Whether HOA board members have been working together for years, or there are a good amount of new members, it’s always a good idea to take a step away for actual work and take time for team building.  An HOA is a team of people working together for the common good of the community. Building morale, improving communication, and just getting to know each other better can only have a positive effect on the community as a whole. Here are some effective team building games to encourage a more efficient and happy board, or in any workplace!

 

Two Truths and a Lie

Time Required: 15-30 minutes

Start out by having every team member secretly write down two truths about themselves and one lie on a small piece of paper – Do not reveal to anyone what you wrote down! Once each person has completed this step, allow 10-15 minutes for open conversation – much like a cocktail party – where everyone quizzes each other on their three questions. The idea is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths/lies by asking them questions. Don’t reveal your truths or lie to anyone – even if the majority of the office already has it figured out! After the conversational period, gather in a circle and one by one repeat each one of your three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie. You can play this game competitively and award points for each lie you guess or for stumping other players on your own lie. This game helps to encourage better communication in the office, as well as it lets you get to know your coworkers better.

 

Sneak a Peek Game

Time Required: 10 minutes

This problem solving activity requires little more than a couple of sets of children’s building blocks. The instructor will build a small sculpture with some of the building blocks and hide it from the group. The participants should then be divided into small teams of four. Each team should be given enough building material so that they can duplicate the structure you’ve already created. The instructor should then place their sculpture in an area that is an equal distance from all the groups. One member from each team can come up at the same time to look at the sculpture for ten seconds and try to memorize it before returning to their team. After they return to their teams, they have twenty-five seconds to instruct their teams about how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s sculpture. After one minute of trying to recreate the sculpture, another member from each team can come up for a “sneak a peek” before returning to their team and trying to recreate the sculpture. The game should be continued in this pattern until one of the team’s successfully duplicates the original sculpture. This game will teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.

 

The Take Away Game

Time Required: 5-10 minutes

This planning game only requires 15 coins of any time, including pennies. To play, the instructor can create multiple teams of two or have on group play another, with one representative from each team participating in each game until everyone has had a turn. The set up is simple: a coin is tossed to decide who goes first. Each side may remove two coins every time they call the it (heads or tails) correctly. The winner is the person/team removing that removes the last coin. The game can be made more complex by upping the number of coins a team can take when it’s their turn or by allowing coins to be put back. With increased complexity, the activity allows the teams a strategic planning stage. The goal is to have the players realize that simpler versions of the game can easily be planned and controlled by the team/person playing first.

 

Eye Contact

Time Required: 5 minutes

This trust exercise requires no special equipment, just an even number of participants. Making eye contact is sometimes difficult for people, as it requires a certain amount of trust and respect. Some people avoid it, while others simply aren’t very good at it; they make look away often or appear awkward or uncomfortable, sometimes fidgeting with other objects. This exercise, though simple, can help coworkers become more comfortable and trusting of each other through the practicing of eye contact. For this activity, have people group into pairs and stand facing each other. The idea is to have them stare into their partner’s eyes for at least 60 seconds. Neither participant should be wearing glasses or sunglasses of any kind. There may be some giggles at first, as it can feel somewhat awkward during the first try, but as participants get the hang of it, it should become easier for them to make eye contact for prolonged amounts of time.

What team building exercises do you enjoy using within your company?