Game – Arrange Your Team

About | This game requires participants in the team to arrange themselves according to the criteria given. The catch however, is that nobody is allowed to speak!

Goal | Get to know team members better while promoting communication and cooperation

Emphasis | Ice Breaker, Cooperation, communication

Items | None

Size | At least 2 teams of 5 participants each

Setting | Open Space or a Meeting Room with sufficient space to move around

Time | 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 5 members each. You will need to have at least 2 teams in order to introduce the element of competitive fun.
  2. Get the teams to line up facing you as you give the instructions.
  3. Tell the teams that the objective of this game is for them to arrange their team according to the criteria you provide, as fast as they can.
  4. However, the most important rule of the game is, nobody is allow to speak! Teams will have to find alternative ways of communication.
  5. For example, give them a warm-up trial run by asking for a team arrangement according to HEIGHT – Shortest to tallest.
  6. When you say start, team members to scramble, reorganize themselves and get back into their line matching your criteria, all without uttering a word.
  7. Note the sequence of the teams completing the arrangement. Check if the arrangement of each team is correct. You can increase excitement by involving other teams to be collective co-judges as you verify the arrangements.
  8. The team that completes the arrangement correctly and fastest wins a point.
  9. Now that they get the idea, move on to other criteria. Make it harder and more challenging as you go along.
  10. Some criteria you can use are listed below. Think of others that might be suitable and fun for your group.
  • SHOE SIZE – Smallest to largest
  • HAIR LENGTH – Shortest to longest
  • BIRTH DATE (Day and Month only) – Earliest to latest in the year
  • FIRST NAME – Alphabetical order
  • YEARS OF SERVICE – Most to the least months/years

Debrief |

  1. How was the experience of arranging your team without speaking to one another?
  2. How did you communicate with each other in your team?
  3. Were there miscommunication resulting in wrong team arrangements?
  4. How could you have avoided the miscommunication or improve your timing?
  5. Can you identify real life experiences where you go through the same constraint and how can you do better in the future?

If there are any parts of this game you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

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Story – A Quote from Mother Teresa

Well this is not actually a story, but one of the quotes from Mother Teresa which you can use in your debriefing to emphasize the power of teamwork.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
― Mother Teresa

If you wish, and depending on the situation and time, you can share with the participants a little more about Mother Teresa.

I have extracted the two paragraphs below from Wikipedia for your easy reference.

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), more commonly known as Mother Teresawas a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950. For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. Following her death, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.

Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools. She received numerous awards including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and the Bharat Ratna in 1980.

Game – Finding Team Balance

About | This simple game involves physical movements as a team from a starting to the finishing line. However, team members will have to help and support each other to progress down the path.

Goal | Promote cooperation and interdependence between members in the team

Emphasis | Cooperation, Interdependence

Items | None

Size | Any from 4

Setting | Open Space

Time | 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 4 members each.
  2. Prepare a starting line (it could be a tape or rope over the floor or an imaginary one) and a finishing line at some distance apart.
  3. Ask each members in the team to find something to balance on his/her head. It can be their wallet, a book, small rock, etc.
  4. The goal is to walk as a team and cross the finishing line TOGETHER as a team.
  5. Tell them it is not so easy as the following rules apply:
  • During the walk, no one may hold the item on their head in place.
  • The owner cannot touch his item. If it falls, someone else must pick it up and place it back on the owner’s head.
  • Items must be on everyone’s head when the team crosses the finishing line.
  • Everyone in the team must step over the finishing line at the same time.

Debrief |

  1. How was the experience of crossing the finishing line together?
  2. Can you relate this to the workplace or your team experience – people moves at different pace and with different skills and weaknesses?
  3. Are you used to helping others to complete their tasks?
  4. What else could you have done to help others to achieve the common team goal?
  5. Give examples of situations where you can help others to achieve a team goal.

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

Game – Go Team Walking

About | This game requires everyone in the team to move from one point to another as a team. The catch is each member is handicapped and they will have to work together to reach the set destination.

Goal | Demonstrate that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the way to success is by complimenting and supporting each other

Emphasis | Cooperation, Communication, Trust

Items | Blindfolds and ropes in 2 feet lengths (Get a large piece of dark coloured cloth and cut it into smaller pieces to make the blindfolds and ropes equivalent)

Size | 6 onwards

Setting | Go Outdoors

Time | About an hour

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of 5 to 12 people. If the group is small, make it just a team.
  2. Have each team line up in a single file at the starting point.
  3. Tell them that their mission is to walk to the set destination together as a team.
  4. However, they have to get into the following team setup: Bind one hand (at the wrist) of the 1st to the 2nd member’s. Then bind one leg (at the ankle) of the 2nd member with the 3rd’s. Next bind the 3rd member’s hand with the 4th’s and the 4th’s leg with the 5th and so on. Once they are done, blindfold the 1st and every other members in the team!
  5. Now that they are ready, let them start walking as a team to the set destination.
  6. You can create some obstacles along the path which you want the team to traverse or use the outdoor terrains and trees to add fun challenges to the walk.
  7. The first team that reaches the destination together first AND safely (no casualties or complaints) wins.
Debrief |
  1. How is the team setup similar to actual team characteristics and members’ strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Was the team walk easy or difficult? How was your individual experience?
  3. How did you manage to walk as a team to the set destination with the different handicap imposed on your team members? (Answer: cooperation, communication, tolerance)
  4. What are the important elements of communication in this activity, especially for those who were blindfolded? (Answer: clear instruction & need trust)
  5. What can you learn from this team walk which can be applied to actual team seating?

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.