Irrespective of who you are and what you do, you will encounter problems. Some of you might see it as a hurdle while others might treat it as an opportunity. No matter how you think about problems, it is important to hone your problem solving skills so you can overcome roadblocks in your personal and professional lives.
In this article, you will learn about ten problem solving activities that your team should actively participate in to get better at solving complex problems.
Top 10 Problem Solving Activities
Here are ten problem solving activities you should try today.
1. Build a Tower
If every member of your team is moving in different directions and don’t collaborate with other team members, this is the activity you should perform. It will foster team collaboration and cohesion.
Divide the participants into several teams and ask them to build a tower by using sticks of uncooked spaghetti, masking tape, which can stand on its own. Make the challenge more interesting by asking them to put a marshmallow on top. Keep a short time limit and see how your team collaborate to create the tallest tower.
2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Instead of giving your team a single challenge to complete, you should increase the complexity of challenge by multiplying the number of activities. Divide the participants into two teams and ask each time to complete a set of tasks. Use a task management software or pen or paper to create To-Do list and make sure that tasks are arranged in ascending order based on complexity.
Make sure the easiest task is listed on the top and the hardest task is present at the bottom of the list. The team that completes all the activities wins. For instance, you can hide multiple items on the floor, provide a list of items to the teams and ask them to go on a scavenger hunt and find each and every item. Every item that they found gives a clue and asks the participants to find the next treasure.
3. Egg Helmet
Lack of decision-making skills can paralyze your team, put the brakes on your thinking. If you want to get out of this mental block or polish your decision-making skills, then this activity is for you. All you need is an egg, some construction materials such as straws, rubber, sticks, plastic wrap, tape, etc.
Teams must choose construction materials and create a carrier which can hold an egg. Once done, ask each team to drop their carrier with an egg in it from a height and see which carrier successfully manages to protect an egg from breaking.
4. Picture Pieces Puzzle
Select a full-size picture of a well-known personality. Cut the picture into multiple square shapes. Give each piece to a team member along with a pencil, colored markers and a ruler. Now, ask them to turn the puzzle piece they have into a five-time larger image and see what they do.
5. Escape the Room
Another activity that can enhance your team collaboration is an escape. For this activity, you will need a rope, a key, a room and few clues or puzzles. Lock team members inside a room and ask them to find clues hidden in the room. Once they have found all the clues, they should find the key and escape the room. Hide the key and the list of clues in a secret location. Give your team anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for this activity.
6. Walking on a Plank
Create two teams with an equal number of members. You might need four 2×6 board for this problem-solving activity. Place two boards end to end and other two boards in parallel few feet away from the first two boards. Teams must push other boards forward while standing on one board. The real challenge is that you don’t have to get off the board you are standing on while doing so. If a team does that, they must start again. The team that successfully push the board beyond the finish line wins.
7. Reverse Pyramid
This activity helps with adaptability and collaboration. Tell team members to stand in a pyramid shape horizontally. Now, force them to flip the base and apex of the pyramid just by moving three people. It is a great activity, especially if you have many small teams competing with one another. It will clearly show which team is better at creating a reverse pyramid faster. The team that does that wins.
This activity involves spreading all the items such as chairs, water bottles, bags and boxes in an empty room in such a way that participants cannot go from one end of the room to another. Each team consists of two members. One is blindfolded while the other one is not. The person who is seeing everything should guide his blindfolded partner from one end of the room to another without touching any of the objects by giving out instructions. This activity will enhance communication and collaboration between your team members.
Don’t get scared by the name of this problem solving activity because it as interesting as other activities on this list. It can improve your decision-making skills as well as show your team how to adapt according to the different situations. To perform this activity, you will need a packet of construction material, an electric fan and a blindfold.
Create five-member teams and let them choose a leader to guide them. Every team is required to build a shelter by using construction material within half an hour. The leaders cannot help their teams physically because they have frostbite. On the other hand, team members have snow blindness. Once the 30 minutes time ends, turn on the fan to see which shelter blows away by winds and which ones are not. The team that makes a shelter which manages to stay firm despite the winds, win.
10. Human Circle
Make everyone stand in such a way that it forms a circle. Now, ask every team member to hold hands with two people who are not next to them. This will result in a tangle and it will mimic a human knot. Once all the participants are in a tangle, ask them to untangle and come back to their previous state, which is to form the circle again, but the catch is that they don’t have to let go of anyone’s hand while doing so. Such group problem-solving scenarios will help your team adapt according to situation.
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Have you tried any of the team building problem solving activities mentioned above at work? Do you have any team building ideas that people would love to know? If yes, then share them with other readers in the comments section below.