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Seven team building activities for retreats

Retreats (aka conferences and offsites) often start with a get-to-know-others activity (See my post of Sept. 25, 2008: ice breakers at law department meetings.).

Later on, many meeting planners want a dose of team building. Here are some examples from my consulting experience.

  1. Team cooking (such as by Team Cuisine in Massachusetts) lets members of a law department do something together that is not competitive and is fun. It might even be tasty.

  2. Trivial Pursuit, either the board game or a special version designed for groups to play, is fun and stimulating.

  3. Bomb maze, where teamsguide members through a maze of “exploding” bombs, silent during the entire effort.

  4. Move the log, where it takes coordinated action for the people on the log to move it along a course.

  5. Assemble bicycles, where it takes about 90 minutes for small groups to put bikes together that are then contributed to needy children.

  6. Scenarios and decision making, such as those produce by Human Synergistics. Teams picture themselves as crash landed in a winter storm. They have to decide the priority of items to keep.

  7. Model construction, where teams use objects like Legos to build a contraption.

Each of these activities helps law department members get to know each other and learn, through an enjoyable activity, the dynamics of effective teams (See my post of Feb. 12, 2008: retreats and conferences with 8 references.)

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