team where it cannot be seen. Only one team member at a time is allowed to view the example. They can go back and forth as many times as needed, but only one team member at a time is allowed to look. The activity is completed when the team produces the replica of the example correctly. This activity will test the team’s ability to communicate and work together.

Hula Hoop Down
A Hula Hoop is all that is required for this team building activity. Divide the team into smaller groups and ask them to stand in a circle. The group is given a Hula Hoop which they need to lower from waist high to the ground, only using their fingers. It is more difficult than it sounds, and the team will have to work together to lower the Hula Hoop to the ground.

Egg Package
For this activity, you need to split the team into two groups. Each team is given the task of building an ‘egg package’ out of various materials that are provided beforehand. The ‘egg package’ must be able to sustain the eight foot drop of an egg. Each team must give a presentation about their ‘egg package’ explaining how it works and what makes it unique. After the presentation, the egg is dropped to see if their ‘egg package’ works.

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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

Escape Room
The short explanation of a Escape Room activity is that the participants are locked into themed rooms and they then need to work-out all the hidden clues and overcome some pressurised tasks so that they can escape the locked room before the 60-minute timer hits zero. All our Escape Room activities allow the players to solve puzzles and riddles which in turn opens locks all within an action-packed hour. We guarantee suspense and a lot of laughter…  more info

Frog Derby
TBAE’s Frog Derby allows your team to try their luck as punters and their skills as jockeys. This team building activity is suited for any group size and focuses on decision making, negotiating skills, strategy development, communication and fun. In the Frog Derby activity, your team becomes the proud owner of a “racing frog” – but only for the evening! To start the activity, frogs are auctioned and sold to the highest bidding team. Each team has to select their jockeys and with betting booths opened, the racing can begin…

A Day at the Races
TBAE’s A Day at the Races team building activity is suitable for any group size and focuses on decision making, negotiating skills, strategy development, communication and fun. Your team will feel as if they are at the races with real horses and their jockeys battling it out on the big screen. Depending on the time available for the activity, the race card for the day can consist of up to seven races. Participants will be given time to study the form books before they place the bets with the bookies. A wide variety of bet types are available to keep both the novice and experienced punter interested… more info

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

Movie Making
TBAE’S Movie Making team building activity is a great event to get the creative juices flowing. This fun and interactive activity is suitable for everyone regardless of their age, title, fitness level or physical abilities. At the beginning of the Movie Making team building activity, the group is divided into teams using a team building ice breaker. The ice breaker is designed to divide the group up in a way that ‘cliques’ are separated and new relationships formed… 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

Quiz Master
The Quiz Master team building activity is a fun and innovative way to build camaraderie and team spirit. For this event your group will be divided into teams or you can specify your own teams beforehand. The teams then go on to compete against each other in various quizzes. This activity will challenge your team and get those brain cells working. TBAE’s Quiz Master is not only intellectually stimulating but also side splitting funny… 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

The Voice Challenge
TBAE’s The Voice Challenge team building activity is inspired by The Voice reality television singing competition. The Voice Challenge always results in a lot of laughter as fellow team members try and outdo each other to show off their singing talents. The Voice Challenge starts off with coaches being selected. The coaches will each be responsible for choosing and leading their team. In the first round of The Voice Challenge each person gets an opportunity to sing a song while the appointed coaches will be seated facing away from the singer. If a coach is interested in having the singer on their team they press a buzzer and swing around to face the singer… more info

Karaoke
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. TBAE’s Karaoke Challenge is one of the best ways to get your team to laugh together. Laughter plays an important part in team building. Laughter strengthens relationships by fostering emotional connections and positive feelings between team members. Laughing together creates a bond that acts as a buffer against stress and disagreements. Shared laughter is also an excellent tool for keeping relationships fresh and building strong relationship bonds… more info

 

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How to Plan a Team Building Event

In this article, we are going to share with you some tips and pointers that will help you in planning your next team building event. Planning forms a vital part in the overall success of a team building event, and we will guide you through a couple of points that need to be considered when the event is in the planning phase. We will look at issues such as the objectives of the event, the participants, time frames, budgets, location, selecting teams, choosing a theme and assessment of the success of an event.

How to Plan a Team Building Event

What is the objective of the team building event?

