The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group

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The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group

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Overview

Teamwork can be fun!

Games that improve team cooperation,

communication, and spirit

Did you know that games can:

• Raise sagging morale

• Liven up boring staff meetings

• Increase interaction among staff members

• Promote a culture of harmony and cooperation

• Create an atmosphere of fun for your team



Keeping your team motivated and challenged, especially during tough economic times, can be difficult. But this collection of high-energy, play-anywhere games, from bestselling authors and trainers Ed and Mary Scannell, provides you with all the fun, inspiring material you need to build team spirit, communication, and trust among coworkers-day in and day out.



Games Can Be Played In or Out of the Office

Requiring few or no props, The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games is the latest installment in the successful Big Book series, which has been changing the way teams think for decades-providing hours of fun that fight boredom and burnout, boost performance, soothe tensions, and create a sense of community and trust.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071629621
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Big Book Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 382,562
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Scannell is a speaker and trainer

who has given thousands of presentations, seminars and

workshops across the world.

Mary Scannell has trained thousands

of business people across the U.S. and Canada, including a

long list of Fortune 500 clients.

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Read an Excerpt

The big book of team motivating games

Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving, and Communication Games for Every Group
By Mary Scannell Edward E. Scannell

McGraw-Hill

Copyright © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-07-162962-1


Chapter One

Icebreakers and Energizers

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Goethe

Answer the Question

OBJECTIVES

• To demonstrate the benefits of humor

• To increase the comfort level within the team

Group Size

10 to 20, or split large groups into smaller teams of 10 to 20

Materials

None

Time

10 to 20 minutes

Procedure

Have your team stand or sit in a circle. Tell them this activity consists of asking and answering questions. Let them know they will ask the person next to them an open-ended question (one requiring more than a yes-or-no answer). Specifically, questions that require the person to answer with a sentence, rather than simply one word, work best. Instruct each participant to remember the question he or she asked, as well as the answer given.

To start the game, simply have one team member ask the person on his or her right or left a question. This establishes the direction: for example, if the team member asks the person to the right, that person answers and then asks a question to the person to his or her right, and so on around the circle. By the time you get around the circle, everyone should have asked and answered a question. Remind the team members to remember their question and their answer.

Now for the fun part: have everyone get up and take a different place in the circle so they are standing or sitting next to someone new. To start this round, again have one team member ask the person to the right or left his or her original question (again establishing the direction), and have everyone give his or her original answer—regardless of the question.

Get ready to laugh!

Discussion Questions

1. What did you like about this activity? What was challenging?

2. How does laughter impact our energy? Our productivity? Our teamwork? Our stress level?

3. What are some other ways to reduce the stress level within our teams?

Fun Facts

OBJECTIVE

• To learn about the others on the team

• To build rapport and trust within the team

Group Size

Up to 20

Materials

Copies of the Fun Facts About Our Team form (provided) for each person, pens

Time

15 minutes

Procedure

Some prep work is required. Have all the team members who will attend submit a few little-known facts about themselves to you—the facilitator—before the session (e.g., where they went to school, their major, number of siblings, names of pets, where they were born, favorite vacation spot).

Before the meeting, write a statement about each person based on the submitted facts. Put all the statements together on the Fun Facts About Our Team form, and give everyone a copy as they come in.

Give the team time to mingle and ask each other questions to determine whose name belongs with each statement. Let them know they also need to find out any specifics. For example, if they have three pets, what kind of animals are they? What are their names?

Whoever has the most names filled in after about 10 minutes gets to announce the team members along with their little-known facts.

Example Statement Sheet (or use the provided Fun Facts About Our Team form)

Born in a country other than the United States

• Name of the person__________________

• Name of the country_________________

Changed my major in college three times

• Name of the person__________________

• The three different majors______________

HANDOUT

Fun Facts About Our Team

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Fact_______________________________

• Name of the person__________________

• Details____________________________

Guess Me If You Can

OBJECTIVES

• To get to know each other

• To come together as a team

Group Size

10 to 20 participants works best

Materials

Slips of paper, pens

Time

15 to 20 minutes per round

Procedure

Have each participant write out the name of a book (or movie, etc.—see other categories under Variations) on a slip of paper. One person acts as the facilitator and collects and reads aloud all the slips of paper one time. After that, everyone must rely on their memory.

The person to the left of the facilitator begins by trying to match a book title with the person who chose it. If the guesser is correct, the person whose book was guessed becomes a member of the guesser's team, and as a team they take another turn. Every correct guess gains the team an additional team member and gives them another turn. If they're wrong, the next person takes a turn, and so on around the team.

The activity is over when everyone is on the same team.

Variations

Instead of book titles, you can use movie titles, song titles, musical groups, board games, cities, vacation spots, and so on. Get creative! Or have the team come up with some new categories. Remember, the goal is to make it challenging for the others to guess the selections.

