Make team-building a fun activity

team buildingHow can a leader motivate team members to move them toward mutual goals that enhance productivity?

It’s all about team-building exercises, says Christy Crump, director of operations at FRLA Regulatory Com­­pli­­ance Services, which offers risk management and regulatory compliance training. But before you choose a team-building exercise, ask yourself two questions. First, is it engaging? And second, is it memorable? If so, it will be effective.

“I am not a game-type person at all, but this one really does work with any team, and it makes an impact,” Crump says. “It seems silly, but because it’s silly, people remember it in a fun way. It’s a great way to get to know each other.”

She suggests trying this fun game next time you’re looking for a team-building exercise.

For this exercise, you will need a large rubber ball. Take a permanent marker and write questions all over the ball. These questions will be centered on getting to know others. For example: What’s your favorite TV show? How many siblings do you have? What is your favorite vacation spot? How do you feel when your co-workers argue?

Difficult People D

It’s important to have a variety, including basic, surface-level questions and more in-depth inquiries that provide insight and help you to get to know someone.

Begin the game by tossing the ball to a co-worker; upon catching it, she must quickly answer the ­question closest to her right index finger.

This rapid-fire inquiry opens people up for discussion without giving them the time to think about forming a certain answer. It makes it difficult for participants to assess what others might want to hear and inspires people to blurt out candid answers.

“The purpose of using the question ball is to keep people from managing behavior for effect,” Crump says. “Ninety-nine percent of the time people blurt out the truthful answer.”  Ultimately, the exercise will help you discover mutual interests and better understand those around you, building a closer, stronger and more effective team.