It is essential to clearly establish the objectives for your team building event right from the start. Ask yourself why is your company doing team building and what is the company hoping to accomplish with the event? What are the expectations of the participants? Make sure that everybody has the same goal in mind from the outset. The following are some possible objectives:

In order to successfully plan a team building event any current strengths and weaknesses of the participating teams need to be considered. Find out if there is unresolved conflicts between certain people or is there certain groups of people who need to get to know each other better.  Is there members who tend to focus on their own achievements or is there members who are opposed to change? Consider whether there are issues of poor communication within the company and does the company need an overall morale boost.

Profiles of team members

Next you need to take a look at the profiles of the team members who will be attending the team building event. Things such as age range, gender mix and backgrounds of participants should be considered in planning the event. The team building activities at the event has to be suitable for all the team members and issues such as the physical condition and dietary requirements of participants need to be taken into consideration.

What is the budget?

The budget available for the team building event will have a strong influence on your choice of venue, food and beverage as well as the duration of the event and the type of event that you are planning. It is, therefore, very crucial for you to get an indication of the budget at a decidedly early stage of planning. The size of the budget will dictate whether all aspects of the team building will have to be handled in-house or if it will be possible to outsource some or all of the elements of the event. If it all possible, it is advisable to outsource the team building facilitation component of the event as you would like all your colleagues to be available to participate in the event. An established team building company will have the experience of knowing what works and what does not.

Time Frame of Event

Here, you need to find out when the event will take place and the length of the event. A decision will have to be made whether the event will take place in working hours or over a weekend or public holiday. When looking at a date outside working hours, the family commitments of participants need to be taken in to consideration. Furthermore, you will need to decide whether it will be a full day or half day event, or will the event take place over a 2 or 3 days.

Likes and dislikes of participants

When planning the team building activities of the event you have to take the likes and dislikes of the participants in to consideration. What do the team members prefer doing, are they the indoor kind or the outdoor adventurous types or a mixture of the two? This information can be collected by taking polls among the team members or by looking at past team building activities.

Choosing a venue for the event

Getting the right venue for your team building event is crucial as this can have a powerful effect on the atmosphere of the event. When looking for a venue you also need to consider the accessibility of the venue as well as the set-up and layout. Find out if the venue has any contingency plans for adverse weather in case of outdoor events.

Selecting teams

When you look at selecting teams for the event consider mixing departments, geographical regions, management levels or placing people that do not  get on well together in one team. It is also a good opportunity to identify leadership qualities by giving junior members leadership roles. Alternatively you can leave it up to the facilitators to select the teams on the day of the event; the facilitator will monitor the participants before the event to see where he can break up existing groups.

Choosing a theme

Make your event interesting by choosing a theme for it. Your venue, organisers, activities and music can then be chosen to complement this theme. Your content and objectives can be driven by this theme. For example, an archery event can be planned along with the theme of “hitting the target”, emphasising the importance of accuracy and correct decision making.

Assessing the success of the event

In order for a team building event to be considered successful there has to be some way to measure the success of the event. When planning your event it is essential to know how are going to measure this. Will the event be successful because it was enjoyable or because people got to know each other better? Feedback forms, surveys and observation reports  are some of the effective ways to measure the success of the team building event.

Make sure your team building event is a success by giving yourself enough time to plan for it. For a small to medium size event of up to 80 participants, two to three months should be enough, but you will need to give yourself up to six months to plan for events for over 80 participants. Make sure there is a healthy balance between fun and learning; team building should never be just about fun but should also not be overly serious.

 

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Outdoor Team Building Ideas

Many hours will be spent indoors at the office this year, so it is always a good idea (weather permitting of course) to have your team building events outdoors. In this blog,  I am going to share some ideas for fun and interactive team building activities suitable for outdoors.

Outdoor Team Building Ideas

Tribal Survivor Challenge

The Tribal Survivor Challenge usually starts with each tribe needing to choose a name and come up with a flag and also a war cry that depict this name. The flag and war cry are then presented in front of the other tribes. Each tribe receives three to five burning torches. The last team to have fire still burning (any number of torches still burning) at the end of the event wins. The tribes compete against each other on a number of different activities, and after each activity there is a Tribal Council, whereby the losing team lose a life and has one of their torches extinguished. In some instances,  the winning team is able to choose a member from the loosing tribe, and on other occasions the losing team needs to kick off one of their own members.

