10+ leadership Games to Play as a Team Building Activity at Work

When the going gets tough, the tough need to play some games. These ideas for leadership games are perfect for team building and strengthening morale.

If you think leadership is all about striding around your office and throwing orders at underlings, think again. You’d be surprised to know that games are an essential element of creating a positive work environment and fostering leadership development among employees. 

Many of these game activities are designed to invoke people’s creativity and come up with new solutions to a problem. Communal creativity is important in business because it helps people think of new ways to solve problems together and acts as an icebreaker for team building.

Leadership Games and Activities for teams in 2022

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1. The Round Table

Set up four tables with various complex tasks. Each task should have distinct steps that the teams should be in charge of carrying out. 

Split the group into teams and appoint a leader, who is supposed to delegate and communicate, but not participate in those tasks. 

This activity necessitates the formation of teams, each with a leader. 

Each group completes all the tasks one by one. The team's goal is to get to as many tables as possible in as little time as possible. Record how long it takes for all teams to complete the task in every single table.  

Round Tables help improve leadership and delegation abilities. This requires problem-solving abilities as well as time management skills. 

2. Skyscraper

This is a pretty straight forward game. As the name suggests teams have to build a skyscraper.

Common household items are required for this activity, including tapes, cutlery, newspaper, toothpicks, uncooked pasta and a bag of marshmallows to top it off with. To make this activity more interesting, you can add your own unique items. Groups are divided into two teams, depending on the supplies.

The challenge is to build the tallest tower possible within some time using only the items given to you. The skyscraper must be self-supporting and must hold a marshmallow at the very top of the construction. The team with the tallest skyscraper wins. 

3. Untangle

Untangle might seem like a simple game, but it is quite complicated and requires true team effort to play. 

A group is made to stand in a circle and you have to hold hands with any person in the circle, except the ones standing on either side of you. Each person should hold another person’s right hand with their right hand (similarly for the left hand). Once all the hands are clasped together, the challenge is to untangle and stand in a circle without breaking the connection.  

4. Escape Room

Escape rooms are usually difficult to execute, but with virtual activities gaining popularity in a workplace, virtual escape rooms have proven to be a very interesting team building activities. 

Escape rooms, virtual or otherwise, involve a bunch of people in an independent room where the aim is to solve puzzles through clues placed in the room and ultimately escape. The task is typically a tough puzzle that will encourage everyone's participation. You can divide your team into groups with a designated leader that will lead the team to solve the challenges together.

5. Improv Night

Improv is a fun and creative way of leadership building. It forces you to think on your feet and exercise all of your creativity muscles. Improv nights help people build confidence, clarity and letting their guard down, if executed well. 

The conventional way of doing improv nights is to split the groups into teams and give them idiosyncratic funny situations, e.g.: confront your colleague that finishes all the office snacks, nurse a patient who is afraid of needles, etc.

 6. Magic Carpet 

The task isn’t to make the carpet fly, but it is just as difficult. A run is placed on the floor and team members are made to stand within its boundaries. The task is to flip the rug without anyone stepping out of the boundary, seems easy? Do try this activity out.

7. What If?

What If is a great way to come up with solutions to problems and hearing everyone’s perspective along the way. It is a great game to identify future leaders and critical thinkers. People are given a general workplace issue and asked to come up with radical and unique solutions along the lines of ‘What if?’ within a few minutes. In the end everyone has to read aloud their answers and work towards the most apt solution. 

8. Drawing Reveal

The whole team is split into groups of 2 - a director and an illustrator. The director is shown a picture and has to describe the picture to the illustrator without revealing what it exactly is. There are a few obvious giveaway words that the director can’t use to describe the picture. 

Once the step-by-step instructions are given, the illustrator has to finish the drawing and the end result is compared with the actual picture. 

9. Trust battery

Trust battery isn’t a one time activity as much as it is a consistent metric to gauge your relationship with your colleagues. This concept was put forward by the CEO of Shopify. For example, when a new colleague joins your company, the trust battery between two employees may start out at around 50%. Each time the new colleague acts in a way that earns your trust, that level increases, and if they let you down the trust battery level goes down.

10. Plane Crush

This is a scenario-based game and can be modified according to the participants. Generally, the game is played with groups of 5 to 7, who have “survived a plane crash” on an island or cold desert, etc. The task is to pick a certain number of items from the office and justify how it’ll help them survive this situation. The team that works together to convince the moderator, wins. 

Conclusion

No matter which leadership style fits in with the rest of the team, there are some tried and tested games that can be used to help everyone work together better and improve their leadership skills. These games will likely encourage different types of interactions, but it is important for everyone to respect each other and for everyone to be willing to take part so that it can truly be a team building activity. While some  games mentioned are obviously more suited for bigger teams, all games can help build a coordinated effort and recognize employees across departments.

FAQs


1. What are examples of leadership activities?

For certain professions, there will be a case where an employee can exercise leadership skills even when they are not in a formal leadership position. This is not the same thing as being a manager, but it does mean actively taking initiative and ownership. Some examples of leadership activities apart from the ones mentioned in the article are:

1. Survival activities like ship wreck

2. A series of What if? Questionnaires

3. Sports

4. Volunteering 

2. What is a leadership exercise?

Leadership exercise is designed to help those with leadership positions to understand their role as a leader and how they can work as a team with their subordinates. In a typical leadership exercise, participants are divided into teams and each team is assigned a "leader." The leader then has to explain the goal of the task.

These exercises often take the form of simulations that force participants to take on difficult decisions with incomplete information. It is important for an individual to participate in these types of exercises because they provide an opportunity to assess one's decision-making skills and lead others through challenging situations.

3. What are the core leadership skills?

Most people find the idea of leading others intimidating. They worry about whether they’re in a position to lead other people, and feel as though they don’t have the work experience to back it up. In reality, there’s no such thing as being born with natural leadership skills. Yet having the right attitude, mindset and skill set can help you fulfill your leadership potential.

To begin building your core leadership skills, familiarize yourself with all the basic skills. Then you can practice them solving real-world problems every day at work. This can help you ensure that you are always making positive contributions to your organization, as well as keeping your skills sharp and ready to use in more advanced capacities if needed Some of the fundamental skills that make up leadership are:

1. Communication: Ability to write lucidly and the ability to speak articulately to communicate ideas, tasks  and motivate all the stakeholders involved.

2. Task master: Ability to execute, implement ideas and get things done within the set deadlines. 

3. Adaptability: Ability to take decisions during the face of uncertainty

4. Creativity: Creativity is the cornerstone of problem-solving and innovation and a leader who can’t navigate through hurdles can’t lead a team effectively.

5. Empathy: A modern day effective leader should be able to step in others’ shoes and think, otherwise they will fail to grasp the inner working of not just their own teams, but also other stakeholders. 

4. How do you make leadership fun?

To make leadership a fun experience, you must take advantage of things that we, as human beings love to do. We love to learn, we love some friendly competition, and everyone loves to play! Leadership is more than just managing people - it can be engaging and creative as well. Try leading a rally cry in your next meeting or getting your team together for a "team bonding event."

Your employees will feel appreciated and they will work harder because they know that they are important to you. Take the time to build personal relationships with your employees and use your strengths when leading them to make the job enjoyable for everyone.

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