If you're looking for a small team build you can run yourselves, from your office, with minimum planning or fuss, look no further than our Easy Office Based Team Building Ideas!
Creation Through Communication
The aim of this activity is for each team member to create a piece of origami by being given only verbal instructions by their team leader. It is beneficial for groups who are having communication issues, as it encourages everyone to assess how they listen to instructions, how they interpret them and how they implement them. It's also a great way of looking at the art of giving instructions, and is a fantastic DIY team build because the only equipment it requires is paper.
To prepare this activity, trim some A4 paper into squares and print off some Origami diagrams. There are plenty of resources online but ideally you want something easy and without written instructions, so that the instructor describes what they see in their own words. We like Origami Diagram - try the Flutter Fly as it's nice and simple.
If you have a small group (ten or fewer), this activity can be run as one large group, with the person running the activity giving instructions. For more people, divide the group into teams of about four to six people and ask them to nominate a team leader who will be giving out instructions.
Give each person a piece of paper (using coloured paper is nice but not essential) and explain the activity. Ask the team leaders to give out a series of instructions to best describe the diagrams you have given them, which everyone should follow. People should avoid asking questions, but they can ask for instructions to be repeated or re-phrased. Do not let people know exactly what they will be making, although you should have one example already made up to reveal at the end.
Give the teams a time limit, depending on the difficulty of the design you have given them (fifteen to twenty minutes for the Flutter Fly would be ideal).
If you are working in teams, when the time is up come back together to de-brief. Reveal your "Here's one I made earlier" example, and explain that it's okay if not everybody's is perfect - that's the whole point of the exercise!
Some points for discussion to consider are:
- How do the end products compare to each other? If there are noticeable differences, why do you think this might be?
- What did people find challenging about this exercise? Are these challenges similar to those you have when communicating at work?
- Do you think that if you could see diagrams of the instructions, or have an example of the end result, your product would look the same? This would have meant relying less on yourselves and your own understanding of the instructions - would that have been a good thing?
- Participants had to trust the person giving instructions - how did this feel?
- What can you feed back about how the instructions were given? Did those giving instructions speak clearly and slowly enough, waiting for everybody to be ready before they moved on to the next point, or not? You may find it's beneficial to repeat the exercise with different people giving out different instructions, so that everyone has the chance to work on these skills.
- What have we learned about communication - both listening and instructing - that we can transfer to our working lives?
If you want to take your team building further, check out our website for ideas or call 0845 006 06 06 to speak to our fabulous team.