Fun team building games can make or break your next office team event, and here are three easy exercises that only take a short time but can have huge team building impacts. Team Building Game #1: GETTING RID OF YOUR BIG BUTS Each team member is paired up with one other person. The directions are easy. First, choose who will go first in the conversation. Then the first team member simply states, “Let’s plan a vacation, and let’s go to…” and they fill in the blank. From then the ground rules are simple. The second person’s response must begin with, “Yes, but….” And then finish the sentence. At that point each person’s response to the other begins with those two simple words, “Yes, but…” After just a few minutes stop the conversations and ask how far they got in their vacation plans. Then make a switch. Now the second person begins the conversation with, “Let’s plan a vacation, and let’s go to ….” and they fill in the blank. Now the responses must all begin with, “Yes, and…” Let the conversation proceed for a couple minutes then stop them and ask, how well the vacation plans are going? A quick debrief is easy, focusing on how important the words and attitudes are in conversations. We need to be cognizant of our precise words and make sure our “buts” don’t get in the way of positive outcome conversations. Team Building Game #2: TEAM IDENTITY This one takes a few supplies, but encourages sharing and appreciation among team members. The supplies are a large piece of poster board, some markers, construction paper and glue. Other supplies can be used as well depending on the creativity of the facilitator and team members. Each person is asked to think about three things that characterize their strengths; why they are important and what they can contribute to the team. After some thoughtful time and each person writing those things down, the team comes together and shares their thoughts. Then with the information they decide on a team name and design a coat of arms to describe their team, taking into account the strengths of the individual team members. The strengths will overlap and one of the objects of the coat of arms is focus on the strengths of the group, not just the individuals. In fact the importance of the coat of arms is that it reveals the team, not the individuals. All identify with the team name and are contributories. The individuals should come to recognize part of their identity is in the team, and as part of the team. Team Building Game #3: THE POINT OF THE GAME Here’s a fun and “pointed” game that only takes a few moments, but the debrief could go on for a long time. Begin by having everyone stand in a circle. The facilitator simply points at one person, that person then must point at another person, who points at another person, who points at another person… this goes on until everyone is being pointed at. Of course, no one is allowed to point at a person who is already being pointed at. Once everyone is being pointed at and is pointing at someone, they can drop there hands and apologize for being so rude as to point in the first place.