How to Master and Design Teambuilding Games

by | Resources, News

Every manager wants his team to be super productive and successful. Many businesses use team-building games to achieve these goals. But they are using them wrong.

The games are not one-off activities. You have to use them as a long-term strategy.

Another common mistake is making them overly structured. Leave room for some ingenuity. Your goals may encourage discipline and morale, but do not turn the office into a barrack.

In 2003 a group of researches conducted a survey to find out why soldiers continue to fight even in the riskiest environments.

The answer? A deep emotional connection between them.

This bond is not formed during the training process but the rest of the time. That is when the soldiers:

  • share their fears
  • share personal stories
  • spend time together

Thus, they build trust, friendship, and group identity.

The key to such a relationship? Time and practice. You have to step beyond what is on the surface to get to know the person next to you. This is a big commitment. You can’t force the process. Give it time and space.

With KissTheFrogNow you can make the process easier. We put thought into creating every detail. You can combine the elements for different cases according to:

  • the duration
  • the benefits you want to reap
  • the type of activities
  • the type of games – team, individual, in pairs

Team building games can create similar bonds if used the right way. Let’s take a look at the different types of games and when to use them.

Key Takeaways:

Ready? Go, go, go!


Team building icebreakers – spark the conversation

Team building icebreaker is a game used to:

  • welcome a newcomer to the team
  • warm up the conversation between the participants

An effective icebreaker will help people relax and communicate with one another.

There are three cases where this type of games is used:

  1. When participants do not know each other
  2. When they know each other partially
  3. When the participants know each other

In the first scenario, the ice breaker will make the acquaintance go smoothly.

You can use an icebreaker as a method of warming up the conversation when the team members know each other

One of the four KissTheFrogNow deck contains 30 team games dedicated to sparking the conversation so the members can open up.

We usually start the team building sessions with the first five games of this deck. Their names are:

  1. Draw me
  2. Tell me
  3. Introduce yourself, introduce me
  4. When I grow up
  5. What’s the word?

You can combine the TeamGames deck with the Illustrations for even more engaging facilitation.

 

3 pieces of advice for designing marvellous team building games

  • Determine how much time you will spend on this type of game. Keep in mind that 30-40% of the session should be dedicated to all planned activities.
  • Examine the interests and preferences of the participants and take them into account
  • Determine the purpose of the activity. Do you want to warm up the conversation in the group or spur creativity?

The purpose is to allow participants to share what they know or have experienced.

 

Communication games – become skilled interlocutors

Usually, people consider communication a “soft” skill. Communication games are interactive activities that aim to:

● develop how we treat each other
● practice how you share information
● develop our ability to perceive information
Communication is much more than talking. These team building games train us to receive and share information equally well.

The main effect is to develop a sense of when to remain silent and to perceive and when to speak and share. Discussion games and debates are great for the occasion. The participants will learn to:

  • argument their opinions
  • prepare a thesis and an antithesis
  • listen to their teammates’ arguments
  • present
  • respect the other’s opinion

 

People-hands-games

 

Collaboration games – teamwork makes the dream work

Our world is a favourable environment for the development of strong individualists. This can be a barrier to team building. Teamwork makes the problem-solving and decision-making processes more efficient. Not only do collaboration games produce more comprehensive results, but they also encourage teammates to share information and expertise.

For example, we designed the game ‘A bus full of emotions’ to assist team members in learning to recognize the emotions of their colleagues and express themselves.

For some people, it can be very difficult to focus on the benefits of collaboration, rather than the rewards of individual effort and competition.

So, developing this skill requires strong leadership skills. You need to guide the team to work together.

 

Problem-solving games – craft solutions together

Problem-solving games focus on creating:

  • group problem-solving skills
  • leadership
  • ability to work in a team

They enable the team to communicate, collaborate, and learn to compromise.

To work effectively as a team, you need to learn how to overcome the obstacles that the team faces.

Through problem-solving games, you learn to divide the process into 4 stages:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Describe the situation
  3. Find a solution
  4. Test it

Going through this process helps the team come up with basic strategies. They can apply them to real problems.

 

Team building games for remote teams – stay connected

Teamwork is a huge challenge for any remote team. Creating a sense of belonging is difficult. Colleagues need more time to overcome social awkwardness.

The solution to the problem is to have regular team building games. They will have a simpler format than those in the real world. Your goal is to overcome the barriers between team members and ease social interaction.

 

Office activities and outdoor games – play everywhere

Team building activities can be divided into two categories

  1. indoor activities
  2. outdoor games

Indoor activities usually take place during regular business hours, sometimes on weekends.

Their character is more serious and official. Yet, the goal is the same – to improve communication, trust, and cooperation skills.

Outdoor team building activities are dynamic. The mood is more casual than in the office.

This type of game unleashes the energy and potential of the participants, giving them greater scope for action.

Team building outdoor games are usually more fun and active. The business environment remains in the background. The focus is on sharing free time with the team.

Just like the soldiers.

 

Adaptability games – learn to adapt to grow

A strong personality often does not go well with teamwork. As a team member, you need to adapt to others to be a good teammate. Adaptable team members are:

  • receptive
  • emotionally secure
  • creative
  • responsive

Everything is a challenge or a threat to a team member who is not adaptable. He tends to react with suspicion when another talented person joins the team.

The emotionally mature team member sees the opportunity in a changing situation. He assesses the situation and adapts to the new conditions.

Adaptive team building games affect:

  • Learning – it becomes a habit. Always looking for new things to share with your colleagues. Implementing new skills in the work process.
  • Team Roles – Reflect on your past achievements and capabilities. There may be another role that you could perform better than your current one.
  • Non-standard thinking – Encourage your team to think about how they can solve the problem rather than how they cannot. Pair adaptability with creative problem-solving. You will be surprised how creative you can be if you change your approach

 

Creative team building games – unite the team through art

Creative thinking enables teams to solve problems in many ways.

Games of this type include methods that encourage creativity. One is to paraphrase the problem. For example:

‘We have too much work and the deadline is too short.’

You can interpret it as follows:

‘We have a lot of work and little time to get it done. The problem is the organization of our activity. If we divide tasks efficiently, we will be more productive and complete the task on time.’

Brainstorming sessions are another creative thinking approach. Use them to come up with more fresh problem-solving ideas. The process of creative problem solving begins when the problem is defined. The second stage is to test previous creative decisions.

If they don’t work, it’s time for a new approach.

 

Let’s wrap it up

You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all these ideas. Don’t worry! Do it your way. Combine games according to the team’s goals, needs, and vision.

KissTheFrogNow will help you visualize the upcoming facilitations, pick the right games, and kiss… the frog. Sometimes you gotta kiss a frog to make a team.

by Vasilena Vasileva

A firm believer in team culture, creative team-building games & that inspiration comes within.

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Regional Site manager East Europe & Global OPS Strategic Manager, MELEXIS

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I can honestly say I haven’t found a single thing to criticize about this product.
It works very well, and all games and activities you can do with it are well accepted by the people whom I train. I often receive feedback that the games were very memorable and people felt great playing them. Last but not least, the look and feel of the box and cards are amazing.

For me as a trainer the tool is very convenient: it has everything I need in one neat box, including a list of ideas and recommendations for each activity, its duration and ways it can be used and adapted to the specifics of each group. It has greatly expanded my creativity, and it helps me improve my trainings while focusing on the main content and not spending too long on developing games and activities – I already have them all in one box, I just have to choose the right ones.

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Productivity Consultant, Project Manager & Online Marketer, Super Productivity

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HR Manager, DHL Enterprise Software Solutions