Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.

Patrick Lencioni (*1965)
Business book author, e.g. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Once upon a time

You might be familiar with the offline storytelling game "Once upon a time": As facilitator you start a story and one participant after the other continues.

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Future Headlines

Share an online newspaper with the participants of your online workshop and let them come with suggestions for headlines in the future about the company / NGO / topic of the conference. This makes each participants’ goal and expectation visible and creates a positive, forward looking atmosphere.

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Appreciation Circle

This online team building exercise is simple, but perhaps not easy for everyone: Each person takes a turn in expressing appreciation, good wishes for each other.

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Virtual Coffee Machine

In the game coffee machine we simulate the hustle around the coffee machine of the conference venue in order to reach social binding among participants.

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Alone you won't succeed. The better a team works, the higher the performance and outcome will be. Nowadays, team building became a must to create the collaboration, communication, and coherence for a high performing group of employees.

Group or team?

Before we jump into games, energizers, or other possibilities, let us clarify some terms as they are often mixed up or used imprecisely.

team is a number of persons associated together in work or another regular activity. A group is two or more individuals assembled together or having some unifying relationship. Thus, the regularity is the most distinctive characteristic. A group comes together only occasionally or for the very first time. This can be for example for a certain project. Once they collaborate together formally we would speak of a team again. 

Development, Coaching, or Building?

Team Development: several measures over time to unfold the potential of a team.

Team Building: a joint activity (often the first step) to familiarise team members with each other. Usually, there is no real connection to the working context or environment.

Team Coaching: use of coaching methods to improve team collaboration, communication, and/or performance.

Team Retreat: min. 2 days out of the work environment in order to coach, build or develop a team.

Team Building Activities

Games

Under games we understand playful activities for fun and learning. If it's only about fun without any further purpose or experience we call it an energizer. Some games serve the familiarization of participants with each other at the begin of an event. Those games are called icebreakers and found be found there. Accordingly, under games you find group activities for a certain experience or learning purposes. If a game's main purpose is team building you'll find them here. If it's another purpose you find them in remote games.

Coaching Exercises

Coaching exercises aim at learning, insight, retrospection guided by a coach. Some of the games are also coaching exercises. Without the guided debriefing and retrospection by a coach, however, a given game remains just a game - even if there is a debriefing by a facilitator.

Energizers

The purpose of an energizer is to energize. This is achieved by relaxation, distraction, physical activity. At the same time icebreakers almost always contributes to social bonding. Thus, we don't do a distinction between team building energizers and non-team building ones.

Icebreakers

Icebreakers are games, exercises, and energizers at the begin of a workshop, seminar, or conference with the aim of familiarization of participants with each other as well as social bonding.

How to choose a Remote Team Building Activity

The right choice of a remote team building activity depends on the right combination of variables. In order to quickly assess all activities (games, energizers, icebreaker, team building activities) are described in these variables. These are:

Objective – Resources – Time – Task – Phase

First you need to decide what you want the activity for? What's its objective and how does it contribute to the objective of the workshop. Then, you should be aware in which stage or phase (see group process) you want to place it or in which phase there is still a time slot available. And is there enough time? Furthermore, do you have or can you provide the resources required for this game?

And you should like the task! If you are not persuaded by the activity, participants will sense it and it will be a failure. So, listen inwardly and sense whether you are persuaded or not.

Additionally, you might also sense how balanced your workshop is in all the Six balances in a Group in order to assess whether this activity contributes or brings more out of balance.

Do you need support for your remote team building?

In case you need support for organizing your remote team building activity, don't hesitate to ask by the contact form.

If you search for someone to lead your

  • team building
  • team coaching
  • team retreat
  • team development

then get your offer from 3C – Coaching here.

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