A team’s communication skills can determine the success or failure of virtually any situation in the workplace. For this reason, it is essential to work team-building communication activities into your team’s schedule proactively.
This game requires participants to pair up and form a circle. One team member will narrate a story, leaving off with an incomplete sentence. The other team member must finish the story by drawing the image strictly from their partner’s description.
As one of the more energizing team-building activities, Story Circle encourages effective communication between teammates. Ask participants to form small teams of five or ten people. Then, read them a scenario about stranded team members discovering items washing ashore after a shipwreck. The first person in the group begins narrating, stopping after an incomplete sentence like, “John was excited on his first day as a professional artist.” The next group member then continues narrating and adding to the story with a new sentence. This pattern continues until the team has told a coherent and engaging story!
Like the Elephant list, this activity helps teams resolve complex issues before they fester. It also shows that there is more than one way to examine a problem, an essential lesson for remote teams.
The classic game Twenty Questions is a great way to promote team communication and cooperation. In the basic version, one person thinks of a thing, and other players must deduce it by asking yes-or-no questions. It can take up to 20 questions before the guessers figure out what it is, but there’s a catch: the answerer can only tell them one truth for each question.
This team-building activity also helps to teach people how to listen effectively to their colleagues. This is important because effective communication involves both speaking clearly and listening well. Communication can also be nonverbal, from body language to grunts and laughter.
Divide your group into even teams to play this team-building activity, communication games and activities. Have them each write down a “thing they want others to know about them” on paper, including one truth and one lie. They should then ask their teammates to try and guess which statement is the lie. This is a fun way to expand remote team communication beyond typed emails and phone calls.
This group game can be a traditional way to break the ice with a new team or group. Depending on the size of the group, players should form a circle shoulder to shoulder and grab the hand of two other participants (each left-hand grabs a right hand, and each right hand grabs a left).
Once in the human knot, the goal is to untangle hands without letting go. This requires a lot of coordination, as players can duck and twist, squeeze through gaps in legs and elbows, and step and jump, all while trying not to touch another player.
This is a great exercise to test your team’s problem-solving skills and ability to communicate with each other in stressful situations. It’s also a great example of how important it is for remote workers to expand their communication beyond phone calls and typed messages.
A classic and often hilarious team-building activity, charades help teams communicate outside of phone calls or typed emails. It also helps build leadership skills. It can be as simple or complicated as your team would like, from a simple circle to creating a more advanced shape such as a square, and it requires strong communication and collaboration.
For this activity, participants will need a long piece of rope tied together and a blindfold for each team member (we promise it’s safe). Have the group form a circle and ask them to put their part of the rope down, remove their blindfolds, and take one step away from the circle. They will then try to re-form the shape, and while still wearing their blindfolds, they must attempt to communicate what shape they are trying to create through only their bodies.
Encourage your team to share as much information as possible, including a well-disguised falsehood. This is an easy game to adapt and will provide your team a fun and engaging way to learn more about each other.
Communication is essential to teamwork, and it can be challenging to understand how one another communicates when working remotely. Gomada recommends incorporating communication-building activities into your remote team’s regular agenda to promote strong communication skills.
There are many different forms of communication, but some of the most important ones are verbal, nonverbal, and written. Verbal communication includes speaking clearly and listening actively, while nonverbal communication involves body language and facial expressions. Written communication, including email and text messages, is also essential for remote teams.
The countdown is an excellent way to practice effective written and verbal communication with your remote team. It’s also a fun activity that will encourage your team to collaborate and work together. Have each person on your team take turns counting backward from ten, but they can’t speak simultaneously, talk over someone else, or repeat a number. The team who finishes the last number first wins. Try this exercise a few times to understand how each team member’s communication style works.