Need help getting started or want a quote? We are here to help.

Email or give us a call at 800.849.8326

Year: 2015

Minefield team building is a game designed to improve communication game. Your group of people will be divided into pairs and follow the instructions below. Each pair will be prompted to trust each other to listen carefully; this is key to succeeding!

  • Open communication provides everyone equal participation in the achievements of the business. Constructing an atmosphere of open communication is instrumental in building team morale and allows for a flow of energy, creativity and problem-solving amongst your company. It establishes an environment where all employees have a clear understanding of the companies goals and what needs to be done to accomplish these goals.
  • Collaboration in the workplace has long been revered as a sign of an effective, high-functioning team. Not very long ago, success in collaboration meant breaking down cubical and office walls and pushing for employees to work together 24/7. Although this approach worked for many employees, others felt stifled.
  • These qualities assist in reducing messy office politics and decrease workplace conflict, making for a healthier, happier workforce.


Tools Needed:

Common office items and a clear space


8-12 minutes


  1. Divide the group into pairs. One partner will be blindfolded while the other will focus on guiding their teammate from beginning to end through this dicey course without setting off any mines.
  2. Use water bottles, boxes, markers, chairs, etc. to create an obstacle course of “mines” within your clear space.
  3. The teammate guiding their partner is restricted from accessing the course and can only provide verbal instruction to assist their partner as they traverse through the obstacles.

Depending on the number of people you have and how difficult you want this activity to be, you can vary the number of pairs trying to complete the course at the same time so that pairs have to work harder to listen to each other and communicate clearly.


Tis’ the season to start brainstorming corporate holiday party ideas. These parties are more often mocked than appreciated, feared more than longed-for, but they are a steadfast ritual during the holiday season. These gatherings can be fun and festive if everyone is conscious in behaving well; letting too many people get wild could end in disaster.

Whether or not you’re a social butterfly, holiday parties are a great way to relax and get to know your coworkers on a different level. Some are newbies in the world of the company holiday party, while others are seasoned vets. Whichever describes you, attending can be rewarding and fruitful.

Hosting a party that shows your appreciation for a year of hard work without breaking the bank isn’t easy. So here are some simple yet effective ideas to try at your next office bash!

Organize a dessert swap.


Anyone who’s interested in participating can whip up some desserts and trade with others at the event!

Hold a Contest.

Orchestrate a competition for things such as most festive socks or ugliest sweater.

Coordinate a gift exchange.

There’s a myriad of creative ways to exchange gifts! Some familiar examples include Cobweb party (Victorian era game), White Elephant, Secret Santa, or a “musical chairs” gift exchange!

Give door prizes

Raffle off some prizes like gift cards, ornaments or smartphone docks. Be creative! You can also give out gifts under humorous perquisites, like “the first person to bring me a #2 pencil” or “person with the most keys.” Think outside the box, the whole reason you’re having is for fun!

Have Fun

The important thing is to have a great time. Some of these ideas will help get your holiday party rolling! This is a time for your employees to relax and enjoy. Be sure to show them your appreciation for all their hard work they put in throughout the year, and make sure everyone gets a gift!

Good communication is key at any company and an integral part of office dynamics. Not only does it create more efficiency and less frustration team members, but it is also helpful to your employees in forming stronger relationships.

These three elements are ideal for both the companies revenue and office morale. Fortunately, effective office communication is rather simple to achieve if you understand these basic principles:

  • Improving communication between colleagues and supervisors involves effort on the part of all staff members.
  • Staff members in leadership roles guide the communication practices based on how they organize the office and interact with their employees.
  • Leaders must evaluate current communication efforts and identify those areas that need the most improvement.

Try this!

Chatterbox is a simple yet effective communication skills activity your team can use anytime.

Tools needed: None.

  • Divide your group into pairs and have them spread apart.
  • Provide the pairs with a topic to chat about.
  • Each person will have a specific time (two minutes) to talk nonstop without interruption.
  • Their partner will just listen, and when the specified time is up they are given a few moments (one minute) to discuss what they heard. The duo then reverses roles. The talker becomes the listener and vice versa to perform the above task.

The Results

Following these rules and guidelines will effectively ensure each participant has a fair time to speak. The listener can only digest what the speaker is saying, while the speaker is free to talk about the subject without interruption. This is a quick and simple way to develop participants into confident speakers and attentive listeners.

A quick conflict resolution activity

We are often quick to point the finger when there are group problems. You can’t build effective teams while being surrounded by people who blame others for their failures, whether at work or at home, can leave you prone to do the same.

