Team Building Exercises for Leaders

When we think of a leader we all use the general definition of a leader: someone others follow, someone who inspires others to do what they want them to do.

In business a leader or boss must make decisions that affect employees in many ways from wages to vacation time and more.

If you have worked for more than one boss in your career so far then you know that there are different styles of leadership or management.

True leaders already know the team building exercises that will make the team strong and loyal and will help that leader to inspire his team to do great things.

Think of a boss like an excellent coach who can take his team from a losing history to a winning history in a few years. That’s because the coach, despite players coming and going, has used his or her ability and the right team building exercises to get the team all on the same page of being a team without an "I" oriented attitude.

Yes everyone is an individual but when you are part of the team there is no room for "I." The team and its goals are the most important dynamic.

Do team building exercises work?

We’ve all heard of team building exercises and outings; some of you may think of it as silly games that are cheesy and don’t really work.

However, when a true leader uses these exercises there will be a stronger team commitment with better communication and more loyalty.

Yes, they do work; however, before you plan team building exercises there are some things you should consider first.

  • Is there a conflict between certain employees that is resulting in a divide in the group?
  • Do members know each other or do they need to learn more about one another?
  • Is poor communication slowing the progress of the team?
  • Are there some who are unwilling to modify the normal way of doing things?
  • How about morale; does your team need a boost in morale.

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What are some team building exercises you can use?

Here are some team building exercises that have been used successfully:

  • Improving communication via back to back drawing -- Split your team members into pairs. The pairs sit back to back with one having a simple line drawing or graphic (a dice or domino for example) and the other one in the pair holding a blank piece of paper and pen so that as the one holding the picture describes it the other draws it on the blank paper.
  • Communication building via a survival scenario -- A survival scenario exercise helps build communication on what to do in order to survive. Use scenarios like "your plane just crashed into a mountain, how does your team survive until help can arrive?"
  • Eliminating Stereotyping/Labels -- Get rid of stereotyping or labeling by having your team write on name tags different types of vocations such as auto mechanic, butcher, doctor, carpenter, lawyer and so on. Then place one tag on each person’s back without letting them see what their label says. Now they have to one at a time ask questions to figure out what is on their back; questions like “am I a man or woman?”, “am I famous” etc.
  • Problem-solving -- With a game like shrinking vessel, use tape or blankets to create a space on the floor and have the team (or smaller teams) stand in that space. Start shrinking the space so participants have to think quickly in order to keep everyone in the space.
  • Human spring -- Have members stand facing each other in pairs. Arms should be bent so that the palms face toward one another. Direct the pairs to place palms together, after which  they slowly start tilting into one another. This ends up so they eventually hold each other up. Now, tell them step further and further back with their feet only palms still touching so that they are totally dependent on their partner to stay standing.

Those are just a couple of exercises that can be used. If you would like to find other exercises, this source is a trusted one.

5 Things you should do as a leader when it comes to team building

Remember to do these 5 things as the team leader in order to have a successful team building activity time.

  • Have a clear mission
  • Establish goals
  • Look for constructive criticism (this is different than just griping and whining)
  • Fix team issues that cause problems immediately
  • Evaluate failures, and as you celebrate wins look for things that could have been done differently or better in order to get a better win

There are many team building exercises available and that will help develop must have leader skills.

If you wish to have your team become a true team and trust one another, then you need to develop yourself into a true leader and work with your team to build the trust, communication, problem-solving and more that is needed in order to become a great team.

To explore more about the potential of team building exercises for your organization, please visit me at Ghost Professors or tweet me at @kerrycreas.

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