Speed Dating At Work – Team Building Exercise

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Photo: AdobeStock/Vista Photo

I get asked all the time for team building exercises. And as most of us know, many are quite lackluster or even worse, uber lame. (Though know your team will bond over the lameness of the exercise… “Remember when they made us carve pumpkins in the shape of our logo?”)

So here’s one that is surprisingly successful. Speed dating at work. Except, of course, the intention is not to date – but to learn.

First decide what you want your team members to learn from one another:

  • What’s the one thing I could do to be a better co-worker?
  • I’m having this work challenge, what would you do?
  • What’s your best lesson learned/best practice around X (time management, customer service)?
  • What’s the one thing you think you/we/I could do to improve our team/department/organization?
  • What’s your biggest workplace challenge and how could the team help?

Logistics:

  • Set up 16 chairs (for 16 people) with 8 chairs facing 8 chairs – it’s up to you if you want a table between them. (You can do this same setup with fewer or more people.)
  • In addition, you need one person to be the facilitator/timer.
  • Have one row stay seated while the other row moves every 7 minutes (use a timer).
  • Set the ground rule of no conversation hoggers or hiders.
  • Half way through each round yell, “halftime!”
  • And then yell “switch!” when it’s time for the moving row to move down a seat.

And here’s the kicker, in this scenario 7 people will not have had a chance to talk to one another (the people in their own row).  And they will be curious to know each others’ thoughts as well. So the conversation will continue well beyond the exercise. In essence, you leave them wanting to know more from and about one another – aka real deal teambuilding!!

PS Grab your copy of Culture Works for more great ideas like this one. Also available on Amazon.

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Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert.  Boesch is also the author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace and developer of the Choose People 360° Culture Audit. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.

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Kris Boesch
Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.Check out Kris's book "Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace" at https://www.CultureWorksBook.com, for more fabulous leadership tips and tools.Learn more about Kris's company at https://www.ChoosePeople.com or book Kris to speak at your next event at https://www.KrisBoesch.com!