More Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 New Exercises That Get Results in Just 15 Minutes


Most managers, supervisors, and team leaders realize the importance of team-building, but just can’t seem to find the time in their busy schedules. More Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers provides the solution! The book contains 50 all-new exercises that can be conducted in 15 minutes or less, and which require no special facilities, big expense, or previous training experience. Each activity is presented in just a few short pages with all the relevant information including a list of materials ...

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More Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 New Exercises That Get Results in Just 15 Minutes

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Most managers, supervisors, and team leaders realize the importance of team-building, but just can’t seem to find the time in their busy schedules. More Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers provides the solution! The book contains 50 all-new exercises that can be conducted in 15 minutes or less, and which require no special facilities, big expense, or previous training experience. Each activity is presented in just a few short pages with all the relevant information including a list of materials needed, the purpose of the exercise, and handy tips for success, all highlighted for easy reference. Readers will find fun and effective activities for:

• building new teams and helping teams with new members

• finding creative ways to work together and solve problems

• increasing and improving communication

• keeping competition healthy and productive within the team

• dealing with change and its effects: anger, fear, frustration

• and more.

The book also includes special guidance for "virtual teams," whose members are in different locations but must work as a unit. For anyone charged with the task of bringing teams together, this book is the answer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814473788
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 7/18/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 311,945
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Cole Miller (Dublin, OH) is the principal of Working Solutions, Inc., a management training and consulting firm whose clients include FranklinCovey, Nationwide Insurance, and the UPS Store. He is the author of the best-selling Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers (0-8144-7201-X) and Keeping Employees Accountable for Results (0-8144-7320-2).

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Read an Excerpt


This book is a sequel to Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers. Like that one, this book is written for the busy manager who wants to add an element of team-building to a meeting. There are 50 more activities here, and you can expect them to be the same type and quality as before, with one significant bonus:

New for this volume are helpful hints for virtual teams. More and more teams are dispersed geographically. Team-building becomes difficult when members are not physically together. Some teams have members who never meet each other face to face. At the end of each activity is a suggestion or two on how to adjust it for a virtual team. I've included tips for conference calls, videoconferences, Internet meetings, and more.

All activities take less than 15 minutes. Busy managers and their staffs do not have hours and hours to spend working on their team. They need activities that are quick and to the point. You can conduct each activity in this book and discuss its meaning in less than 15 minutes.

Can you really get results in 15 minutes? Yes, as long as your expectations are realistic. You will not resolve long-standing issues, major personality conflicts, or deeply embedded obstacles. What will happen is that important team issues will be highlighted so you and others can see them more clearly. Seeing them is the first step to addressing them. You will also see team members be validated and their camaraderie enhanced. In the end, you will have a stronger team.

All activities can be done with only a few common materials or even none at all. Preparing for the activities will be easy. Most require nothing at all or just a pen and paper. When other materials are needed, they are always easy to obtain if you don't already have them (a deck of cards, an old newspaper, a bag of marshmallows, etc.).

All activities have one or more specific, focused objectives. Team-building activities, such as the ones in this book, are fun. However, fun should not be the only objective. There must be a learning goal for each activity (otherwise, why bother?). Each activity is designed to bring your group together as a team in some way. You can have fun while you learn and grow together.

The outline for each activity is easy to follow. Each one is presented in the same easy-to-read, bulleted format:

This is . . . explains very briefly what the activity is.

The purpose is . . . tells what the purpose or objective of the activity is.

Use this when . . . gives you clues you should look for that will tell you if this is the right activity for your group at this time.

Materials you'll need . . . tells you everything you will need for the activity (and often it's nothing).

Here's how . . . outlines, step by step, how to conduct the activity.

For example . . . illustrates how the activity may play out, so you get a good sense of what to expect.

Ask these questions . . . lists the best questions to ask afterward. Participants need to discuss what happened in the activity and what it meant in order to gain maximum learning and growth. Skip this step and you may as well just play a parlor game with your group.

Tips for success . . . includes things that will help you run the activity most effectively.

Try these variations . . . offers variations that can be used to spice it up, slow it down, add competitiveness, or otherwise alter it for a different learning experience.

For virtual teams . . . offers tips for adjusting the activity for groups that meet electronically because they cannot be in the same physical location.

As in the first book, you will not find any of these types of activities here:

NO "fish bowl" activities in which only a few participants are actively involved while everyone else watches and critiques them.

NO role-plays in which participants are given a fictitious role to act out or perform.

NO demonstrations in which the leader makes a point by demonstrating something while everyone else merely watches and then discusses.

