A group, whether in an office, college, or society, can be defined as a collection of people who have something in common or are related to each other in some way. At the workplace, members of a group have a common aim too. To instill a positive atmosphere in a group and to keep it united, it is important that certain team building activities are carried out among its members from time to time.
It is very important that you include certain group bonding activities that help people know things about each other which are unaware of. This activity is especially designed to suit this purpose. First of all, you will have to frame a questionnaire with some interesting questions in it, such as "Who has visited five foreign countries?", "Who can moonwalk like Michael Jackson?", "Who has watched more than two movies in a single day?", "Whose favorite color is red?", "Who is named after his or her grandparents?", etc. Distribute this questionnaire among the people in the group. Now ask them to go around, talk to the other people in the group, and write the names of people in front of the questions which apply to them. For example, if a participant named Tim says that he has visited five countries, then write his name in front of that question. Give them around fifteen minutes to fill in the questionnaire. After that, the participant who is able to write maximum correct names is declared the winner. To make this game even more fun, ask the person who can moonwalk, dance, or paint or sing, actually do it for others. Also, this activity is designed for large groups of more than thirty, so make sure you have the required numbers to play it.
Team bonding activities should be such that they create an atmosphere of care and concern among team members. Ask the members to sit in a circle. Next, give each of them some beads, shells, and a string. Ask all the members to make a bracelet using these materials. While they are at it, write names of each of the members on separate pieces of paper. Fold them and keep them in a glass jar in the middle of the circle. When the team members are done making the bracelets, ask each one of them to come forward and pick a chit from the jar. The person whose name is on the chit then comes forward and is presented the bracelet by the one who picked the chit. Also, announce that for the coming six months, they are 'work buddies' i.e., if they face any problem while working, they should consult each other. Likewise, call all the members and make them find their 'work buddies' and present bracelets to them. Group bonding gifts such as these go a long way in fostering positive feelings among groups.
Groups in which there is proper communication among the members are more productive and united. So, undertake this activity to improve communication in your group. Design a questionnaire which reflects on the likes, dislikes, opinions, concerns, ambitions, etc., of the group members. Make them sit in a circle and then ask these questions one by one. Give every member an opportunity to speak and present his opinions. Examples of some topics that you can include in your questionnaire are, "What is the best and the worst thing about this group?", "Do you think that this group is meeting its objectives in the right way or should its style of working be changed?", "Which member of the group inspires you the most and why?", "Ten years from now, when you think about this group, what will you remember the most?".
Let's Play Games!
When it comes to effective group bonding exercises, nothing even comes close to games. So, have your group members participate together in various kinds of games. Plan games in which they, as a team, hunt for something together, such as a 'Treasure Hunt'. Games in which they do something together, for example, divide your group into three-four members and give each of them clay. Now, give them a topic such as 'garden', and ask them to create it together with clay in a stipulated time. The team which creates the most real-looking garden, wins. Also, include games which build trust among them. For example, blindfold all the members, except for one who will then guide the others to move from the starting line to the finishing line crossing obstacles (Keep books, chairs, tables, stones, and anything you can lay your hands on as obstacles). Lastly, plan such games in which the members together solve a problem or push their limits or do something creative, such as painting, cooking, singing, etc. All such games and activities will definitely increase the bonding between everyone.
Group bonding activities, be it games, discussions or making gifts for each other, help the members in knowing and understanding one another better. In fact, these activities serve as the glue which binds the group together.