Good leaders know how to lighten up even the most boring of meetings with surprising activities.
They also know how to make them beneficial to the group and even to the purpose of the gathering.
To help you be that great leader, we’ve put together a list of fun activities, to make it easy on you.
All of them are coming from different coaching tools and concepts, and we use them in our training and workshops.
Why is it even important to have fun activities and games?
- It’s an unusual way to get to know each other, and each other’s different aspects which are not always shown under the professional hat
- They create bonds
- They cause people to appreciate one another
- It’s a fantastic way to break the work routine
Here we’ve put different games to suit different people with different personalities.
We recommend that you mix between activities to do as one big group and ones in which you break the group into smaller groups for a better bonding experience, as well as give space to the people who are often quiet.
Remember to keep the activities short and enjoyable.
Our Top 10 games and activities for Team Building:
1. Whose line is it (anyway)?:
Each participant writes a line which is typical for someone else in the office to say, like: ‘Anyone for chocolates?’ or ‘I’m not going to answer that phone again!’.
Collect the notes with the lines and let the group guess who is the person saying it.
2. The anonymous compliment list:
Attach a blank A4/A5 paper to the back of every participant with duct tape or a pin.
Ask people to wander around the room and write on the back of their colleagues at least one compliment about them. Instruct to give an honest compliment rather than a criticism hidden in a compliment.
Each participant should end up with a list of compliments.
3. Exchange forces:
Sit in a circle and give participants small notes (such as sticky notes).
They each write a personal strength which they think they have (self-reflection time).
Once they’ve done so, ask them to present their strength to the group and explain why they chose it.
In turns, people look around the room and choose someone else’s strength which they’d like to have as well / have more of. They explain why, and then get the note from the person who wrote it.
4. Baby photos ‘Guess Who’:
While more suitable for parties, this game is simple, but always brings a laugh and can be used anytime:
In preparation for the activity, participants send in a picture of themselves as a baby.
In the meeting, the others need to guess who is who.
5. The invisible story:
Take a paper and write at the top a sentence which typically starts a story, but with connection to the group’s work-life (e.g. – ‘Once upon a time there was a team which had to submit a presentation by noon the next day…’).
The instruction should be, that the last word or two of the sentence need to be written on the next line.
Once the sentence was written, you need to fold the paper in such a way, that the next person to add the next sentence, can only see the last couple of words (in the example above: ‘the next day’.
The next person must start their sentence with the words they can see (‘the next day)’, and add to it a sentence of their own, but sticking to the topic of the story (in this example, a presentation).
Once all the sentences were written, open the paper and read the story.
You’re guaranteed a laugh.
6. The Ginny:
Give participants one note each. Ask them to write on it a wish that they dream of having as part of the workplace (you can choose if to make it realistic, like: ‘I’d love it if we could have a newer coffee machine’, or humorous).
You then play the Ginny (bring a lamp or just collect the notes and read them).
The team needs to decide which wish they choose to maybe work on or as the management to fulfil for them (just pay attention that the wish is realistic, or give it a budget etc.)
7. We’re going on an office hunt:
Make a list of items which can be found around the office, and can be brought back into the room where you hold your activity.
We recommend at least 10-12 items.
Split the group into smaller groups, give each group the list, and the first group which come back with all items, wins.
In groups, or one participant in front of the others, give people words, expressions or phrases related to work which they need to draw, and the others need to guess what it was.
9. ‘Now that, I’ve never shared with you’:
In preparation for the activity, ask people to send you a secret about themselves, which others will find it hard to believe about them.
In the meeting, read out the secrets and the others need to match them to the correct person.
Remind people to keep a poker-face.
10. Never have I ever:
This good old game, traditionally played in parties with alcoholic drinks, can get a nice office-related twist, and instead of people having a sip from their wine, beer or cocktail, they can do other safer or work-related activities such as:
- Drinking water / coffee / tea
- Running up and down a flight of stairs
- Walking backwards around the room
- Take a cloth item off (to a certain modesty point of course)
The idea is, that each person in their turn tells something about themselves which they’ve never done before, starting with the phrase: “Never have I ever…” + that thing they’ve never done.
For example: “Never have I ever smoked a cigarette”.
Now all you have to do is to have fun, and come back to give us feedback in the comments.
The ICCI team.