NO outdoor activities requiring large areas, nice weather, and physically fit participants.

NO handouts to create, copy, or distribute.

NO "touchy-feely" activities in which participants have to touch each other or share personal thoughts or feelings--activities that push the manager into the role of psychologist or therapist rather than activity leader.

The first book began with two chapters that showed you how to run any team-building activity. I have added tips for dealing with virtual teams and include the same chapters here (I want you to be successful whether you buy my other book or not).

Chapter 1 gives you start-to-finish instructions on how to run any team-building activity. The instructions are divided into the three phases of running the activities:

Before the activity, you will learn how to decide which activity is best for you and your team. Why pick just any activity when you can select one that is designed specifically for your team's needs? What should you consider when selecting an activity for virtual teams? How competitive should the activity be? Then learn how to plan and prepare for the activity (even if you have only 2 minutes in the elevator to do so!).

During the activity, you will learn how to set up the activity for success--giving clear instructions, getting your participants to want to engage, and making sure they know what to do and how to do it. For virtual teams, learn how to set up the location for participation and how to work with the technology you have. Then learn what to do while the team is involved. Finally, learn to conduct the most important element of the activity: the Debrief. This is when you help the participants connect what they did in the activity with their behavior on the job. Skip this step and you lose most of the benefit of the activity.

After the activity, you will learn how to make the things learned during the activity come alive in the workplace and make sure your team truly benefits from having done the activity in the first place.

Chapter 2 gives you tips on how to avoid what most commonly can go wrong in team-building activities. Although Murphy's Law says you'll eventually hit a bump along the way, it doesn't mean you have to fail. The format for each potential problem is the same:

What if . . . describes potential problems or concerns you may face.

What you'll see . . . indicates what you will actually see and hear that tell you a problem has come up.

The most likely causes . . . identifies what usually causes the situation. Only when you know the cause can you take meaningful action.

How to prevent it from happening . . . gives ideas on how you can avoid the problem in the first place.

What to do if it happens anyway . . . offers suggestions on how to handle a problem you tried to avoid but happened anyway.

Team-building with your staff can be fun, rewarding, and productive. Seeing those creative sparks as your staff learns something important can be very exciting. Stick with it, be patient, and you will see great results, even after just a few activities!

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I. Getting Ready

CHAPTER 1. How to Run a Successful Team-Building Activity 7

Step 1. Before: Select a pertinent activity for your team 7

Step 2. Before: Prepare for your team-building activity 8

Step 3. During: Explain the activity to the team 10

Step 4. During: Check for understanding before beginning 12

Step 5. During: Run the activity 13

Step 6. During: Debrief the activity 14

Step 7. After: Reinforce the learning back on the job 16

CHAPTER 2. What Could Go Wrong in a Team-Building Activity 17

Part II. The Activities

CHAPTER 3. Welcoming: Introductions and Icebreakers 31

Bet You Didn't Know This 32

Cell Phone Rings 35

Haiku 38

Hangman 40

Heads or Tails 43

Human Poker 46

I am . . . 50

Kids' Stuff 53

Pennies and Dice 56

Scramble 59

Word Count 62

CHAPTER 4. Battling: Games That Teach Healthy Competition 65

Balloon Battle 66

Chopsticks 69

Cotton Balls 72

Higher Lower 75

Marshmallow Dodge Ball 78

Snake Eyes 81

Tablecloth 85

Tall Towers 88

Team Scores 91

Unshuffle 95

CHAPTER 5. Teamwork: Challenges That Require Cooperation 99

Buttermilk Line 100





LETTER #27 115






CHAPTER 6. Creativity: Challenges That Encourage Out-of-the-Box Thinking 131

ABCs 132



FIST 140







CHAPTER 7. Support: Activities to Appreciate and Help Each Other 161

Anonymous Feedback 162








Index 187

About the Author 191

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    Every bit as good as the first one

    You'd think a follow up collection of activities would include those that werent good enough for the first book, but such is not the case here. Miller brings 50 more activities forward that are jsut as good as his first collection. Granted not all of them are winners, but there are enough good ones to make this a good resource. Bonus if you have virtual teams as this volume gives tips for how to use some (not all!) of the activiites for teams flung all over the place.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent ROI book

    As a corporate director of human resources I was very pleased with the theme and of this book. I am continually searching for new items that will `break the ice" and result in improved team building.

    As all of us realize that the old saying `time is money' has never been more true, the ideas and suggestions in this book can a lot of money in a very short time span. What a wonderful ROI.

    I might also suggest another book great ROI book, S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Rewards Budget: Maximize the Return on Your Employee Recognition Investment.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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