Conversation Starters--Use this activity to start a meeting, team building session, Author: Tom Siebold is a writer and business consultant in Minneapolis. Some people balk at games, but they're actually highly effective for collaboration. Large choice of relationship building activities you can run at work. to monitor your company's / unit's progress and performance against its strategic goals.
And we'll make sure we enjoy ourselves while we're doing it'. And then the team starts to move mountains. Using and planning team-building activities People are best motivated if you can involve them in designing and deciding the activities - ask them. Secondly you will gain most organisational benefit if the activities are geared towards developing people's own potential - find out what they will enjoy doing and learning.
Games can be trite or patronising for many people - they want activities that will help them learn and develop in areas that interest them for life, beyond work stuff - again ask them. When you ask people commonly you'll have several suggestions which can be put together as a collection of experiences that people attend or participate in on a rotating basis during the day or the team-building event.
Perhaps you have people among your employees who themselves have special expertise or interests which they'd enjoy sharing with others; great team activities can be built around many hobbies and special interests.
If you are planning a whole day of team-building activities bear in mind that a whole day of 'games' is a waste of having everyone together for a whole day. Team-exercises and discussions help bring clarity and context to idealistic concepts like ethics and social responsibility far more effectively than reading the theory, or trying to assimilate some airy-fairy new mission statement dreamed up by someone at head office and handed down as an edict. Ensure that team-building activities and all corporate events comply with equality and discrimination policy and law in respect of gender, race, disability, age, etc.
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Age discrimination is a potential risk given certain groups and activities, and particularly so because Age Discrimination is quite a recent area of legislation. While this is UK and European legislation, the principles are applicable to planning and running team-building exercises anywhere in the world, being consistent with the ethical concepts.
Corporate events and social responsibility Also consider the effects of team building and corporate events in terms of effects on employees' families and people's broader life needs. It is easy to become very narrowly focused on the organization and the community within it, without thinking of the families and social needs outside.
Alcohol is another increasing area of risk for organizers of team building and conference events. An employer's duty of care and potential liability at corporate events traditionally was fulfilled by ensuring no-one tripped over the electrical cable for the overhead projector.
Nowadays organizations have a deeper wider responsibility, which is progressively reflected in law. Alcohol and discrimination are big issues obviously, but arguably a bigger responsibility for employers is to the families and social well-being of employees, which impacts directly onto society as a whole. Today's well-led and ethically-managed corporations understand that divisive treatment of employees' partners and families undermines loyalty and motivation of employees, and creates additional unnecessary stresses for workers in close loving caring relationships, especially for young families, which have evolved a strong sensitivity to such pressures.
Thwarting or obstructing people's instincts - evolved over millennia - to be with and take care of their partners and young families is extremely destructive. Employers who have a blatant antipathy for these crucial life needs of their people are therefore socially irresponsible. Inevitably strong work commitments put pressure on employees' families and partners. This is particularly so in big modern corporations where travel and lengthy absence from home is unavoidable in key roles.
Modern ethical socially responsible organizations should be doing whatever they can to minimize these effects, not make them worse. Where possible employers should reward partners and families for their support and loyalty, rather than alienate them by creating selfish staff-only events. Laws are not yet clearly defined about the employer's liabilities arising from such situations, however there are clear principles e.
Moreover, fostering a healthy work and home life balance tends to make organizations run smoother and less problematically, notably in areas of grievance and counseling, stress and conflict, disputes and litigation, recruitment and staff retention, succession planning, company reputation and image.
Risks and dangers of socially irresponsible events and activities I was prompted to add this item because I received a question about the implications of running a staff-only dinner dance at a conference event.
- 24 Team Building Games and Exercises
If you are considering a staff-only social event - especially at night, involving alcohol, dancing, overnight accommodation - or you are wondering generally where to draw the line between working relationships and intimacy, or between fun and irresponsible risk, these observations might help you decide. Implications and risks of organizing socially irresponsible events concern chiefly: Stresses on partners and families, and thereby on staff too, if partners are excluded from intimate social events.
Problems, accidents, incidents arising from alcohol. Impacts on performance, management distraction, and staff retention arising from the above.
Risks of litigation and bad publicity arising from any of the above. The risks of running a socially irresponsible corporate event are emphasised if you consider a scenario containing the following elements. Do not run an event containing these elements. This is a negative example for the purposes of illustrating risk and responsibility: Evening dinner and dance or disco.
Dressing up - especially black tie, long dresses and whatever the women will be wearing - no, seriously. A bar, or other access to alcohol the more freely available then the more risk.