Walk On The Wild Side Amazing Race

In the Walk On The Wild Side Amazing Race team building activity, the group is divided into teams and each team is provided with various clues relating to finding each “check-in” point. Some of the “check-in” points have activities that need to be completed, and at others the team only need to “prove” that they located that specific point. The teams need to find the “check-in” points in the correct sequences which are hidden in different locations throughout the venue. Once a “check-in” point is located, the team either needs to “prove” that the whole team was there, or each member of the team must complete the activity before moving onto the next activity. The first team to successfully complete all the activities and tasks is the winning team.

Cook Around the World

In the Cook Around the World team building activity, teams are 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.

Potjiekos Cooking Competition

The Potjiekos Cooking Competition starts with the teams having to find the ingredients and utensils needed to start cooking. Once found the teams are further encouraged to barter against each other for anything they may still need. Now time for the main activity, who can cook the best potjie! This activity is perfect for building team spirit and fostering some healthy competition.

 

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Indoor Team Building Ideas

Team building events are not restricted to outdoor activities, and there are many indoor options for team building. In this article, we will be looking at some team building ideas that can be done indoors.

Indoor Team Building Ideas

Drumming

An excellent tool for stress release, Drumming create’s group bonding, team building and synchronizing of thought processes in the Business environment. In Africa drumming has always been the most basic group activity for communication. For centuries people have used drumming to release stress, lift their spirits, improve clarity and focus, and develop co-operation and community bonds. Group drumming is a non-competitive activity where each person, regardless of age, sex, race or class within the company has an equal role to play. Drumming events help to overcome barriers of race, language, gender and hierarchy. Drumming helps create synergy within a team, and the non-competitive nature of the event creates group awareness and highlights group communication.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Movie Making

Movie making is a fun and interactive team building activity suitable for everyone regardless of their age, level of fitness or physical abilities. In this event participants are usually divided into teams, with the members of the teams having to work together to write a script, produce, direct and act in the “Movie” using limited resources. Participants are encouraged to tap into their creative and practical abilities as they begin to make their movie. This event is not only an excellent team building tool, but also provides excellent entertainment when the movies are viewed at the end of the day and rewards given.

Related: Creative Thinking Outcome Based Team Building Activties

Scrabble Matics

In the Scrabble Matics team building activity,  each player becomes a letter and as such must find other letters in the room to make up a word. In this frantic and fast paced event, every letter must be used, illustrating the importance of inclusion. The aim of the game is to network with other participants and join forces with as many people as possible in order to score the most points whilst completing the group target. This fast paced team building game will allow your team to network whilst strategizing. Teams mix and mingle before forming alliances in order to get the highest word score, but with a group task of using every letter will the teams compete or collaborate?

Art Workshop

Participants are divided into teams, and each team is given an separate canvas on which to work. At the end of the Art Workshop, all the canvasses are combined to create one piece of art. Large groups can participate in this activity as the size of a group is only limited to the number of canvasses.

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 which they are working on. 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 having its own unique style, but creating one new original work of art.

This fun team building activity is a rewarding challenge for participants and promotes unity within a group. The power of teamwork and effective communication is illustrated in this activity. The activity ends on a motivating high as the participants are impressed by what the group managed to achieve through the individual efforts of each team.

Minute to Win It

This activity is based upon the television program of the same name, where participants need to complete various activities within a one minute period. The difficulty of the Minute to Win It games increase as the activity progresses. If time expires or conditions of the game cannot be fulfilled, the team loses a life. If the team loses all three of their lives, the game ends, and the team’s winnings drop to the last milestone they passed. The teams need to decide which of their members are going to participate on what level of difficulty. A careful strategy needs to be adopted.

Related: Minute to Win It Games

Murder Mystery

In the Murder Mystery activity, guests arrive for dinner looking like their character role. The fun begins as each person tries to prove their innocence by proving someone else at their table guilty. The murder plot is played out over a meal (from simple snacks to five course gourmet meals). A “murder” is announced, and this becomes an excuse for the guests to enter a period, during which they tend to reveal the biggest collection of fabrications, deceit and cover-ups imaginable.

Karaoke

Karaoke is a form of entertainment in which singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen. Karaoke is an extremely fun team building activity, laugh at your fellow workers as they try and sing like their favourite pop stars and show them how it is done when it is your turn to sing.

