Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Up, Up, and Away

Last week, we had another Town Hall meeting last week. Again, I was given a comic relief assignment, even though I am no longer in management. Weird.

They asked me to put together an icebreaker and a team building exercise. My thought is that people can only take so much icebreaking and teambuilding, so I tried to keep them short and sweet. At the end of these meetings, we draw tickets out of a hat and hand out prizes, like $20 gift cards for local restaurants and such.

Ice Breaker
Each table will have a sealed envelope with instructions and a simple map of the world with Capital City marked. There will also be a ruler. (OPTIONAL: Managers will disperse to the other tables for this part of the exercise.) VP will make his way to the center of the room.
  1. Start with the person at the table who is closest to VP at that point.
  2. Tell everyone the name of the town where you were born. Mark it on the map.
  3. Next, tell everyone the place where you took your most recent vacation. Mark it on the map.
  4. Tell an interesting fact about either 2 or 3.
  5. The person to the left of the speaker now repeats steps 2 through 5 until the last person has gone.
  6. The facilitator will now ask the participants to find the dot on the map that is farthest away from the Capital City dot. Because of the way maps work, it may not actually be completely accurate. Measure to the nearest eighth inch.
  7. Quickly gather the numbers from each table.
  8. The table with the longest line segment wins an extra drawing ticket for each person.

Team Building Exercise
Put 12 long (uninflated) balloons on each table. Attendees have 10 minutes to build the tallest freestanding structure they can. The table with the tallest structure gets an extra ticket per person.
Objective: create a team, identify roles quickly, work together toward a goal.
Benefits: “Tallest” is easy to measure.
Drawbacks: Some people may not like balloons.

As it turns out, those long balloons are REALLY hard to blow up. Next time you see one of those people who makes balloon animals, give him or her a little credit. Or cash.

Also, my ulterior motive for the ice breaker was to make some of the people who were born outside of the USA into minor heroes for helping their tables win. I've noticed that language and culture differences sometimes create cliques that this exercise was supposed to break down, just a little.

So far, we've had a lot of people say they liked it, and a few that didn't care for the balloons.

1 comment:

GirlyWarrior said...

balloons. I had a little stint as a clown (don't laugh) and I am the bomb at balloon animals and hats and all kinds of stuff.