Team Building

When morale is drooping, it may be time for a quick round of team-building exercises, says Elizabeth Archuleta, a diversity and inclusion consultant based in Phoenix. Don’t roll your eyes—the exercises needn’t be of the “Kumbaya” variety, and they needn’t happen at a fancy off-site retreat. Just an afternoon’s worth of participation can go a long way toward refreshing your work group’s sense of shared purpose.

Here are a few of Archuleta’s favorites.

Shared Values. Everyone writes down what he or she thinks are the team’s three most important values. Participants divide into groups and try to agree on the top three, then discuss them with the entire team to identify patterns and come up with a unified set of values. Ask if these values reflect how the group really behaves; what can lead it to lose sight of these values; what the team can or should do if this happens; and how these values move the team toward its goals.

Name Game. Participants write down something about what their name means to them and how it reflects who they are. Then each person reads what he or she has written. This helps individuals share how they see themselves and connect on a personal level.

Group Résumé. Creating a group résumé is a way for team members to get to know and appreciate what everyone else has to offer. Participants divide into small groups. On a flip chart, each group creates a résumé that includes such categories as education, total years of professional experience, positions held, skills, accomplishments, languages, hobbies, and talents. Each unit presents its résumé to the entire group. Everyone discusses how the organization can make better use of all this expertise.

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