12 tactics to control team exercises during a training course – part 1

team building exercise

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Haven’t you ever been in a situation when tensions in the groups ended up changing the course of an exercise? It is important to define the team activity scope and objective, therefore establishing your type of facilitation during the course of the exercise. After determining the purpose and outcome of the training activity you may use the following tactics to lead the exercise in the desired direction:

1. In order to have a strong structure

Begin by explaining the rules of the exercise in detail. Put accent on the fact that it is imperative to follow the rules of the activity. Provide each participant with a printed copy of the rules. During the course of the exercise remind the participants frequently of the rules.

2. In order to have a looser structure

Acknowledge the fact that confusion may appear during the activity. Explain that the rules may be seen as merely guidelines and they do not necessarily have to stick to them. Do not present all the rules at once. Introduce the rules only and when they are necessary.

3. In order to have a faster pace

Start the exercise promptly and keep it moving fast. Set and implement time limits during the course of the activity.

4. In order to have a slower pace

Set and implement as fewer time limits as possible. If a team or person finishes the activity before the rest of the audience, insist that they revise their work. You may present a quality-check rule that reprimands participants and teams for superficial and sloppy work.

5. In order to increase competition

Establish a scoring system in order to recognize and reward efficiency and performance. During the exercise present the result of certain teams or persons. Appraise and reward the winning group with a significant prize.

6. In order to increase cooperation

Try reducing conflict among participants and teams by increasing tension and conflict between teams and external factors (for example: time limits). Create and implement a multiple criteria winner selection. You may appraise and reward teams for quality, speed, creativity and many more factors.

Cultural integration

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