Executive coaching and team building are excellent solutions for companies introducing new employees into senior management, improving communication within an existing executive team, or just looking for a little bit of fun to inject into the monitionus work week. Fun team building activities and icebreakers help lighten the mood and make the workplace a more positive environment, leading to success in more crucial areas of the company. The Small Group Research journal analyzed data from 103 studies conducted between 1950 and 2007 and found data that suggests “team building has a positive moderate effect across all team outcomes”. Most specifically, affective and process outcomes. According to research from the American Psychological Association (APA), team building activities can help employees feel valued, and employees that feel valued are the most motivated.
Knowing that executive team building is an important tool, it’s crucial that the team building exercises companies choose to engage in set the right tone and foster the correct environment for employees to flourish. The bottom line There are limitless options for activities and exercises ranging from quick games to break the ice to retreats and ropes courses. Each with a different impact and influence. This blog post will dive in to 10 of our favorite team building games and icebreakers to improve communication and increase trust among executive teams and other small groups.
Question of the Day:
For: Breaking the Ice
Activity: This quick icebreaker is an excellent way for employees to get comfortable talking to each other and learning about one another. Here are some examples of questions that can help team members learn about each other without diving too deep.
“There are now 25 hours in a day! How do you spend your extra hour?”
“What is one thing you are looking forward to doing when you retire?”
“What was your favorite class in high school and why?”
“When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
Two truths and a lie
For: Introducing new team members
Activity: In this simple and quick activity, each person in the group gives 3 “fun facts” about themselves. Two of them being true, the third being a lie. The rest of the group will then guess which one is the lie. This game allows new team members to introduce themselves and learn more about their coworkers without the rigidity and pressure of impromptu introductory monologues.
Win of the Week
For: Improving the mood before meetings
Activity: Before starting a long meeting where people are expected to work together and collaborate, try this quick icebreaker to get people in a good mood. In this activity each member of the group will recap the best thing to happen to them over the past week. Getting people to think about the positive events and “wins” of the last week will raise their spirits and have them in a more positive mindset.
One Word Story
For: Getting people thinking on their feet
Activity: This activity can be as brief or as long as the situation requires. In this game, someone begins with a word and then players go around the room each adding a word or phrase until eventually a story is formed. The results can be hilarious, but beyond that the activity is a good warm up to get people thinking quickly.
Company Coat of Arms
For: Reinforcing company values
Activity: Have teams or individuals, depending on size of the group, create a “coat of arms” or a new logo for the company. Each drawing should include 3 things: a representation of company values, a representation of the company’s core competency, and something representing what the company should be in the future. Each individual or team present what they drew and what their symbols mean. The group leader should then speak from the company perspective on values, core competency, and future aspirations.
Create your Own Team Building Activities
For: Promoting problem solving and creativity
Activity: This requires more time than other activities on this list and is best in settings like a staff retreat or conference. The group leader should present participants with a fake problem as follows: the group is supposed to use the allotted time to play a game but the leader doesn’t know any interesting ones and doesn’t want to play something stale and traditional. So, the group is to invent a new problem solving game. In larger settings people can be split into smaller groups and each can present their idea for a new game. This is a problem solving activity in and of itself, but at the end of the creation time groups can vote on which game to actually play and work out.
For: Building a team in a more dedicated and fun environment
Activity: Anyone who has been in corporate America for a while is familiar with ropes courses to some extent. They’re a classic team building event focused on team bonding, communication, problem solving, and fun. They’re not for every team or for every company, but there are a wide variety of both high and low ropes courses locations around the country to break out of the office and have a fun outing with a group of coworkers. They have a high potential for bonding and for improved communication; however, if used too frequently or with the wrong group they can become more trouble than they’re worth.
LEH Strategic Partners has over 30 years as an executive coach. LEH has high level experience coaching clients in operations, planning, strategy and people management of large multi generational workforces. Our focus is on bringing operations excellence principles to small and medium sized companies who desire to improve their relationship and satisfaction/loyalty with customers while offering relevant solutions and channels that meet their needs based on proven multi channel operations practices and technology.
Visit our website www.lehstrategicpartners.com/ to learn more about our coaching services and stay tuned to our blog for more tips to improve your workplace.