We all know those mid-week moments. Energy levels sag; team enthusiasm drops. There’s an air of restlessness and productivity stoops.
As team lead or manager, what can you do to inject some fun and laughter into these drab days? Can you turn around the situation, while getting your team members to bond with each other?
Taking the team out for coffee is a good idea. While you are out, try the ‘one object’ game to get your team members talking. The game works equally well even if you can’t leave the office floor and want a quick pep-up session in the conference room or cafeteria.
- Give your team 15 minutes to meet at a spot – the conference room, cafeteria or the lobby (in case you intend taking them out). Ask each person to bring along an object that represents him or her, preferably from their bags, desks or drawers. Remember not to give too much advance notice. The aim of the task is to let them choose an object spontaneously.
- When you reach the venue, ask them to place all the objects on a desk or a table.
- Each member needs to face the team, hold the object he or she brought, and explain why the object represents him or her.
Steer the interactions based on the general mood and reaction of your team members. You can ask follow-up questions to get each member to talk more, link responses to traits such as team play and goal setting, or just let the conversation flow.
The duration of the game depends on the number of participants and the direction in which it is steered. Keep it short if all you need is a quick energizer. Let it build into a longer team bonding session if that’s the aim.
Why play this game?
- It’s simple, easy and can be played at short notice. No fixed props or expensive tools required.
- The activity gives all members an equal chance to participate; even the quiet ones get their two minutes in the spotlight.
- It gives people those essential moments to know more about each other. A great ice breaker if there are new members in the team and a fun exercise for the familiar faces.
Add a round of applause. Encourage team members to cheer for each other. Wrap up the session with fun stories and anecdotes about the organization, its history or memorable moments. Let the team’s fun quotient soar. Let the dreariness of a routine day melt away into a memorable team bonding session.