Interestingly, odds are the reason those people pass the buck isn’t to evade responsibility, but to protect their own self-image. The truth is a lot of time and energy is wasted on finding a guilty party!

  1. Have your group form a circle with everyone standing
  2. Start by you pointing to someone in the circle. Continue pointing!
  3. That person now points to someone else and continues pointing
  4. Keep going until everyone is pointing at someone else, and the last person then points at you!
  5. Stop pointing and shift your attention to the person you are pointing at. That person becomes your person of interest!
  6. Explain that the objective is to watch your POI very, very closely to imitate his or her every action.
  7. Now ask your group to stand perfectly still. With nobody moving unless their POI does. If your POI moves (blinks, coughs twitches etc.), he or she is to copy that exact movement and then be still again.
  8. Begin the game and play for 3-5 minutes.

When you’re finished ask these questions:

  • We were supposed to stand still, what happened? (Expect some blaming of who moved first to occur.)
  • Who knows who started the movement? (Let some accusations occur. It will become evident that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint who really started each movement.)
  • How much does it matter who started it, once it started?
  • How much energy do we put into looking for scapegoats?
  • How are we to blame for perpetuating particular mannerisms that inevitably become team norms? What examples do we have here at work?
  • What can this imply for us when we’re back on the job?

Spark your team’s creativity and resourcefulness with this fun icebreaker!

Many think that creativity is an inborn trait rather than something that can be learned and developed. This may be so, but without a conducive environment for creativity to be expressed, how can we expect to see ideas arising from employees? The performance of today’s brands is becoming increasingly dependent on its ability to be creative.

Stimulating this character trait is one of the major focuses of any company. And while there isn’t one singled out formula to accomplish these means, there are still actions an organization can take to transform its culture into one of free-thinking and innovation.



  • 5–6 minutes


  • To spark ideas, creativity, and resourcefulness


  • Small groups
  • This can be done with one group or multiple groups at the same time.

Materials needed:

  • Sheets of paper


  • Give a piece of paper to each group of five to ten participants.
  • One person at a time stands and demonstrates a use of that piece of paper


  1. The person demonstrating cannot speak
  2. Must stand while demonstrating
  3. The demonstration must be original


Participants experience a myriad of ways to use a piece of paper and translate this to the multitude of ways to solve problems, use resources, motivate a team, and so on!

Effective problem solving does take some time and attention more of the latter than the former. But less time and attention than is required by a problem not well solved. What it really takes is a willingness to slow down. A problem is like a curve in the road. Take it right and you’ll find yourself in good shape for the straightaway that follows. Take it too fast and you may not be in as good shape.

Replacing But…

The purpose of this team communication exercise is for participants to learn how easily the word “but” can interfere with constructive feedback by creating defensiveness, even when they mean well. They will also learn to replace “but” with “and.”

Use this practice when:

  • Feedback is not being received very well.
  • Individuals feel like others are not listening with open minds.
  • You don’t have prep time and/or materials for anything more elaborate.

Here’s how:

  • Have participants pair up.
  • Each participant has 30 seconds to think of something she likes about the other’s outfit and one way the outfit could be improved.
  • The first participant tells the other what she likes first, then says, “but. . .” and finishes the sentence with how it could be even better.
  • The other participant then does the same to the first participant.
  • Now have each participant repeat what she just said, replacing ”but” with “and.”

For example:

  • “I like that tie, but it would bring out your blue eyes better if it was red.”
  • “I like that tie, and it would bring out your blue eyes better if it was red.”
  • “That is a nice dress, but you would look even more professional if you had earrings, too.”
  • “That is a nice dress, and you would look even more professional if you had earrings, too.

Ask these questions:

  • How did it feel to hear “but?” (Annoying, defensive, insincere, etc.) How did it feel to hear “and?” (Helped, respected, supported, etc.)
  • What does “but” usually mean? (Disregard what you just heard, because here is the real truth.)
  • Why do we say “but” so often when giving suggestions or feedback?
  • What implications does this have for us back on the job?

Tips for success:

  • Share an example to give participants a sense of how the statements should sound.
  • Make sure all pairs have finished their “but” statements before giving the cue to make the “and” statements.
  • Point out that the word “but” usually negates everything that precedes it.

