7 Successful Team Building Activities

4. Chew Gum and Walk At The Same Time

Another ice breaker for new teams which provides competition but more importantly, a safe place to fail. The game is pretty simple. Two people start it off with one person asking the other “what are you doing?” If the other person replies “I’m ironing.” The first person must then mime a person ironing. The second person then asks the first “What are you doing?” and the first person, who is still miming ironing must quickly answer with another activity. The second person then has to mime whatever that activity is. This goes back and forth until one of them stalls in answering a question or just gives up. Once that person drops out another team member takes their place.

This is not only a challenge in that the body is performing one task while the mind is challenged to think of an entirely different activity, but it allows people to show a side of their personality that they may be hesitant to reveal in a work environment.

5. Catastrophe

This is an advanced game in group problem solving and requires some preparation. The team is given a disaster scenario like they have crash landed in the Alaskan wilderness in sub zero temperatures and the pilot and copilot have been killed. The team has managed to salvage twelve items and their task is to prioritize those items as to their importance in the rescue and survival of the team. The team is tasked not only with ranking items, but explaining why. For this game to work, the facilitator has to know the “right” answer as provided by an expert. In this instance it would need to come from an accomplished instructor in survival training. The team is given 20 minutes to complete the task and then their answers are compared to the expert’s. This exercise gives an insight into the team’s thought processes and the depth in which they were willing to go to think out the problem.

6. Build Your Own

This is an exercise that challenges the team’s ability to be creative in obtaining a goal for which they have little experience. After the team has been through a number of exercises, he or she challenges them to create their own game to encourage a specific team behavior like communication or problem solving. Not only do they have to come up with the game but describe how it achieves the objective.

7. Evaluations

This is the very “real game” that is played by team members and managers alike after every exercise. Each activity needs to be examined by asking a series of questions that evaluates how the team performed and what can be learned or improved by the experience. This is where the facilitator can become invaluable using coaching techniques to assist both members and management in coming up with fair and accurate evaluations.

Successful team building activities can have a very real impact on the performance of an organization. Do you think your company could benefit? Why not at least explore the possibilities.

Business management expert Mark Polman    Ohio Search and Rescue Team  knows the value of a well functioning team and sees team building activities as an excellent means to insure an organization is performing at an optimal pace. If you would like to learn more team activities and their benefits, Mark encourages you to visit Successful Team Building.
Kettlebells are an alternative to modern day weights. Called girya in its nation of origin Russian, it is a traditional cast iron weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle. Kettlebells come in several sizes from 10 to 106 lbs.

The kettlebell has become a popular exercise tool in the United States due largely to the efforts of strength and flexibility coach Pavel Tsatsouline and also by World Champion and world record holder Valery Fedorenko.

The effectivness of using kettlebells can be proven by those who use them. Soviet weightlifting legends such as Vlasov, Zhabotinskiy, and Alexeyev started their Olympic careers with old-fashioned kettlebells. The Russian Special Forces personnel owe much of their wiry strength, explosive agility, and never-quitting stamina to kettlebells. In fact, the official Soviet armed forces strength training manual pronounced kettlebell drills to be “one of the most effective means of strength development” representing “a new era in the development of human strength-potential”.

The elite of the US military and law enforcement also recognizes the power of the Russian kettlebell. One can find Pavel’s certified RKC instructors among Force Recon Marines, Department of Energy nuclear security teams, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, the Secret Service Counter Assault Team, to name a few.

Once the Russian kettlebell became a hit among those whose life depends on their strength and conditioning, it took off among hard people from all walks of life: martial artists and athletes. Mixed martial arts heroes Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn, Bob Sapp, and Fedor Emelianenko popularized the use of kettlebells in the sport.

The basic kettlebell exercise is the power swing, a full-body workout we’ll have you doing in your first ten minutes. Master trainer and Brazilian Jujitsu World Champion Steve Maxwell has said that “the perfect kettlebell swing is superior to 99% of all the sophisticated strength and conditioning programs.”


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