As a leader, you'll need to focus on turning your team into a smoothly functioning unit that is versatile and motivated. Members of good teams trust each other, and this helps them to work effectively even during tough times. To create a good team, find occasions to create trust among your team members. One such occasion is employee meetings, where you can provide trust-building exercises.
Blindfold Rope Square
Try the “Blindfold Rope Square” exercise in a furniture-free room. Get everyone blindfolded and ask the participants to rotate in place until they seem disoriented. Quietly place a coiled rope on the floor near one of the participants. Instruct them to talk to each other to find the rope and get people holding it on the floor in a perfect square. This activity needs a lot of verbal communication and trust. Members can't see each other and must learn to believe and follow what the other person is saying to complete the task.
For the “Global Vote” exercise, you must create two flipcharts and place them 30 to 50 feet apart. On one flipchart mark, the number 1 and below it write “Almost Never.” On the other chart, mark the number 7 and below that, “Almost Always.” Prepare a set of questions based on your project or team beliefs. Tell your team members to imagine a scale of one to seven on the floor between the flipcharts and ask them to vote with their feet. For example, stand in front of the imaginary number they vote for when asked a question such as “How often does the team finish its reports on time?" If the person wanted to rate “5,” she must stand where “5” would appear on the scale and give the reason for her selection. As each team member votes and answers questions, other teammates get a sense of the person’s aspirations, attitude, beliefs and convictions. This helps the team to learn to work with each other using these dimensions in teamwork.
Circle of Questions
The “Circle of Questions” exercise is a good activity for newly formed teams to get to know each other and build trust. Ask a group of people to form a circle facing outwards. Then ask another group to form a bigger circle around the existing circling, this time facing inwards. The inner circle gets to ask its counterpart in the outer circle a predetermined question, listen quietly to the answer and repeat the details when asked. Afterwards, the outer circle becomes the questioners and repeats the exercise. This helps team members learn about their team members. The exercise is most effective if team members ask open-ended questions such as, “Tell me about your family,” or “Why did you want to join this company?”
There are other options in exercises that you can use for various purposes. For example, exercises to improve listening among team members can include “Listen to Me” or “What Are We Talking About?” These exercises emphasize the importance of words and listening well. Activities such as “Something Fishy‘s Going On” works on reducing a team member’s aggressiveness and “Drawing Twins” is an exercise that demonstrates the difficulty in giving and receiving instructions. A leader is only as good as her team. Use exercises to improve your team's interpersonal relations and mutual trust.
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