~by Meghan Belnap~
Leadership teams must be able to function well together as a cohesive team. Unfortunately, that does not happen by mere chance or with time. Rather, with intentional effort cohesion can be developed.
Many leadership training courses offer team building exercises and activities to help develop that cohesion. From the silly to the absurd, the range of activities varies as much as the types of companies who use them. When you are planning your next leadership training, consider including one of these.
Community service projects, such as Habitat for Humanity, are a great way to help develop cohesion in your team. First, it reshuffles the hierarchy of the team, and it pulls on strengths that may not be known in your typical work setting. Finally, working together to benefit someone else or the community as a whole is uplifting to people’s mental health, making teamwork a little easier.
This type of exercise can be facilitated in your office or through a company who specializes in creating these situations that are fun and challenging, like Houdini’s Room Escape. The goal of escape situations is to add a little stress and get team members to consider different perspectives for various problems. These exercises can improve the entire team’s ability to critically think through various problems together to find the best solution and not be pigeon holed into a single answer.
Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
This simple exercise can be done right in the office. The group is split into several teams, usually consisting of 3-4 people. The goal is to make the tallest or strongest tower possible with supplies of raw spaghetti noodles and marshmallows. This helps to exercise their creative problem solving abilities, knowing they are competing against other teams just like in the corporate setting.
Office Pinewood Derby Race
This one is a throwback to your youth. Yes, pinewood derby races are fun, but they can also be an incredible team building exercise. The group is split into teams of 3-4, and each are given a derby kit, rudimentary tools, and about 2 hours to design and build their car. The goal of this particular exercise is to help improve collaboration among team members.
You may not think of a scavenger hunt as a way to help increase team cohesion and collaboration, but this is no ordinary scavenger hunt. Prior to the activity, hide QR codes at the various destinations. Inside those QR codes are a riddle or hint for the next location. Be sure each team has at least one smartphone with a QR code reader. This is fun and helps the team improve their collaboration through solving each riddle.
People tend to learn well while having fun, which is why these kinds of exercises are important for leadership training. Try incorporating one of these ideas into your next leadership-training seminar, and watch your team completely transform as they enjoy the experience.
Meet the Author: Meghan Belnap
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.