Group Morale Boosters! 5 Leadership Team Building Activities

As a keynote speaker sometimes I get the opportunity to do a follow up leadership seminar at the event. I find team building self development activities really need to be catered to the group or they are a generic time drain.

A good self development leadership activity makes people laugh, think, understand conflict and work together outside of their work context. Here are some fun, inspirational and memorable morale boosters for your next seminar, convention or event:

1. In a seminar, I like breaking down the room based on 4 personality types ( after I have described what they are, characteristics, etc)and than asking the group to solve a business problem by creating a team, based on what personalities they want on it. What will each personality type contribute? How? What will be the drawbacks? In a true Donald Trump Apprentice Style way the problem could be to create an advertising campaign to promote a specific product. The discussion that ensues will help people see how personality styles create conflict and affect how you contribute to a team.

2. Another a fun, simple self development seminar team activity, based on improv…. is create a story with a word. Each person in a line up adds a word to make up a story. Some people don’t listen or get nervous and they put in a word that makes no sense and word by word the group tries to make a sensible story. Usually very halarious and great lessons emerge about listening, interpretation, resolving conflict etc. You can create the story around a business theme you are working on to personalize this.

3. A simple and easy seminar activity is to tell two truths and a lie. In rounds of 8, each person tells two true statements about themselves and one lie. The group has to decide which is the lie. A good way to get to know one another and very funny.

4. Balloons are Morale Boosters! Blow up a bunch of balloons of several colours. Have the whole room stand up. The objective is to keep the balloons in the air no matter what, they can’t touch the ground. Seminar participants boink balloons to each other, gyrating around trying to keep them in the air. For variation, ask the group to move the red balloons to the front of the room, the green balloons to the back of the room, etc.

5. What I like about you. A great event icebreaker, Have a flip chart paper for each person with their name at the top. Each person goes around and writes what they like about others on their respective paper. Afterwards, the posters can be displayed at work. It is a great morale booster when people can look up at their positive leadership qualities.

6. First Meeting. Have 3 people on each team( usually 3 men and 3 women on opposing teams). The objective is for each team of three to act in synch as one person. They are to meet the other team and each team is one person, they move together and talk together. Step by step and word by word each team member is looking for clues from one person ( usually a leader will emerge) on when to move, words to say etc. It is hilarious and teaches leadership ( if one person in each team doesn’t take control and lead the other two in words and movement- it is a mess), communications skills, teamwork.

Add more fun at your event with simple, easy morale boosters that build leadership qualities.

The 5 P’s of Team Design and Development For Managers

Teams are a useful business tool for process and quality improvement, which may lead to higher customer satisfaction or cost reduction. Many managers recognize the benefits teams may bring but do not properly consider what it takes to get a team functioning in the direction management desires. When forming teams, manager should consider the purpose, member participation and placement, as well as team processes and plans. With the 5 P’s of purpose, participation, placement, process, and plan, management can better design teams and determine development needs.

Purpose – Will the team clearly understand why it exists, what it is to do and how it will know they are successful? The team and management must agree to written purpose or mission statement so that they are working together in a common direction towards solutions that meet their overall purpose. Team goals and management deadlines should align with their overall purpose and will serve to guide performance and help them meet challenges.

Participation – Who would be the best people to include on the team and how large should the group be in order to accomplish its purpose? Management needs to consider necessary skill sets, professional attitudes, and process knowledge when selecting team members. In addition, for membership at the formation of team or as personnel needs grow, look for a balance between personality types for both task and people focus to be included so the solutions team may design will be more diverse and innovative to achieve team purpose and required work.

Placement – Where will the team members be physically located and how often should the team plan to have meetings? If the team is to be an intact work group, this may make some things simpler but the group will need a meeting room for complex problem solving. If the team is spread over multiple sites, managers will need to consider costs and possible problems team may have due to culture or time differences, and then determine whether travel for some meetings is required or if any special equipment is needed for members to meet regularly via phone or on-line.

Process – How will the team get to where it needs to go in order to accomplish its purpose? The members should develop and agree to their ground rules, any constraints that management may set related to decision-making authority or functional boundaries. Initial team training should include meeting management with a suggested meeting agenda and record-keeping formats, interpersonal communication, problem solving, and if relevant to team’s work include process mapping.

Plan – Will the team acknowledge when its project or assignment will be complete and know what it needs to accomplish its tasks? If the goals are specific to their purpose and the team agrees these are relevant and achievable goals, then the team needs to agree to a timeline for goals and a way to measure how they are doing towards goals. Not only should the team and their management define work deadlines and expected milestones in its goals and schedules, but it should also include necessary training to acquire cooperation and task related skills.

Considering the 5 P’s of purpose, participation, placement, process, and plan, management can design better teams and plan their development needs accordingly. Recognizing the benefits teams can bring to a business or organization is good, but teams are only effective when management understands what it may take to get their teams moving in the desired direction. Well designed and developed teams only become a useful for process and quality improvement when managers consider member selection for best participation and preferred placement along with the team’s purpose, process and plan.

Successful Team Building

Team building is an activity wherein individual members, with their unique talents and personalities, are integrated with the team in order for form an organization, which can drive results more effectively. It involves various activities and exercises to support the team objectives. Organizations of different scales and specialties are known to conduct these activities on an almost annual basis, due to its obvious benefits. Activities can span from the purely educational, the purely motivational, the purely recreational, or a synergetic combination of the three.

Team buildings involve an overall facilitator that helps direct the team towards the goal. However, teams can also opt to facilitate themselves with mutual understanding and respect. The facilitation structure can depend upon the size or type of team being built.

Successful team building must:

• Be fun: Recreation is a very important aspect in team building. People are known more to learn when having fun. Teams must have activities that are truly enjoyable. Highly competitive activities such as sports must are avoided as members stray off from its objective and gear themselves towards the winning aspect of the game.

• Be engaging: Multiple team building activities are encouraged, delivered in a strategic manner. These activities must involve individuals using multiple talents and intelligences. Activities that solely focus on a single intelligence sphere (purely physical or purely mental) are seen as boring and may not cater to the overall team. Various activities are available that engages individuals in multiple levels — from challenging games, to group non game based activities (such as drum circles or culinary-based activities).

• Be educational: Each activity must be able to tackle an aspect of the team’s required dynamics. There are activities available that strengthen the team’s communication skills. There are also activities that enhance the team’s trust towards each other. There are other activities that tackle conflict management and other situational aspects. Also, each team activity must cap off with a processing session where each member can contribute in sharing the unique lessons they’ve learned and incorporate it with the organization’s overall goals.

Team building activities serve as an egalitarian platform wherein each member is an equal. Rank must be neglected at these activities in order to increase the overall strength and effectiveness of the team. With this in mind, individuals who undergo such activities are known to have an intrinsic drive to deliver success for the overall benefit of the whole organization.