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Trainer’s tip: All hands on deck for team building


Getting a group to work together to solve a problem that one person on their own cannot is a cheap and effective form of team building, advises Alice Ma.

I've just run a couple of games for a group of 40. The first one provides a fun way to start off the team building event. Ask the group to form teams of equal number, this works best with 10-15 people per group. Ask participants to line up according to either their birth dates or alphabetically. The facilitator may allow two minutes for team communication, before blindfolding them (after they are blindfolded they are not allowed to speak) and then jumble the teams before the session actually starts. The team who finishes the mission in the shortest possible time is the winner.

The second one is an energiser. Invite one participant to demonstrate the following action. Ask them to sit down on the floor with arms stretching sideways at shoulder-height. Then ask them to stand up without changing their posture or asking for help from others. Usually, this will be difficult. Then ask teams to sit down on the floor in a circle. Then stretch out their hands, laying hands on the shoulders of partners sitting on both sides. When this action is finished, a complete circle is formed. Then the facilitator asks them to stand up. With help from each other, they can achieve the mission easily. This is a good demonstration of teamwork and inter-dependence.

Third is a revised version of the second game. Ask the team to form a circle with hands laying on top of the next partners' shoulders. The facilitator then puts two hula hoops on the left and right shoulders of one member of each group. The circle is reformed and that member is asked to pass on the hoops to the next participant without breaking the circle. Ensure the size of the hula loops are big enough to allow an adult's body to pass through. The team that gets the two hoops back to the participant who started the game in the shortest time are the winner.

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Any ideas for cheap team building activities?

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