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Best Team Building Activity EVER

I promise, no trust falls.  No charades.  Instead, social super glue.

Any good team building exercise feeds the desire to be known, to matter and to be included by uncovering and learning more about:

  • One another
  • Interdependence and reliance on one another’s contributions
  • Common ground and shared identity

As long as your team building exercise meets these three criteria, you’re golden. While I’ve always incorporated these into any team building activity, I recently finished reading the brilliant book Pre-suasian by influence psychology researcher Robert Cialdini.  Three pieces stood out in particular in relationship to team building:

People have “two contrary motivations, to fit in and to stand out.”

“The experience of unity is not about simple similarities…It’s about shared identities…conduct of one member influences the self-esteem of other members.  Put simply, we is the shared me.”

“When people act in unison, they not only see themselves as more alike, they evaluate one another more positively afterward.  Their elevated likeness turns into elevated liking.”

How do you accomplish the three criteria and take into consideration these three pieces?  Easy – follow these four steps:

1. Have team members find three things they have in common with every other team member, for example:

  • Where they grew up
  • Pets
  • Food preference
  • Birth month
  • Favorite sport or hobby
  • Bucket list item

2. Have them accomplish a synchronized activity together, for example:

  • Sing a song
  • Tai Chi
  • Body percussion
  • Line dance
  • Recite a poem (recommend Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss)
  • Drum to the same beat
  • Walk to and from lunch together

3. Create an activity in which they need one another to accomplish a task – their singular effort is not enough, for example:

  • Community service
  • Go to an Escape Room
  • Cook a meal together
  • 52 Card Pick-Up
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Follow instructions to build something

4. Depending on what you chose for #2 and #3 – have each person share a “favorite” of theirs that’s related. For example a favorite:

  • Game as a kid
  • Song and why
  • Recipe
  • Cause to support

This gives everyone a chance to fit in, stand out and unify.

Do you consider yourself a manager who’s committed to the success of your team?  Endorsed by many successful business thought leaders, consider adding Culture Works to your repertoire.


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1.9 min readLast Updated: January 14th, 2021Published On: May 9th, 2017Categories: Team Building Ideas, Team Relationship BuildingTags:

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