Chapter 5 : How to select the right team building exercises


Before you decide to take your team through the team building exercises, you should take time and establish what programs will best suit your team’s needs.

  • What are the problem areas in your team and how can they bets be dealt with?
  • What is currently hindering the team from performing well?
  • If this isn’t the first time you are taking the team building exercises, review the past exercises in order to establish how effective they were.

There are so many different team building exercises. Evaluation of your team’s need will be the best way to help you select the right ones. You should also ensure that you get exercises that everyone in the team will be comfortable with.

How To


This is one of the most effective ways of determining the right exercises for the team. You have to evaluate the past events of the team. Establish what could have contributed to past performance. In case of failures, establish just what could have caused this. Evaluating the past events can help you in determining what needs to be done.

You should also look at the present situation. How well are the team members relating with each other? How well do they work together? Find out what needs to be done to improve on the present situations. If there is a current issue of communication breakdown, this is what needs to be addressed.

You should carry out an evaluation of the goals of the team. Establish what you are all trying to achieve as a team. Then establish just what you need to be able to do this.

A team building consultant can do this evaluation. However, it is best to have an in-house evaluation too. Look at the recommended list from the consultant and establish which ones best meet your needs.


The best team building exercises should be agreed upon by the whole team. The manager and the consultant shouldn’t be the ones to make all the decisions about this. There are exercises that some members may not be open to. For instance, the sensitivity and stereotype exercises may not be accepted by everyone.


You have to find team building exercises that everyone can participate in. If you leave out some members then the whole exercise loses meanings. For instance, if the exercises require a lot of physical movement and some members can’t do it, then leave it out. All members of team should participate in the team building.


Diagnosis is a little similar to evaluation. However, in this case, you only look at the problem areas in the team. Establish what may be hindering the team from performing much better. Once you make a diagnosis, then find out the right remedies for the problems that you have identified.

Checklist Method

Checklist method is also very important in determining the right team building exercises. In this case, you have to look at the qualities of an ideal team. Study other successful teams or carry out research on what a good team would be like. Then make a checklist. From this list, check all the qualities that your current team has and the ones they lack. The lacking ones can be a focus area on your exercises.

For example, an ideal team should have respect for each other; they should communicate well and should trust one another. If you find out that your team only has respect but no trust or communications skills then you can have exercises focusing on these two areas.

Relevance and Applicability

Your team building exercises should always be relevant. You can’t work on issues that don’t apply to your particular team. For instance, a technical department may not have the same needs as the accounts department. Look for exercises that actually apply to your present situation.

Risk Minimization

Risk minimization comes in because some exercises may cause embarrassment to some individuals. For instance, give examples using one person may be hurtful and perceived negatively. Making fun of a person may also be negatively perceived. Avoid exercises that may cause resentment, anger or hurt anyone’s feelings. This may definitely do more harm than good to the team.

Company’s Goals

It is always vital to consider the overall objectives of the company when determining the teambuilding exercises. Ensure that you find exercises that will help the company in the long run.


After the initial team building program, review how effective each exercise was. This will help you in determining the future exercises. You can choose to repeat the ones that worked very well or come up with similar ones. Avoid any exercise that didn’t bear good fruits. Don’t even try to adjust it, replace it completely.

Establish your team’s needs and requirements. Find out what exercises can help them work as a team. Your team can help you with this evaluation process.

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