Discussion Questions

1. What did you notice as we made the transition from individuals to teams, and finally to one team?

2. What does it take to be a team?

3. In what ways does this relate to coming together as a team at work?

Partner Stretch

OBJECTIVES

• To energize the team in a creative way

• To break down barriers and have some fun

Group Size

Any

Materials

None

Time

5 minutes to develop stretches, and 1 minute per pair to teach and lead a three-count

Procedure

Have the team pair up. Then have each pair develop a quick stretch that they will teach the rest of the team.

The stretch has two requirements: (1) the partners have to be connected during the stretch, and (2) the stretch has to have a sound effect or phrase to go along with it. Each pair then teaches their stretch to the team and takes the team through a three-count of the stretch.

Demonstrate an example of an acceptable stretch. For example, stand next to your partner, with your and your partner's feet touching; then stretch your arms up and say, "Reach for the stars."

Variations

For larger groups or if time is tight, after each pair has developed their stretch, have them group together with two other pairs and teach each other their stretches.

Discussion Questions

1. What did you notice regarding your energy level as well as the overall energy level in the room during this activity?

2. What are some things we can do to raise our energy when it's low, such as after lunch or at the end of the day?

Tips

This activity works great as a midafternoon energizer.

Shout Out

OBJECTIVES

• To regroup and reenergize after a break or lunch

• To stretch our comfort zones by laughing at ourselves and being willing to risk making a mistake

• To think and respond on the fly

Group Size

10 to 20 participants

Materials

Large blanket or tarp

Time

10 minutes

Procedure

Ask for two volunteers to hold the blanket up, creating a wall. Split the rest of the team in half. Have half the team go on one side of the blanket and half go on the other.

Each team sends a person up to the blanket—taking care that the people on the other side of the blanket can't see who is chosen.

The volunteers count, "1, 2, 3, drop!" Then they quickly lower the blanket to the ground. The person who says the other person's name first acquires that person to his or her side of the blanket. (The volunteer blanket holders act as judges, and their decisions may break any ties that occur.)

Continue for about five to eight minutes. Lift the blanket at the end and say, "Now we are all one team again."

Discussion Questions

1. Was that activity more challenging that you expected it to be? Why?

2. Why did we make mistakes?

3. How did the team react to mistakes?

4. What is an effective way to handle mistakes at work?

Table Topics

OBJECTIVES

• To establish rapport before brainstorming and problem-solving activities

• To increase the level of trust within the team

Group Size

Up to 15, or break large groups into smaller teams of 5 to 7

Materials

Copies of the Table Topics form (provided)

Time

10 to 15 minutes

Procedure

This one is easy. Make copies of the Table Topics form or create some of your own.

At the beginning of the workshop or whenever participants regroup into smaller work teams, have each team go around their table and answer three to five questions.

Tips

After answering a couple of prepared questions, they can come up with a couple of their own to ask.

HANDOUT

Table Topics

1. If you could pick a theme song that would play whenever you entered a room, what would it be?

2. What do you most admire about the person to your left?

3. What do you consider to be the best thing ever invented? Why?

4. If you could move anywhere for one year, where would it be?

5. What is your most compulsive daily ritual?

6. What is the oddest job you have ever had?

7. What is your favorite way to spend a relaxing weekend day?

8. What are your pet peeves in the workplace?

9. In what way are you superstitious?

10. What have you not done that you have wanted to do for years?

11. What's your dream job?

12. What are the most important qualities you look for in a friend?

13. What one goal would you like to accomplish this year?

14. What part of your personality would you most like to change?

15. What is one fear you'd like to overcome?

16. What is your favorite quotation?

17. What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen?

18. What negative experience have you had that turned out to be for the best?

Chapter Two

Climate Setting

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Andrew Carnegie

Act the Part

OBJECTIVES

• To consider what it takes to be understood

• To encourage effective communication strategies

Group Size

At least 10 participants

Materials

Slips of paper, pens

Time

20 minutes

Procedure

Each team will partner with another team, so split the group into teams of five to seven (this game works best if all teams have the same number of participants). Pass out slips of paper and pens to each team. Ask each team to come up with an animal and a common task. Have them write it on their slip of paper as a sentence (e.g., "An elephant rides a bike," or "A monkey brushes his teeth.").

Have two teams line up facing the same direction. The two teams will work in conjunction. Have the last persons in each line exchange slips of paper. After this point, the rest of the activity is carried out nonverbally. The last person in each line is the only person allowed to see the slip of paper. His or her job is to convey this message to the person ahead in line by acting it out.

So the person ahead of the last person turns and looks on while the last person acts out the scenario written on the slip of paper. The second to the last person then acts it out for the person ahead in line. This continues up to the first person in line. The first person in each line acts out the scenario so participants from both small teams can see.

Have each team guess what it is they have been acting out. How close do they come to the original scenario?

Tips

This is a good climate-setting activity. You may consider skipping the discussion, and just go right into the next thing on your agenda. In case you do choose to discuss, some questions follow.

