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Activities for Teaching Teamwork & Cooperation
Team-building activities help develop camaraderie and trust so that everyone will work together toward a common goal. Team building can be promoted through group activities that facilitate communication, trust and problem-solving. Team-building activities are appropriate for any age and can be used in a sports, academic or corporate setting.
Some team-building activities promote closeness between members by forcing them to get to know each other better. These types of activities are commonly used in a corporate setting or at the beginning of a school year. Activities can include putting participants in groups and asking them questions, asking team members to share truths and a lie about themselves so the group can guess which information is false, or giving each group member an item and asking them to write down how it relates to them. All these activities promote conversation and give team members insight into how other members of the group think.
Team-Building Activities Facilitating Trust
Other team-building activities promote trust. In a corporate department or sports team, these activities are invaluable because the ability to do a job well may often be contingent on another department member. Envision a baby laughing happily as he is thrown in the air absolutely certain daddy will catch him safely. Adults and older children are not as secure in the reliability of being physically saved from a fall. Have adults line up with one partner's back facing his partner's front. The partner standing in the front should lean back and trust his partner to catch him. Activities where a partner or group member is blindfolded and must rely on directions from another team member to complete a task also promote trust, listening and communication skills.
Shared Problem-Solving Activities
These activities promote group cooperation so the group can work together to resolve a problem. Classrooms and corporate seminars commonly use a classic human chain where group members hold hands, get tangled and then must work together to untangle themselves without letting go. Communication and cooperation is essential for members to successfully untangle themselves. Groups of people can also be given puzzles or scrambled directions that they must work together to decipher and organize. Problem-solving activities can also be in game form. Devising a strategy to win a game and implementing it requires trust of other members. Group tug-of-war and relay races requiring multiple teammates work well to encourage problem-solving.