Try This – To Hone your Team’s Communication and Active Listening Skills!


Me, Myself and I



  • Participants see how often their communication is centered on themselves.

Use this when:

  • Individuals need to improve their communication skills to focus less on self and more on others.
  • Individuals need to focus on listening skills.
  • Individuals need to practice creativity (around communication techniques).
  • You don’t have prep time and/or materials for anything more elaborate.

No materials are necessary for this activity

Here’s how:

  1. Have the participants pair up.
  2. One partner begins speaking for 3 minutes nonstop. He must continue talking, no pauses.
  3. He may speak about any topic or several topics.
  4. He may never use the word “I.”
  5. The listening partner may not speak at all, not even to ask questions or say “uh-huh.”
  6. After his 3 minutes, reverse roles, and repeat.

Ask these questions:

  • Which role was easier for you, the speaker or the listener? Why?
  • How did you feel listening without being able to ask questions or contribute your own thoughts? (Left out, less connected, more focused on the speaker, etc.)
  • How did you feel speaking without being able to check in with your listener? (Worried that he was not understanding or did not care, uncomfortable with the attention on me, enjoying the attention and focus, etc.)
  • How difficult or easy was it to keep talking nonstop? Why?
  • What creative ways did you find to talk about yourself without using “I?”
  • How can we phrase our communications to focus better on the other person.
  • What implications does this have for us back on the job?

Tips for success:

  • Be prepared to demonstrate a portion of a 20-minute monologue without using “I” if the group demands it. Have the group try to catch you using an “I.”
  • Give a 30-second warning before the play ends.

Try these variations:

  • Add a get-to-know-you element by having them determine who is the first speaker and listener by who is oldest, who lives furthest from your location, who has the next birthday, the cutest pet, is most physically fit, and so forth.
  • Extend the speaking time to 5 minutes to make it more difficult.
  • Add competitiveness by allowing the listeners to gain two points for each time the speaker says “I” and one point when they pause more than 5 seconds. Be prepared with small prizes for the winner(s). During the debrief, ask how the competitiveness impacted the activity.


Source: Miller, Brian. Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers. New York: AMACOM, 2004. Print.


Try This – To Energize Your Team!


Salt and Pepper

This activity is fun, excellent for energizing your team, and also great as a get-to-know-one another exercise. It doesn’t take up a lot of time and requires a few simple materials like a pen, tape, and small sheets of paper. Recommended group size can range from 6-40 people.

  1. A sheet of paper for every person.
  2. As manager, come up with pairs of things such as, salt and pepper, yin and yang, shadow and light, peanut butter and jelly, Mickey and Minnie mouse, male and female, and so forth.
  3. Separate the pairs and write only one of them per piece of paper. (Salt on one paper, pepper on a completely different paper).
  4. Tape one paper on the back of each person, making sure they can’t see it.
  5. When you say go, everyone must walk around asking yes or no questions in order to find out what word they have taped to their backs.
  6. Once they figure that out, they’ll be able to find their other pair. The two will sit down and learn three to five interesting facts about one another.
  7. Optional step: have the pairs introduce their partners and the interesting facts they learned about them.


This exercise will encourage communication and creativity among the participants. Learning how to ask the right questions will be a challenge. It will also encourage teamwork as interacting with the other team members is necessary.



Try This – To Help with Change in the Workplace



  • Participants learn to cope with rapid-paced changes.

Use this when:

  • The group is experiencing lots of change at work.
  • Individuals need to see that minor mistakes are just that: minor!

No Materials are necessary for this activity.

Here’s how:

  1. Arrange the group into a “U” formation.
  2. Have them count off down the line so everyone has a number.
  3. The first participant begins by calling anyone else’s number.
  4. Immediately that person must call someone else’s number.
  5. Play continues like this until someone hesitates or calls an incorrect number (either their own number or a number that is not in the group).
  6. That participant goes to the end of the line. She and everyone that was behind her now have a new number.
  7. Resume play.

Ask these questions:

  • How did you feel when you made a mistake? (Like a failure, I let the team down, disappointed in myself, embarrassed, etc.)
  • How did it feel to watch someone else make a mistake? (Empathy, glad it wasn’t me, angry or frustrated, disappointed, etc.)
  • What is our typical reaction when we make minor mistakes at work? (Point out that changes lead to some minor mistakes, and we should not focus on them.)
  • How did you feel as your number kept changing?
  • How did you feel watching the pressure others were experiencing, but you weren’t?
  • What implications does this have for us on the job?

 Tips for success:

  • Have the group set a pace by clapping hands to a beat.
  • Quicken the pace so everyone “fails” often and then numbers change frequently.
  • Watch to see if anyone tries deliberately to trip up those at the beginning of the line. Ask why during the debrief. Do we not like to see others remain successful?

 Try these variations:

  • When a participant makes a mistake, encourage him or her to take a bow, and have the group applaud him or her. Reinforce the concept that learning from minor mistakes is a good thing!
  • Use the alphabet instead of numbers.


Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers – Brian Cole Miller, pg. 108-109


Survey Says

Jump into an entertaining battle of wits that will motivate its participants and engage the audience!

Lights, camera, action! Welcome to Survey Says, a fast paced energetic game show program with a live TV atmosphere. Applying fun competition to drive team success, Survey Says takes its participants and audience through our very own innovative corporate version of Family Feud, while using audience response keypads spurring interaction from everyone involved at the event. With fast-paced rounds of survey questions and a “bracket” scoring system, teams will be encouraged to collaborate their collective intelligence and experience to stay sharp in high hopes of moving onto the semi-finals and eventually the “Feud Finale.” When it’s over, the natural bonding that comes with teamwork and collaboration has all of our participants winning!


Project Alzheimer’s™: Video of the Week

Alzheimer’s affects 5.6 million people and can be an unavoidable tribulation to many families. Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a way to reconnect these people with their original selves? Garnering inspiration from the movie “Alive Inside” and understanding music’s touch as a universal language, Project Alzheimer’s was born! This program captivates its participants through a unique and heartwarming experience, helping Alzheimer’s patients evoke the feelings of love and fond memories. With points earned, teams will receive iPods and an array of items, to make a blanket and a colorful gift-box.   These donations can profoundly change people’s quality of life, while costing less than most individuals’  medication. We couldn’t be prouder of that!

Igniting Team Performance

It’s fast, it’s exciting, it’s competitive…it’s Igniting Team Performance! If you are looking for opportunities to define and develop high-performing teams in your organization this signature program delivers!  We tailor the activities to match your goals and desired outcomes.  We include activities that improve brainstorming, innovation and cross sharing, which are solidified with short debriefs after each exercise to promote continuous improvement.   We’ve seen success time and time again and the feedback we receive says it all…see for yourself.

Competition to Collaboration

Best Corporate Events extraordinary program Competition to Collaboration™ offers your team the opportunity to explore several amazing aspects of corporate improvement: not only will everyone have a blast working together to excel at challenging tasks, but they will also discover the power of sharing their knowledge with each other.

So even as they’re jumping for joy and high-fiving each other (see the video below) they’re learning the true meaning of Ken Blanchard’s saying “none of us is as smart as all of us” – and they are bound to apply that improved mindset when back at work. The feedback about this program is incredible!