Team building exercises consist of a variety of tasks designed to develop group members and their ability to work together effectively. Team building can range from simple social activity- to encourage team members to spend time together- to team development activities- designed to help individuals discover how they approach a problem, how the team works together, and discover better methods of communication.
Team interaction involves "soft" interpersonal skills including communication, negotiation, leadership, and motivation- in contrast to technical skills directly involved with the job at hand. Depending on the type of team building, the selected tasks can encourage or specifically teach interpersonal team skills to increase team performance. Whether indoor or outdoor, the purpose of team building exercises is to assist teams in becoming cohesive units that can effectively work together to complete tasks.
Communication exercise: This type of team building exercise is exactly what it sounds like. Communications exercises are problem-solving activities that are geared towards improving communication skills. The issues teams encounter in these exercises are solved by communicating effectively with each other.
Goal: Create an activity which highlights the importance of good communication in team performance and/or potential problems with communication
Problem-solving/decision-making exercise: Problem-solving/decision-making exercises focus specifically on groups working together to solve difficult problems or make complex decisions. These exercises are some of the most common as they appear to have the most direct link to what employers want their teams to be able to do.
Goal: Give team a problem in which the solution is not apparent or requires the team to come up with a creative solution.
Planning/adaptability exercise: These exercises focus on aspects of planning and being adaptable to change. These are important things for teams to be able to do when they are assigned complex tasks or decisions.
Goal: Show the importance of planning before implementing a solution.
Trust exercise: A trust exercise involves engaging team members in a way that will induce trust between them. They are sometimes difficult exercises to implement as there are varying degrees of trust between individuals and varying degrees of individual comfort trusting others in general.
Goal: Create trust between team members