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Team Building
Training Exercises and Resources

Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences

Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences
Games, Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This light-hearted exercise is guaranteed to break the ice quickly and bring people together. In this exercise you set people a mission to find out about other delegates and to share what they have found with the group. It is designed to be entertaining and educational. As such it is ideal for a new team or at the beginning of a new course, workshop or seminar when you want to get people to become familiar with each other quickly.

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Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Design

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A useful distinction in thinking process was suggested by Joy Paul Guilford in 1967. Guilford coined convergent thinking in contrast with divergent thinking. With convergent thinking, you are trying to find a single best solution to a given problem. Examples are multiple choice tests, math quizzes, spelling tests and many other standardised tests in education systems. Convergent thinking is systematic and logical (Williams 2003).

In contrast, you can use divergent thinking to create several unique solutions for a given problem. Divergent thinking is creative, spontaneous, non-linear and free-flowing. Several solutions are generated over a short period of time and they can lead to unexpected connections, encouraging discovery of yet more unusual solutions.

After carrying out divergent thinking, you end up with a bunch of solutions. You can then use convergent thinking to organise these solutions, analyse pros and cons of each and find the most optimal answer.

The point of the distinction is that you need both processes for good thinking. Being good at convergent, analytical and logical thinking is not enough as you could miss on some creative solutions. In contrast, just coming up with spontaneous creative ideas is not good enough; you need to examine solutions systematically before embarking on an implementation.

Researchers such as Guilford have found that personality traits tend to promote divergent or convergent thinking. As such, in a given team you will have people who are natural at either divergent or convergent thinking and therefore resistant to the other style of thinking

The following exercise helps to bring this distinction to focus and help delegates see the power of thinking differently to what comes naturally to them.

This exercise is ideal for team building or training delegates on management and creativity.

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Team Building Exercise: Clock Types

Team Building Exercise: Clock Types
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The purpose of this exercise is to show that each person in a team has certain characteristics that can contribute to the team. It is not necessarily about casting each person into an ideal team member role; instead, it is about taking advantage of each person’s unique strengths.

The exercise uses a visual technique—a clock that represents four types of personalities; hence, Clock Types exercise.

This exercise is ideal for team building, management, enhancing communication skills and coaching.

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Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise

Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Marketing, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Imagine walking into a supermarket and going to the isle dedicated to sweets and chocolates. Here, you are likely to find a section with a variety of block chocolate bars. These are often presented as a package in the form of a rectangle which are usually the same standard size. Most often people go after brands they already recognise. Or perhaps they go for certain flavours or zoom in on 85% dark chocolates and above. This narrows down the search and they quickly decide which chocolate to pick.

However, suppose you go to an upmarket supermarket or specialist chocolate shop where you are presented with many chocolate bars that you don’t recognise. A good example is going to Whole Foods supermarket (which is now owned by Amazon). If you have a local branch, pop in one day and see the chocolate section for yourself. You will see a large selection of chocolate bars that you have never seen before, all claiming to be high-quality, tasty, organic and made from beans in some tropical country. The only differentiator is the price and the design of the chocolate wrap.

This is the dilemma every chocolate manufacturer has: how to design the chocolate packaging to sell. If you were a chocolate manufacturer, you want to get this design and pricing right. In the absence of brand recognition, they are the only things you have that makes the difference between a purchase and a pass.

The aim of this exercise is to help delegates practice various aspects of design that goes into making chocolate bar packaging. We will ignore the pricing part and instead focus on design. If all prices were the same, which chocolate bar will a customer choose?

This exercise is ideal for teambuilding scenarios where delegates are involved in design or marketing. You can then cover a large set of topics under a single exercise, such as product design, teamwork, leadership, resource management, marketing and artistic design. It is also great for kids and young delegates.

You can use this exercise in art courses and focus mainly on design aspects and product packaging. In short, there are many applications and you can use the instructions provided here as a template and tailor it to your own needs.

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Fishbowl Conversation Technique

Fishbowl Conversation Technique
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 10 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The fishbowl technique can be used to organise constructive discussions on a given topic. In a nutshell, the technique helps people manage a debate on the topic and keep it under control even if many people are participating. In this technique, at any given time, a group of people will be actively debating while the rest of the group listens in and takes notes of various viewpoints. Through an iterative process, many participants will get to listen and talk about a topic.

