In every work environment, communication and teamwork are the heart and soul of a successful business. Without one the other breaks down and then nothing gets accomplished. Yet sometimes it is difficult to get everyone in on the same page communicating and working like a team, and if that isn’t happening, it can make or break any deal that may come up.
Since virtually every successful business model is based on both of these things, it is extremely important to foster this type of interaction within and without the business, but it may not be as easy as it might appear. So, to give you a head start, here are the top 5 activities that are communication and teamwork centric.
Each one of these activities need both to be successful, just like any business would, yet all of the activities are fun and enjoyable, making them that much more appealing to getting everybody involved.
Here is a good way to begin the process and it’s called “Make A Team.” Communication is the key here, and knowing a little bit about your fellow employees is a high priority. The amount of people who make up a team can be decided upon depending on how many people are participating, and the first team to form essentially wins the game.
As an example, an instructor has a group of employees in a random group. They will shout out an instruction like, “Get into a team with people who like bowling.” Some people might actually know of another employee who likes to bowl, but if they don’t, they will have to communicate with others whether or not they are bowlers.
Another example could be, “Find team mates who have cats as pets.” Once again, communication is the key, as both team mates and individuals can find out who has or who hasn’t.
Build several teams within your group, take chairs, parking cones, tape, paper or what have you for mines, and let the teams place them in a parking lot or large conference or board room without furniture. Have one person, from each opposing team, guide a blindfolded team mate, using verbal directions, walking through the mine field without getting “blown up.”
The blindfolded team mate will have to listen precisely to what the other team member is saying to navigate through the mine field. Anyone who hits a mine goes back to the start and tries again. The first team that gets all of their team members across safely, wins.
Mine Field makes the importance of listening carefully to your team mate paramount in making it through without hitting a mine. Without teamwork and effective communication, it can’t be done.
This may sound like some kind of game, but it really develops team coordination with connected thoughts while thinking on your feet.
The team, in this instance, is the entire group, and they can be in a line or a circle. A story can be started such as, “My mother went to the store and …” the next person in line continues on with that sentence. Every sentence is completed by the next person in line, and the entire story from beginning of the line to the end has to make sense. This can be done as a special exercise or it can be done right before every meeting.
The improvisational aspect forces your entire team to think like one, making team work and communication top priorities. Plus, by quick thinking on your feet to make sentences about totally random subjects intelligible, you’ll be building skills that can help whenever quick thinking solutions may be needed in a pinch. That’s a valuable commodity for any team player.
One of the most fun ways that stress both facets of communication and team work is going to the local paintball field, indoors or out, and have a paintball party! You’ll literally go hunting for members of the opposite team, and you’ll shoot them to eliminate them from the game. The last survivor wins.
If there was ever a more exciting way to stress the value of teamwork and communication, paintball is it. Hunting down opponents who will be hidden behind objects or obstacles completely relies on letting your team know where the opposite team is. Silence is not an option here, or you’ll be shot and eliminated in no time flat. The better your team works together the greater your chance of success when fighting your opponents. Of course, a good aim helps too!
Sometimes classic ways of communication and teamwork are the best, and the egg drop is one of those timeless devices for getting teams of people involved.
Divide people into teams of 3 or 4, give them each a raw egg, and tell them to construct a package that will withstand a 6 foot drop so that the egg won’t crack upon landing. Materials can either be provided, or each team can run out and get their own. They will all have to communicate their ideas on how to make it work and what materials to use. Supplies can also be limited for more inventive thinking by prohibiting bubble wrap or tape to hold things together. That ups the team challenge.
Teamwork imagination is the key here, especially if all of the teams are limited as to what they can use to keep the egg from breaking. Ideas can be bantered about, but with only one egg, the design is going to have to be spot on because there is no second chance. Thinking outside of the box and promoting ideas that may be out of the norm both work in this scenario. That type of thinking in any business situation, while using the team as a whole to bounce ideas of off, not only works when dropping an egg, but it also works in every problem solving business environment as well.