Team building exercises: practical examples

Team building exercises are an effective method to encourage teamwork. Not only can team building profoundly influence performance outcomes, it can also make far-reaching impact on affective outcomes such as decreasing a lack of trust in your team. Another benefit of team building is improving process issues when a role of a team member is not fully clarified.

Team building is effective when all team members work interdependently on the task. Another measure of the effectiveness of team building is a leader’s support for other team members. When a team works together in order to establish an objective of a specific task, you can say that your team is effective. Role clarification is also important.

In order to have a team of individuals who work hard and efficiently, you need some team building exercises. The list of the quick and easy team building exercises follow.

Eye contact

This exercise is a type of a trust exercise since its goal is to make people comfortable when they make eye contact with each other. Divide the people into pairs and make them look at each other’s eyes constantly for 60 seconds. This exercise can make the atmosphere of the team more relaxed and team members can benefit because the mutual respect among them will increase.

Running free

Running free is another trust exercise. Get people into pairs. One person is a leader, the other is a follower. The follower should wear a blindfold. The leader should take his/her partner for a little walk. After a slow walk, the leader should take his/her parent for normal-paced walk, jogging and running respectively. Step-by-step, the follower gains trust in his/her partner. After the pairs finish running together, they should change the roles.

The paper tower

The participants are given a sheet of paper. Their task is to construct the tallest possible structure. They have five minutes to do that and they should not use any other material. When five minutes are up, members of the team should discuss their work, role of each member, their plan and the outcome and what can be done differently. This game can be played in pairs or individually and it teaches the participants the importance of planning, timing and team work.

Dream trip

This communication exercise is aimed at team members discovering something new about each other. The participants are asked how they would spend their holiday if they were given a month off the work and unlimited budget. When each participants finish speaking, the group is encouraged to discuss the answers.

Road map

The participants should be grouped into two groups. Each group is given a road map. Their task is to organize a trip. However, the both groups have specific things they should consider such as the amount of money, a time period and destinations. The goal of this game is learning how to plan something with other members of a group. The both groups have a common goal and they need to have good collaboration in order to achieve their goal. This effective game mirrors the actual task they encounter every day at work.

Take what you need

The participants are asked to sit in a circle. Pass around pennies and tell each team member to take as much pennies as they think they need. Do not say anything else. Each person should disclose as many facts about him/herself as they have pennies in their hands. This communication encouraging game is fun and simple. The participants will enjoy discovering something new and interesting about their colleagues.

Games with cash cube

Group the participants into the teams of two. Fill a cash cube with fake dollars or monopoly money. One person should enter a cash cube and he/she should grab as much money as he/she can when the air blower turns on. When each member of the team has collected money, the teams are given a specific task and they need to organize themselves so that they complete the task with the amount of money they have.

Company quiz

Write down the questions regarding your company on the piece of paper. Fold each piece of paper and put it in a bowl. The participants are asked to take one piece of paper, read a question aloud, try to answer and discuss the answer with his/her colleagues.

Planning your team building exercises is of crucial importance. Make sure everything runs smoothly. Masquerade party, childish bounce trampoline or riding bull is also a good way to insure your employees have fun and to make your team building memorable. In the end, you will get a team who is ready to face any problem.


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