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What Are The Best Teambuilding Activities?

Ah, this is such a great question that I have been asked countless times throughout my career. “Hey Mark, tell me, what do you think are the best teambuilding activities?”

To tempt you, this article is both a textual and visual feast.

First up, I will treat you to a brand-new video featuring Chad Littlefield and me sharing three of our best teambuilding activity ideas that actually work, etched from 30+ years of experience working with tough, hard-to-convince groups.

It’s a big call, but Chad and Mark promise that these activities will work for you and your group, too.

 

View Chad & Mark’s Best Teambuilding Activities

 

As we all live in a YouTube generation, sit back and relax for a few minutes and enjoy one of the few times Chad and I have appeared together in front of the same camera (click play below.)

And be sure to stick around to the very end to help yourself to some really useful bonuses.

 

 

Why These Are Our Best Teambuilding Activities?

 

On face value, you could be forgiven for thinking that the three teambuilding exercises we share are just a bunch of fun icebreakers or energisers. And they are, but… they are so much more.

As explained in the video, each of the activities we feature in this video reflects at least three or four critical elements that make them ideal for teambuilding purposes.

Take a look at the quick descriptions below and see if you can’t work out their secrets to success.

 

Question Swap

Also known as Icebreaker Question Exchange, this exercise is a treasure trove of gold for building teams. One armed with a question card, it takes less than 10 seconds to describe what you would like your group to do. By design, it is highly interactive, and each interaction is imbued with choice, sharing and vulnerability – three critical factors that, when honoured, build successful teams.

Crosstown Connections

If I’ve presented this exercise once, I’ve presented it a thousand times. It’s a favourite because it works. Every. Time. The essence of its success is found in the partnership of interactions. It’s hard to be left out of a pair, so comfort and intimacy are baked into its design. It’s also highly interactive and generates energy – something you can never have too much of in a room. But… the true measure of its success is the invitation each formal partnership is offered to share. Trust can never be built without sharing and vulnerability. So, if you thought group interaction was enough, think again. Healthy and trusting relationships are built upon a foundation of interaction AND sharing, and Crosstown Connections has this in spades.

One-Two-Three

Maybe this partner game is featured in my programs just as often as Crosstown Connections. Again, because it works. I know very few fail-proof activities, and this is one of them. So many variations, so much laughter, and I promise lots of energy. Again, this exercise makes it to our Top Three list because, first of all, it is super fun, but it’s also super simple and super flexible, ie it can be played with small or large groups and comes with lots of variations.

 

Did you work it out?

There are many factors, but Chad and I agree that four key ingredients explain why these three activities make the cut of the “best teambuilding activities.”

  • Fun – all three nourish one’s soul and generate laughter. Not comedy laughter necessarily, but levity that everyone can feel comfortable to be a part of.
  • Choice – all three honour choice and provide a wide spectrum for people to choose their level of participation, eg see Challenge by Choice.
  • Sharing – play inspires interaction and interaction provides opportunities for sharing. And without sharing, there is NO trust, which… is the epitome of teambuilding.
  • Simple – don’t make it too difficult for people to lean into the activity and conversation. Start small and gradually build up.

 

Yes, there are hundreds of dedicated ‘teambuilding’ activities that are big and loud and colourful and challenging and involve lots of props, etc, etc. But, really? Do you really need to go to all of this trouble to build team skills when some of the simplest group games & activities can achieve the same outcomes?

What do you think?

Feel free to provide your own examples in the Comments below.

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