The fishbowl technique is ideal for many situations where a discussion around various points of view is needed. The technique is popular in political science, philosophy, advertising, science and decision making. It is also a great tool for training courses and involving students in various discussions around a specific topic.

The great advantage of the fishbowl technique is that it lessens the distinction between the speakers and the audience, while allowing many people to voice their views. It is ideal for large groups.

The fishbowl technique is particularly useful for today’s divisive societies where opposing views are constantly on a collision course. The technique helps to expose an audience to what the other camp thinks in a controlled manner and helps create a dialogue.

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Teach Why Groups Can Take Too Much Risk While Making Decisions

Teach Why Groups Can Take Too Much Risk While Making Decisions
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, February 18, 2019

Is there a difference between people making decisions in groups and individually in respect to the amount of risk they take? To investigate, James Stoner, who was a MIT graduate in 1960s, carried out a series of experiments (Stones 1961). The research soon led to fascinating insights into the dynamics of group decision making.

Usually, we think that employing more brains is always better than one and that making decisions as a group is better than making them individual. The research conducted by Stoner clearly showed that decisions made in groups tended to be far riskier than those made by individuals.

The studies were intriguing and soon other researchers joined and conducted their own investigations (Whyte 1993). With Stoner research, certain factors influenced the groups to make riskier decisions than individuals. In other studies, the groups behaved more conservatively than individuals.

What the research showed was that a group seems to exaggerate the opinions of its members leading them to make extreme decisions—either being too risky or too conservative.

The exercise presented here is based on such studies and it aims to illustrate this point to delegates in an elegant and memorable way. The aim is to make them aware that decisions made in groups could be exaggerated in one direction or another.

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Delegation Exercise: It’s Not Good Enough

Delegation Exercise: It’s Not Good Enough
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Large Group, Delegation Skills, Management Skills

Article Rating:::: 8 Ratings :::: Monday, January 28, 2019

This is a quick exercise on delegating, designed to demonstrate a key point to participants. It is very easy to run, and its success mainly depends on your execution. Consider rehearsing this so that it can be delivered smoothly.

It is ideal for courses where you are teaching how to lead people or a team. The aim of the exercise is to highlight the importance of providing specific details rather than having unrealistic expectations. People perform much better when they know what is expected of them. This exercise, or demo, helps to instil the importance of this concept which you can deliver with your performance. Make it dramatic and memorable to help delegates remember it in the future.

It is ideal for courses on teambuilding, leadership, delegation skills, team work and similar.

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Applications of Clock Buddies

Applications of Clock Buddies
Games, Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Team Building, Large Group, Planning

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Back in 2013 we released a software tool on our website called Clock Buddies. Clock Buddies refers to a traditional tool used to pair people up in a classroom setting. Each person was given a blank sheet resembling the face of a clock. Students then filled this in with their names. The clocks would then allow the teacher to group the students quickly by simply calling out a given hour; for example, the teacher would say, “pair up with your buddy at 3 o’clock”. Students would then look at their clock faces, find the name of the person written at 3 o’clock and pair up with him.

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Caterpillar Traverse

Caterpillar Traverse
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Problem Solving

Article Rating:::: 30 Ratings :::: Monday, February 19, 2018

This is an entertaining team building activity where delegates get to practice working together towards a common objective while following certain rules. It is ideal for exploring leadership, planning, strategic thinking, communicating and creative thinking.

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Perspectives

Perspectives
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 10 Ratings :::: Monday, January 15, 2018

Suppose there is a team meeting and the group is going to discuss the issues associated with a topic, design something or a solve a problem.

For any given complex problem, there are a variety of perspectives and views that can be considered. However, habitually, everyone will only look at his own view, aiming to push his own agenda. This leads to a situation where the group may end up responding to the loudest person who talks the most and is naturally biased towards a particular perspective rather than considering overall important concerns.

This exercise helps the team to view the problem from a variety of perspectives that they usually tend to ignore in favour of their own.

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