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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 ...
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.
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!
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
Heads or Tails 43
Human Poker 46
I am . . . 50
Kids' Stuff 53
Pennies and Dice 56
Word Count 62
CHAPTER 4. Battling: Games That Teach Healthy Competition 65
Balloon Battle 66
Cotton Balls 72
Higher Lower 75
Marshmallow Dodge Ball 78
Snake Eyes 81
Tall Towers 88
Team Scores 91
CHAPTER 5. Teamwork: Challenges That Require Cooperation 99
Buttermilk Line 100
CROSSING THE LINE 106
DOLLAR BILL 109
LETTER #27 115
LICENSE PLATES 117
ONE SYLLABLE 120
PUZZLED VISION 123
REACH FOR THE STARS 126
STICK IN THE MIDDLE 128
CHAPTER 6. Creativity: Challenges That Encourage Out-of-the-Box Thinking 131
FAILURE STRATEGIES 135
JOB TITLES 143
NEWSPAPER COSTUMES 148
SECRET AGENDA 151
STATUE MAKER 154
THE SWAMP 157
CHAPTER 7. Support: Activities to Appreciate and Help Each Other 161
Anonymous Feedback 162
ONE WORD 169
POSITIVE ENVELOPES 172
SECRET COACH 175
TOTEM POLES 181
About the Author 191
Posted April 4, 2008
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.
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Posted July 4, 2009
I Also Recommend:
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
Posted June 18, 2010
No text was provided for this review.