Boomwhacking

Boomwhackers are hollow, plastic, musical tubes, which are struck with the hand or struck against each other to make melodious sounds. Each colour of boomwhacker has a distinct tone to create an instant orchestra when used in a group. Boomwhacking is ideally suited to audience participation and may be used in large numbers. Participants all play together, following a leader’s directions from the stage.

Motivational Speaking

Motivational speaking is excellent for guiding, assisting and empowering your team to become the best they can be. Motivational speaking works effectively with clients who are ready and want their team to change, grow take the next step up in their business, and ultimately want their team to operate at its full potential. It also stimulates individuality within the team, which allows employees to decide for themselves the best approach in solving their problems, how to interact with their managers, colleagues and customers, as well as how to work independently or in teams, and ultimately how to proceed in their personal development.

 

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Egg and Spoon Race Team Building Exercise

The Egg and Spoon Race is one of the popular exercises in TBAE’s “Boeresport” Games team building event. The Egg and Spoon Race is an uncomplicated activity, where the main objective is to balance an egg (or similar item) on a spoon and race with it to get to the finish line first. This is not only a popular team building activity, but is also often found at school events where it is combined with other traditional games such as Sack Races and Three-legged Races.

Egg and Spoon Race Team Building Exercise

Although some might argue with this, the Egg and Spoon Race was not birthed in South Africa.  The Oxford Dictionary states 1894 as its earliest recorded usage although earlier practice has been claimed in Colonial USA. In 1897, the Egg and Spoon Race was part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; it was also part of the Silver and Diamond Jubilee’s of Queen Elizabeth the second. A set of wooden eggs and spoons dating from the 1920’s is exhibited in the Good Time Gallery of Museum of Childhood in London.  Until the 1950’s Egg and Spoon Races were regularly held among employees of Trinity College in Cambridge.

The rules of the Egg and Spoon Race are straight forward. The race takes place between individuals or between teams in the form of a relay race. Whenever a participant drops their egg they either have to stop and reposition the egg to continue, or they need to go back to the start, or they can even be disqualified, depending on the rules agreed upon for that particular event.  To make the event more challenging, contestants may be required to hold the spoon with both hands or hold the spoon in their mouth.

For those who take their Egg and Spoon racing seriously, we have a few tips which will give a contestant the winning edge. Firstly it is vital that the egg and spoon is carried with soft hands and relaxed muscles. This makes it easier to sense the position of the spoon and eggs in space, enabling the contestant to make quick corrections. Relaxed arms and hands, also promote relaxation of the shoulders, chest, neck and shoulders. The next critical point to remember is to, always, keep your focus on the finishing line and not let the eyes stray towards the egg or other contestants. The body is best kept in balance by focusing on an object that is fixed and further away, and remember the body tends to follow where the eyes are looking.  To be a winning Egg and Spoon racer, it is also necessary to have the right footwear. They need to be thin and flexible so that the contestant can feel the terrain he/she is running on, which assists in making necessary adjustments.

There are a number of world records for Egg and Spoon Racing with the New Yorker Ashrita Furman the owner of a large share of them.  Ashrita Furman’s records include as at 7 July 2012 the fastest 100m in 19.39 seconds, fastest 100m with a spoon in mouth in 25.3 seconds, fastest mile in 7 minutes 8 seconds and fastest mile with a spoon in the mouth in 9 minutes 29 seconds.  In 1990, a London Marathon runner completed the marathon in 3 hours and 47 minutes whilst balancing an uncooked egg on a dessert spoon.

Sources: Wikipedia.org | http://www.mymovementimprovement.com/blog/2012/4/6/how-to-run-the-perfect-egg-spoon-race.html

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Tug of War Team Building Exercise

Tug of War is one of the popular exercises in TBAE’s Boeresport Games team building activity. The Boeresport Games activity was designed to bring back old memories with a combination of traditional games where teams compete against each other with a variety of different exercise. In this blog, we will focus on Tug of War as one of those exercises.

Tug of War Team Building Exercise

The Oxford English Dictionary describes the original meaning of the phrase Tug of War as “the decisive contest, the real struggle or tussle; a severe contest for supremacy”.  Tug of War has evolved into a competitive sport, team building exercise or popular recreational activity. Although there is no definite record of where Tug of War originated from, there is evidence that a form of Tug of War was practiced as far back as the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century BCE to 5th century BCE.

Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty is recorded as promoting mass Tug of War games with ropes up to 167 meters in length. Teams consisted of as many as 500 people, with each team having their own set of drummers to cheer them. Tug of War type games were also popular in India as far back as the 12th century AD. There are also stories of Viking warriors, from Scandinavia and Germany, pulling animal skins over open pits of fire as an exercise to prepare them for battle. It is only from the 19th century onwards that the term Tug of War became used for athletic contests between two teams at the opposite ends of a rope.

Formal competition rules for Tug of War requires that there must be two teams of eight people each. Teams are classified into different weight classes that compete against each other. The rope used in formal competitions is usually around ten centimeters in circumference and marked with a center line. On either side, four meters from the center line, there is another marking on the rope. The pull starts with the center line directly above a line marked on the ground. The winning team is the team that pulls the other team’s marker over the marking line on the ground. A team will also win when the other team commits a foul such as one of the members falling or lowering  an elbow lower than the knee. Other possible fouls include touching the ground for an extended period or not keeping the rope underneath the arms. When used in team building or as a recreational activity, these rules will most likely be more loosely adhered to in keeping with the spirit of the activity.

There are many Tug of War clubs all over the world where men and women participate in this sport. It was part of the Olympic Games from 1900 to 1920 and is still contested in the World Games.  The Tug of War International Federation organizes biannual World Championships for nations to compete. These competitions take place indoors as well as outdoors.

Resources: Wikipedia.org

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Team Building for a Successful Workplace

The adage that a happy workplace is a busy workplace has been proven time and time again by some of the leading global companies, and innovative CEO’s have spent time and money ensuring that their employees are settled, relaxed and that they can relate well with their colleagues. A cohesive team that understands each other and is comfortable communicating and working alongside each other will be a much bigger asset to your business than a disgruntled group of individuals.

Team Building Activity
Team Building Activity

Building a Team

There are countless examples from around the world of where a close, well-knit team can outperform expectations and succeed in their line of work, and this is due to the power of teamwork and morale. Sport is a perfect example of this, where teams can defy the odds and exceed expectations due to having a strong team ethic and working well together. The same is true in the workplace, as an enthusiastic, motivated, and cohesive team can excel in anything they do. This is why building a team out of a group of individuals can be more valuable than anything else.

A recruitment agency can help to find an employee that is suitably qualified to join a workforce, but they will not perform to their maximum potential in an uncooperative team environment. Studies have shown that money spent on team building, improving the ergonomics and aesthetics of the work environment, and creating a positive workplace is recouped numerous times over in productivity. Google are a perfect example of this, as they are renowned for striving to create a happy working environment for their employees, and for ensuring that staff members are well acquainted with each other; results of which are clear to see. Google even provide employees with futuristic napping stations where employees can lighten the load and rejuvenate themselves with a power nap.

There are numerous different team building activities which can be undertaken, all of which are designed to bring out range of qualities and skills in people, and these qualities can translate into many different situations. Understanding the concepts behind team building events is essential to getting the most out of the experience as it can be tailored to the needs of your company. Taking a selection of individual workers and turning them into a team is what will help to propel your business forward and make it run much more efficiently. The first step towards building a strong team is improving communication and trust, whilst eliminating conflict and misconceptions.

Communication, Communication, Communication

Putting together a team of bright, intelligent, and knowledgeable individuals is sometimes not enough to get a productive workplace, and one of the major issues that occur time and time again is a lack of communication between colleagues. In any organization, be it small or large, communication is vital for the smooth running of a company. A restaurant will not work well if the waiters are not communicating with the chefs, in the same way that an accountant’s office will fall short if one department does not communicate with another effectively.  Taking people out of the workplace and getting them involved in activities that rely on good communication to succeed will improve the situation tremendously.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Trust Building

One of the key components of team building is increasing the amount of trust that is held between workers. Although the activities carried out during training may be entirely unconnected to the workplace environment, the skills and lessons learned, and relationships formed during the process will have a positive effect on work. Increased trust between employees results in a greater amount of dependency which increases efficiency and productivity. Workplaces that have a lack of trust between employees are usually segregated and inefficient as this causes a barrier.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Conflict Resolution

It is not uncommon for workplaces containing a wide variety of people to end up with personal, professional and emotional disputes, and this is often due to a lack of understanding between people. Taking workers away from their normal environment and getting them involved in different team building exercises can work wonders for improving relationships. With the pressure of the office out of their minds, and diversely stimulating activities to complete, social barriers are often lifted, and this translates well when back in the office.

 

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