Extraordinary Team Blog

Team Building Activity: Team Openers

Posted by Kristin Arnold on November 28, 2017

This activity encourages team members to come together and “form” faster and to allow team members to “open up.” It works with any size group and requires about 5 to 10 minutes.
Meet in a space large enough for each team member to see and hear each other and have a good, well-thought-out question.

When teams are first forming, ask each team member to complete one of the following statements. Assure team members that they can pass if they want, as well as ask questions for clarity (not to challenge):

  • The purpose of this team is to…
  • From this team experience, I want to gain/get…
  • To help this team succeed, I bring these strengths to the team:…
  • One thing that makes me a good team player is…
  • I am most proud of…
  • My most significant accomplishment is…
  • My main concern about being on this team is…
  • The expertise I bring to this team is…
  • The one thing that frustrates me the most about working in teams is…
  • In order to achieve our goal, I think the potential hurdles we may face are…

Capture the answers on an easel chart.

Debrief and Summarize
When all have had an opportunity to share, debrief the lists:

  • Are there any common themes?
  • How does this affect our team’s work?
  • Is there some action we need to take?

Variations
Once the team has formed, you may want to branch out into other types of “fill-in-the-blank” statements and questions that allow team members to get to know each other better:

  • What’s your favorite sports team and why?
  • What’s your favorite vacation spot and why?
  • What’s your favorite book and why?
  • What’s your favorite movie and why?
  • Who made the biggest impact on you as you were growing up?
  • Tell us about your first job and something you learned there that is still useful today.
  • Describe a “great day” in your life (i.e., a memorable day from any stage of your life that you remember as one of the great days).

If you like this activity, check out my book, Team Energizers, for 49 other team activities!

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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