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What are Team Building Exercises and what is their purpose?
Team building exercises consist of a variety of tasks designed to develop group members and their ability to work together effectively. There are many types of team building activities that range from kids games to games that involve novel complex tasks and are designed for specific needs. There are also more complex team building exercises that are composed of multiple exercises such as ropes courses, corporate drumming and exercises that last over several days. The purpose of team building exercises is to assist teams in becoming cohesive units of individuals that can effectively work together to complete tasks.
Who can benefit from Team Building Exercises?
Team building exercises are useful for all kinds of teams. Some exercises are designed for smaller teams, some for larger teams. Some are designed for new teams, others to focus on specific areas of an established team to be worked on. In addition to this, team building exercises also are for different age groups. In addition to this, some team building exercises are intended primarily for a specific age group. It is possible that some team building activities designed for younger teams being misused with more mature groups has contributed to the negative stigma frequently associated with team building exercises.
Types of Team Building Exercises
This type of team building exercise is exactly what it sounds like. Communications exercises are problem solving activities that are geared towards improving communication skills. The issues teams encounter in these exercises are solved by communicating effectively with each other.
• Goal: Create an activity which highlights the importance of good communication in team performance and/or potential problems with communication.
Problem Solving/Decision Making Exercise
Problem Solving/Decision making exercises focus specifically on groups working together to solve difficult problems or make complex decisions. These exercises are some of the most common as they appear to have the most direct link to what employers want their teams to be able to do.
• Goal: Give team a problem in which the solution is not easily apparent or requires the team to come up with a creative solution
These exercises focus on aspects of planning and being adaptable to change. These are important things for teams to be able to do when they are assigned complex tasks or decisions.
A trust exercise involves engaging team members in a way that will induce trust between them. They are sometimes difficult exercises to implement as there are varying degrees of trust between individuals and varying degrees of individual comfort trusting others in general.
• Goal: Create trust between team members