Discussion Questions

1. How effective was your communication?

2. What helped you communicate effectively?

3. Was it easier to communicate nonverbally than you thought it would be?

4. How powerful is nonverbal communication?

5. How effective is nonverbal communication?

Inside Out

OBJECTIVES

• To discover new and interesting facts about the other team members

• To begin breaking down barriers to working together more effectively

Group Size

Any

Materials

Inside Out suggested topic questions (provided)

Time

10 to 15 minutes

Procedure

Have the team form two circles, one inside the other. The inside circle faces out; the outside circle faces in. Position the circles so each person is standing face to face with someone in the other circle. If you have an odd number of participants, there will be one triad.

Inform the team that they will be on the move during this activity, as you're going to keep them on their feet. Let them know you will give them a topic for discussion. They will have one minute to discuss the topic with their partner before it is time to move on.

Give them the first topic to discuss. When the minute is up, yell out, "Time to move on," and instruct them how to move. Choose how they will move: for example, the outside circle moves two people to the left, or inside circles move one person to the right. The idea is that every time the team members move, they get new and different partners. Once everyone has a new partner, the next round of conversations starts with a new topic.

After each round and before moving on, make sure each person gives his or her partner some form of "thank you"—a pat on the back, a high five, a verbal "Thanks for chatting," or some form of appreciation. Get creative!

Tips

It's best to keep this one moving rather than let the conversation die down before continuing to the next partner and next topic.

Playing four or five rounds seems to work best. After the final topic has been discussed, you may choose to give them one more minute to share their goals for the day with this final partner.

The questions for Table Topics will work for this activity as well.

Discussion Questions

1. How did it feel to divulge personal information?

2. How does an activity like this build trust within the team?

3. What are some other ways we can build a trusting team?

HANDOUT

Inside Out

Suggested Topic Questions

1. If money wasn't an issue, what career would you choose? Why?

2. What is the easiest way to annoy you or push your buttons?

3. What person in your life has had the greatest impact on you? In what way?

4. What have you done in the past year that has been completely out of character for you?

5. Tell a story about yourself that would surprise everyone.

6. If talent weren't an issue, what career would you choose for yourself?

7. What is your one guilty pleasure?

8. What do you wish you had time to do every day? How could you make that time?

9. What is your favorite vacation spot? Why?

May I Present ...?

OBJECTIVES

• To allow team members to gain a better understanding of each other

• To encourage participants to share information in a fun way

• To introduce each other to the team

Group Size

20 participants works best

Materials

Flip chart or whiteboard, blank sheets of paper, markers, adhesive tape

Time

30 to 45 minutes

Procedure

Have participants pair up. Provide each pair with blank sheets of paper and markers. Write these instructions on a flip chart or whiteboard so everyone can see them:

On the first sheet of paper, write your partner's name and draw a picture of your partner. On the second sheet of paper, create a fact sheet by writing down your partner's answers to the following questions:

• What do you like about your job?

• What are the skills you admire in others?

• What would we be surprised to know about you?

Have each team member introduce his or her partner by presenting the drawing and the answers to the three questions. After the presentations, tape all the drawings and fact sheets to the walls for the duration of the program.

Red Card/Green Card

OBJECTIVES

• To recognize the importance of first impressions

• To identify and demonstrate the elements of a good first impression

Group Size

Any

Materials

Red and green 3 × 5 cards

Time

10 minutes

Procedure

Pass out one red or green 3 × 5 card to each team member (half the team getting one color, half getting the other color). Explain that the color of the card they are holding indicates the type of first impression they will be creating during the activity.

Those with green cards like meeting others and enjoy interacting. Ask the team what they would do to create that type of face-to-face impression (e.g., make eye contact, smile, shake hands).

People with red cards, on the other hand, don't care about interpersonal relationships. In fact, life would be just great if all those other people weren't out there. They would be content to go crawl in a corner and be left alone! Have the team describe what they would do to create that type of first impression (e.g., avoid eye contact, give short answers, use negative body language).

Now tell the team that on your "Go," they will have a chance to create a first impression with everyone else in the room. That impression should be based on the color of the card they received. Have them interact with as many people as possible in 25 seconds. (They don't have to carry their cards during the activity. In fact, it's best if they don't—that will better demonstrate the power of first impressions.)

Discussion Questions

1. Green Cards, could you tell who the Red Cards were? How could you tell?

2. Red Cards, when the Green Cards approached you, was it difficult to maintain your Red Card demeanor? Why?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The big book of team motivating games by Mary Scannell Edward E. Scannell Copyright © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games Section One: Team Building: Behind the Scenes Chapter 1: Introduction to Team-Motivating Games Chapter 2: Your Keys to Success Chapter 3: How to Use This Book Section Two: Team-Motivating Games Chapter 4: Ice Breakers and Energizers Chapter 5: Climate Setting Chapter 6: Motivation Chapter 7: Communication Chapter 8: Building Trust Chapter 9: Creativity Chapter 10: Mental Challenges Chapter 11: Problem Solving Chapter 12: Recognition Chapter 13: Outdoor Games

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Excellent job and very well done.

    This book can be so useful for all levels of team building and ice breakers. Great job.

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