Team Building Ideas, Activities and Events!
Team building has had a bad rap over the past decade as the team building ideas promoted by many organizations took on more and more extreme events. Your team really doesn’t need to scale Mount Everest or fly down a zip line to bond; there are many other ways you can do it. Ways that can be surprisingly effective in creating lasting bonds and improving the dynamics in your office.
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Is team building really effective?
Studies have shown that obstacle courses, zip lines and tug of war events really aren’t such great team building ideas. Rather than building a team they reinforce the idea of individual competition. Team building ideas that are effective require that every person on the team be performing an essential role – but a role that isn’t pre-set with limitations. Whether you realise it or not, the team manager often assigns roles in these exercises that are based on preconceived notions of your employee’s abilities. This doesn’t help people bond, it reinforces office hierarchies. Not that it will create trouble for you, but it won’t help you build towards a more effective office. Some team building ideas, like murder mystery parties or a team building speaker, are uniquely effective in changing the dynamics within your office.
- Team building theory: Anyone that has studied team building theory know the following about teamwork:
- Teams should have no more than 7 members
- Teams require a strong and motivated leader
- A participative approach to decision making is much more likely to create "buy-in"
- Effective communication is an essential component of an amazing team
Why murder mysteries?
Using murder mysteries as a team building exercises has a lot of benefits. For one, the nature of the mystery party creates a level playing field. There is no one that can excel just based on physical abilities alone, and there are ample opportunities for people to shine forth with skills that may not be highlighted in the office. Team building ideas that are successful and beneficial to you work to create an atmosphere where the worth and value of each team member is increased in the eyes of everyone on the team. With its puzzles and problems, every member has an opportunity to have their moment. Even if they don’t solve the problem, their contribution can lead to ice breaker conversations you just can’t micromanage into existence.
Should you assign teams or let them create their own?
This can be tricky. A lot of great team building ideas fail because they are inadvertently used to reinforce office dynamics rather than help create new ones. Your best bet is to let the murder mystery managers assign the team – or to assign them randomly. You can stay within the actual team assignments within the office, but make sure you use the victim and murderer roles to your advantage. The roles can be used to change the way people are seen in the office, and the process of investigation can help to reinforce positive strengths with others.
Using the dynamics to help resolve problems
The best team building ideas help you to identify problems with team dynamics in your office and help you to resolve them. They can do this by creating a new perception of people’s abilities, generating more empathy for others through the role-playing of vulnerability and assistance, and all in all help everyone to learn to work together in new ways that will last long after the murder mystery is over.
One of the great things about using murder mystery team building ideas is you can incorporate them easily into different training environments. You can choose short versions, or longer and more involved ones. Given the popularity of criminal investigation shows in pop culture, getting your people involved in the game won’t be hard. You can offer them a chance to be the people they admire on TV; all while allowing them to learn to work together in new and better ways. If you’re ever in Australia and a murder mystery isn't your thing, checkout some team building activities in Sydney.
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