Team Building | Virtual Resources
We are going to rely heavily on technology for the next few months, so finding a way for groups to connect as a team virtually is going to be very important. Staff with The EDGE, our team building and experiential learning program, have come up with a few activities that can be done over the phone and/or during video conversations to help our teams stay connected at this time.
1. Zen Counting:
- Procedure: Your online group needs to count as a group to a specified number.
- Rules: Only one person can talk at a time, and once you start, there is no talking other than saying the numbers. You must alternate people for the count. In other words, the same person cannot say “one” and then “two.” If anyone breaks any rule-anyone interrupts, anyone counts out of order, anyone says something not a number — the count starts over.
2. Group Juggle:
- Materials needed: Everyone needs some kind of ball or soft object that they can pretend to throw and catch.
- Rules: Someone starts by saying the name of the person they are pretending to pass the ball to, then act like they are passing it. The second person pretends to catch (but using their object), thanks the thrower, identifies another person, and “throws” the ball to them. And so on, until everyone has had the ball once and the first person has the ball back.
- This activity will work best for humor if everyone acts convincingly like they are throwing and catching (without actually throwing anything- breaking something would be embarrassing). If you only have audio, make convincing sounds!
- Variations: If it’s a new group where participants don’t know each other, a leader might want to assign an order for the first round or give suggestions as to how to choose names (e.g. look at a chat list, if available). To add challenge, time the speed it takes to pass the ball around the group.
3. I Like People Who . . .
This is an active icebreaker to learn a bit about your team.
- Rules: Start with someone saying “I like people who . . .” and then finishing the sentence. It has to be something that’s true about the speaker. For example, “I like people who like spaghetti.” Or “who go skiiing.” Or “who wear purple socks.”
- Everyone who matches the description needs to stand up and walk around their chair three times before clicking the hand-raise button on the app.
- Anyone who doesn’t match can stay seated and immediately hit the hand-raise button.
- The last person to hit the hand raise becomes the next person who says “I like people who . . .”
- Variations: If you don’t have a hand-raise feature, you could have them type “done” in chat, or say “done” aloud. For the latter you will need to have everyone on the honor system — it might be hard to tell who said “done” last. But it’s all for fun. If people can’t walk around their chairs, they can be required to say a tongue-twister (“Sally Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore”) three times fast before reporting “done.” Or think of other modifications to include everyone — be creative!
- The Association for Experiential Education (AEE)’s Community Resource Library aee.org/community-resource-library
- AEE members from experiential education programs like The EDGE have come together to provide a ton of games, webinars, mental health tips, and more while we are all working and learning from home.
- Training Wheels Website
- A great resource developed by experiential educator Michelle Cummings: training-wheels.com/
- Experiential Tools by Jennifer Stanchfield
- Her blog at blog.experientialtools.com/ provides more resources and ideas.
Words of wisdom for this trying time:
Dr. Who’s advice for any worrying situation.
- Remember, you’ll get through this.
- Tell jokes, even bad ones, especially bad ones.
- Be kind, even kinder than you were yesterday.
- Listen to science, and listen to doctors. They’ve got your back.
- Stay strong, stay positive – you’ve got this.
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) March 25, 2020