Heady atmosphere of achievement, motivation, team-working, relationship-building and general showing off many conference events contain these features, especially those aiming to motivate, reward, entertain, etc. He is also the owner of Studyingforcollege. To quickly get an overview of the literature on a topic and to initiate a discussion from diverse points of view How the author has used this activity: This activity format can be used with almost any professional development topic.
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However, it does require some pre-workshop preparation since the facilitator will have to find provocative readings on the workshop topic.
Much of the success of this activity depends on the quality of the readings. Divide the full group into small discussion groups. Each small group receives a short reading all should be of equal length and each reading should emphasize a different aspect of the topic.
A volunteer in each group reads the reading aloud. Then each group discusses the key points made by the author.
After a set amount of discussion time, each group writes a discussion question to be addressed by the full group make certain that the question is discussable. Convene the full group. The discussion questions are written on a flip chart or white board. After an adequate amount of discussion time the facilitator asks each discussion leader to explain how his or her group responded to the question.
See Options below for another way to structure this activity. With this exercise participants can quickly get a multidimensional view of what the professionals are saying about the topic. At its conclusion, the facilitator can use the discussions as a springboard to his or her own material on the topic. An option to save time is to have one person from each group use his or her discussion question to facilitate a discussion station.
The small group questions are read to the full group and then participants move to a discussion station that interests them. This cuts down discussion time. Participants then engage with two readings--one in their original group and another at the discussion station that they attend. Although it requires a lot of equipment and preparation, facilitators can replace the readings with training video clips. Added thoughts or considerations: Timing is really important here.
The facilitator needs to cut discussion time before it draws out too long but not cut it so early that the discussions fail to mature. To secure a working understanding of engagement or another topic of your choice How the author has used this activity: This activity format can be used with many professional development topics. I like this activity because it encourages people to participate, it is fast moving, and it gets the participants out of their chairs.
I use the activity to "paint" an overview of the workshop topic. List three to five broad questions or statements about engagement or whatever your topic is.
For an introduction to engagement, here are some possible questions: What are the indicators that a team or group in NOT engaged?
What causes a person to disengage? Why is it important to work diligently to keep individuals or a team engaged? What are some behaviors or strategies that a leader can use to help keep his or her team engaged? Why is an engaged workforce vital to the success of an organization? Place a flip chart for each question strategically around the workshop room allow enough space for movement and small group discussion. Divide the participants into small groups, one for each question, and place them at the different flip chart stations.
Each group responds to the question by writing down three of their best ideas. At the signal of the facilitator blink the lightsgroups rotate to the next station and add three more key points to the previous group.
After groups rotate through all the stations, they end up where they started. Here they review all the responses and identify the three to five best responses.
The facilitator then asks each group to present their conclusions to the full group. The facilitator can use this information to focus on key learning strategies and content. The facilitator needs to keep things moving from flip chart to flip chart.
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It is also vital that the facilitator select station questions that are discussable and lend themselves to a variety of responses. To understand a challenging professional idea by defending it. How the author has used this activity: This activity asks participants to talk directly to one another. It gives them an opportunity to structure an argument for or against a thought provoking topic. I especially like this format because the participants talk directly to one another rather than through the facilitator.
With this activity participants hear a provocative statement and then decide if they want to work with others to support the statement or challenge it. The facilitator reads a provocative statement, defines terms if necessary, and clarifies the scope of the discussion.
Participants then move to two different preparation areas. One group builds a case in support of the statement and the other questions it. After a set amount of preparation time, the two sides present their case and challenge the opposing point of view. The facilitator must closely monitor the way the discussion unfolds so each side has equal time. One option is to have the two groups select a spokesperson to represent each group. I think it is wise not to use this too early in a workshop, wait until the participants are feeling comfortable with each other.
In a full day workshop, I like to save this for the afternoon session because the lively debate tends to perk people up. Be careful not to overuse this format. To have participants summarize their thoughts on different aspects of a topic How the author has used this activity: I like to use this activity to create a doorway to more detailed information.
It also is a good way to collect the thoughts of the entire group and synthesize their collective thinking. In this activity participants react to three professionalism statements by jotting down short responses on sticky notes. Note that this format will work with a variety of topics—simply write statements that support the topic. The facilitator sets aside three wall spaces for the notes to be posted—one area for each statement.
After the notes are posted, participants are divided into three teams, one for each grouping. Below are three statements that I have used in a climate workshop: As a professional, I expect to be treated in the following manner at work.
As a professional, I feel the following values should drive the work site.