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13 Trust-Building Activities For Teams Worth Trying Today

Posted by Seraine Page on Mon, Apr, 25, 2022

Team-01Trust among coworkers can make all the difference between a cohesive, collaborative environment and one that's negative and toxic.

One way to build trust? With regular trust-building activities meant for teams.

Not only are trust-building activities good for morale, but they also can be a lot of fun. Plus, it’s an opportunity for camaraderie while also working on team communication skills. Try it out on a Friday afternoon to set your employees up for a relaxing mindset for the weekend.

Ready to explore some exciting trust-building activities for teams? Read on.

Trust-Building Activities for Teams of Every Size

Aside from building trust with one another, the goal of these activities is to have fun. Your employees need to let loose every once in a while and this is a perfect way to do it.

Creating a culture of trust is important because when you work daily with the same coworkers, it’s essential to trust one another to have each other’s backs. Managers must be the leaders with this by demonstrating vulnerability, admitting when they’ve done wrong, and asking for feedback to do better.

Ready to build some more trust among team members?

Let’s check out the best team-building activities in 2022!

1. Willow in the Wind

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

Similar to a trust fall, this requires a group of about 10 individuals to stand in a circle with a coworker in the middle. The volunteer in the center must close their eyes, lock their legs, and gently fall backward in any direction. The group members need to keep the coworker upright, gently holding them up and pushing them around the circle.

2. Anxiety Party

Time recommendation: 30 minutes

Everyone has anxieties, but some people are quite good at keeping them hidden. Host an “anxiety party” that allows your employees to write down their biggest anxieties. For example, someone may write down, “public speaking” while another may write “being late to work.” Have team members rank worries from most to least worrisome. Once they’ve ranked their worries, have them share the list with colleagues. This allows for different perspectives and honest communication about real-life insecurities individuals may have. It also helps workers find ways to better work together and can provide new perspectives on how to align future projects in a way that can minimize individual anxieties.

3. Back-to-Back Drawing

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Ask employees to sit in pairs and back-to-back with each other. One partner has a pen and paper and the other person a unique drawing or image. The person with the image must give directions aloud of how to recreate the picture. Change out the image and have the partners switch roles.

4. Blind Taste Test

Time recommendation: 30 minutes - 1 hour

Gather edible foods (anything from ketchup to fresh fruit) and create two teams. One person will be blindfolded and offered food for their partner to taste. They can take a guess or two before getting some help from their non-blindfolded partner to describe the food — without using the food’s name.

Note: It’s important to ask about food allergies ahead of time before conducting this activity. That in and of itself is a trust builder!

5. Operation Navigation 

Time recommendation: 20 minutes

This can be played inside or outside. Place numerous objects (like balls, cones, books, etc.) around a room or open field and have employees partner up. One partner will be blindfolded while the other stands behind them and directs them around the objects as quickly as possible. If an object is touched, the partners are out. The partners who “navigate” through the objects and get to the other side without touching anything are the winners.

6. Two Truths and a Lie

Time recommendation: 15-20 minutes  

This is a quick icebreaker game that’s always a lot of fun. It’s usually best played with a smaller group, so if you need to split into teams, that’s okay. No materials are needed, making this a great option to play on the fly. Ask players to come up with two truths and a lie about themselves. Have other employees guess which statement is the lie. Keep track of scores if you want, but it’s not necessary.

7. Icebreaker Questions

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

This is a great way to kick-off a meeting or end the work week. Icebreaker questions can lead to thought-provoking responses and help team members to get to know one another on a deeper level as well.

Some questions worth exploring:

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  • What do you consider the most important project you’re working on this quarter?
  • What’s the most profound experience you’ve ever had?
  • How do you most like to be recognized or thanked for your contributions?

Ahead of the meeting, you may consider sending out the questions to help introverts better prepare. Some people like to have the option to screen questions in advance.

8. Staring Contest

Time recommendation: 5 minutes

Eye contact is essential to communication. Not only does it show someone is paying attention, but it also is an indicator of respect. Have your team members partner up and try to hold each other’s gaze for 60 seconds. It can be an uncomfortable experience, but learning how to hold eye contact improves interactions and conversations, along with trust.

9. Free Time

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

Everyone has a hobby or activity they enjoy after-hours. This trust-building activity for teams is an excellent way to learn more about the people you work with daily. It’s rare people find out deep, personal information about coworkers unless pointed questions are asked. Go around a circle and have employees answer the question: “What hobby or passion project takes up most of your time when you’re not working?”

10. Someday Lists

Time recommendation: 15-30 minutes

Most people have a list of things they’d like to do “someday.” But, they just never get around to it because life is busy and full of unexpected turns. Split your team into small groups of three to four people and have them spend five to 10 minutes writing a list of activities they’ve always wanted to do.

You can even break it down by questions like:

  • What’s one thing on your bucket list you want to try next?
  • What’s one skill you have always wanted to learn?
  • Where have you always wanted to travel to?

There are plenty of questions like this to go along with, so use this as a starting point!

11. Eat Together

Time recommendation: 1-2 hours

Eating in separate cubicles doesn’t count. Science reports show that those who “break bread together” can increase people’s cooperation and trust in one another. Whether your company hosts a potluck, a catered meal at a lunch and learn, or employees take a cooking class together, just take some time to eat together.

FREE GUIDE: How to Host the Perfect Lunch & Learn 

12. Reflect Together

Time recommendation: Up to 20 minutes

Nostalgia is one of those lovely emotions that can connect you to someone quickly if they’re reflecting on the same sweet memories. It’s simple to do this with a series of questions that may “bring people back” to a favorite time, place, or person.

Some nostalgic questions to ask:

  • Who was your favorite teacher in elementary school and why?
  • Who was your role model growing up?
  • What’s the best vacation you ever took?
  • What has been the highlight(s) of your life?

You can play this as a stand-alone game or even during a break of another team-building activity you may be doing.

13. Blindfolded Putt-Putt

Time recommendation: 1-2 hours

Yep, this is just as you imagine it. Have workers partner up and take turns with being blindfolded while putting at a golf putt-putt course. This involves teamwork, trust, and communication skills, all must-have skills for a cohesive team. Get together afterward to share techniques of what worked and what didn’t while eating together over lunch. Your team is sure to get a few good laughs out of it!

Build Trust on a Regular Basis

Team members who trust one another make for a more productive working unit.

One two-year study by Google found that trust is one of the greatest indicators of a team’s performance. Trust plays a huge role in how team members work together because feeling psychologically unsafe can cause antagonistic behavior and also create emotional barriers between colleagues.

By making trust-building activities a regular part of your company’s culture, you’re less likely to get groans and actually get more excitement as a response. Your employees will look forward to their regularly scheduled time together! Whether you opt for an old-school scavenger hunt, trust falls, two truths and one lie, or another variety of team building, the reliance on one another during these events is what builds trust.

Work it into the schedule and commit to having your teams come together for more than just work. The ideas above can get you started. Let us know your favorite trust-building activities in the comments below!

Burnout Busters

Topics: Wellness at Work

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