Teambuilder: An Object Lesson
This teambuilder compares how well trainees work on their own with how well they work when they form a team.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Running Time: up to 15 minutes
Exercise Style: Demonstration of team effectiveness; memory test; teambuilder
Materials: 25 everyday articles such as keys, sweet wrapper, mobile phone, pen, bracelet, chewing gum, etc; large tray; paper; pens
"An Object Lesson": Steps
1. Show everyone a large tray on which there are 25 everyday items. These can include the following: a comb; a spoon; a bag of crisps; a pin; a wristwatch; a computer disk; a bus ticket; a pencil; an apple; and so on. Leave the tray uncovered for 20 seconds and then cover it up.
2. Now ask each trainee to jot down on paper as many items as they can remember from the tray. They may not confer.
3. Divide the group into teams of four or five and ask the teams to work together to try and remember as many items on the list as they can.
4. Re-convene. Ask the teams to compare their individual scores and their team scores.
"An Object Lesson": Alternatives and variations
a. Show the tray to trainees before a break or another exercise. Ask them to remember the items after the break or exercise when their memories aren't so fresh.
b. If your group is new, split them into two teams and send them to different rooms. Do nothing with team A. Go to team B and give them a team leadership input, eg a short energising icebreaker, a motivation talk, the promise of a reward if they complete the task correctly. Run the exercise and observe the results. Let both teams in on the secret and gather feedback.
c. Run a round of "An Object Lesson" as above and time the group. Change the articles on the tray, repeat the exercise, and time it again. Repeat the exercise with yet another set of articles, and time it again. Record the results and get the teams to discuss the results, eg why the teams performed better or worse.
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