The thought of team building exercises might bring to mind images of trust falls and awkward ice breaker-based conversations, but real team building is a critical element to the success of many companies. The benefits of team building exercises include the development of group skills, communication, and bonding. These sorts of connections are long lasting and can have a direct impact on the effectiveness and productivity of staff members. They encourage collaboration and teamwork, help employees build communication skills, problem solving skills, and conflict resolution skills.

Here are four exercises to try today to help build a better team.

A Truth and a Lie

Have each member introduce themselves by stating their name plus one truth about themselves and one lie. After each person makes their statements, allow for a quick open conversation where everyone questions each other on their two statements. The idea is to convince the other members that your lie is a truth, while guessing the truths/lies of the others. After the questioning period, vote as a group on each member’s statements. Points are awarded for each lie guessed right or for stumping other members on your own lie. This exercise helps to get to know your coworkers better and encourages group interaction and communication.

Card Tower

Hand out a deck of playing cards and a pair of scissors to groups of 2-5 members. Instruct them to build the tallest poker tower using ONLY the cards and scissors given to them. This will stimulate creativity and team bonding, as the team figures out how to build the tower with the limited material available.

Egg Drop

This is a popular, but messy, team-building exercise. Start by splitting the team into 2-3 groups of reasonable size. The task is to build an egg package that can keep the egg intact from a 2-4 story drop. Tools provided include newspapers, straws, tape, plastic, balloons and rubber bands. Give the teams 30 minutes to an hour to create their best package. After time is up, each team will take turns dropping the egg package from a window to test their product. If you want to make it more competitive, increase the height of the egg drop until a single winner is found.

Win, Lose or Draw

Another fan favorite is this classic team game, which simple and easy to execute. All you need is paper, pen, and a flipchart or whiteboard. Think of items that fit into certain categories. These can be generic or specific to the team. For example, generic categories include food items, places of interest, idioms, and so on. Team-specific categories can include computer technologies for computer scientists, business ideas for startups, school and students for teachers. Split the group into two teams, and have each team take turns drawing a list of items which teammates try to guess. The only hint to teammates will be the category name. They then have 1-3 minutes to draw the items on that list, without writing nor speaking. Switch teams after the time limit. Swap artists with each round, and repeat for 4-5 rounds. Collate the results to determine the winning team. This exercise helps get team members into each other’s heads to improve communication and empathy.

For more tips on how to build a rock star technical team, contact the experts at Verum Technical today.