Try these variations:

  • The more personal the feedback, the better. If the group is uncomfortable giving feedback on each other’s outfits though, select something else, such as the coffee in the lunchroom, a movie they have both seen, and so forth.
  • After the meeting, ask for feedback on the meeting without the “but.” (I liked that we had an agenda, and next time I hope we can stick to it better.)
  • If the group is comfortable giving feedback to each other already, have them do it on their recent job performance rather than their outfit.
  • Add an element of fun to this activity by starting with participants making something creatively (with clay, markers, balloons, building blocks, etc.), and then give the feedback to each other about the creation rather than their outfits.


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

Cultivating characteristics of a successful team, in an office atmosphere that encourages productive, satisfactory work can be challenging for any entrepreneur.

Everyone has different ways they work and different strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard to find a suitable one-size-fits-all approach that works for everybody. It takes great leadership to build great teams. You need leaders who are not afraid to course-correct, make difficult decisions and establish standards of performance that are constantly being met – and improving at all times.

Whether in the workplace, professional sports, or your local community, team building requires a keen understanding of people and their strengths. What gets your team excited to work with others? It requires the management of egos and their constant demands for attention and recognition – not always warranted.

Developing a successful, high-performance team is both an art and a science, and the leader who can consistently accomplish this are invaluable.

Here are three essential traits for a successful team:

  1. Listener


For communication, this is the cream of the crop! Giving someone your full attention gives the speaker a sense of worth and support for their values, experiences, feelings or ideas. Powerful bonds are formed this way.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

  1. Inspirational & Motivational to Others

Be a true visionary! Don’t be focused on temporary setbacks, see the big picture. Drive for success, painting a clear picture of your goals and be able to effectively communicate them with your team.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

  1. High Integrity and Honesty


Never compromise your values by cheating. Lead by example, walk the walk of your talk. Be willing to respectfully listen, discuss and speak up, even when issues are challenging or unpopular. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” –  C.S. Lewis

Communication and active listening will never go out of style!

Here’s an excellent team icebreaker that will boost essential traits that successful companies and teams reflect!

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.


Yes, you heard me correctly. Now, playing a game in the middle of the day may sound unimportant or even counterproductive to a workday. This however couldn’t be further from the truth!

We are talking about something more important than just playing games.

The American Workplace survey showed, 70% of U.S. employees aren’t engaged at work, a statistic that has not budged much in a decade.

Make it a habit to evaluate morale in your workplace; if it’s suffering, a break for fun can lift spirits and boost success. Give your team a chance to enjoy themselves; it’ll undoubtedly create a friendlier, happier, and all-around healthier environment for everyone. You’d be surprised by how challenging it can be to keep fun a priority. In this case, practice makes perfect.

The largest strides are not needed to be taken for this to work, either. Just having small breaks or activities can work wonders and create a proud team dedicated to improving workplace culture.

Salt and Pepper

This quick icebreaker activity is fun, excellent for energizing your team and letting them get to know each other. 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



This quick team activity shows individuals how to cope with rapid-paced changes in the workplace.

Me and U

Time: 10-20 minutes

Purpose: Learn how to accept and adapt to change in the workplace and accepting the minor mistake we’ll make

Participants: 5-15 people

Materials: None

  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.


  • 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 continued to change?
  • 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.


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


Welcome to the BEST blog, a collection of team building articles, industry insights and news about our large collection of programs and events offered in locations across North America.




Contact Us

Programs can be delivered anywhere in North America.

    If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

    Phone: 800.849.8326

    Request a Quote

    Programs can be delivered anywhere in North America.

      If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

      Phone: 800.849.8326

      What is a Keynote Speaker?

      Keynote Speaker is an often-misunderstood term associated with simply a motivational speaker, breakout speaker, industry expert, etc. Most professional speakers are not actual trained Keynote Speakers, who are specialists, therefore in much lower supply, and in higher demand.

      Keynote Speakers are experienced, professional communicators who engage an audience, capturing the essence of a client’s meeting. They are able to highlight it to their audience while simultaneously delivering their own key concepts and proprietary content in an entertaining and impactful way. Most companies understand that this specialization is very much worth the time (around an hour) and the investment.

      In order to capture the perfect essence, a Keynote Speaker spends the necessary time researching a client’s industry, their issues, and their audience to craft a customized presentation into a unique and distinctive moment specifically for the client’s event.

      As a top Keynote Speaker, Tom Leu strategically uses compelling storytelling, humor, powerful visuals, audio and video clips, and audience participation elements to weave an impactful message into your event in a fun and memorable way. Tom can also pair his Keynote with Best Corporate Events programming, laying a foundation and setting a tone that best prepares participants for maximum engagement in the forthcoming team events that day.