Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’
In an earlier post, I explained general terms how trivia may be used as a corporate team building activity. Now I would like to describe the live trivia event in further detail, in order to illustrate its value for this unique purpose.
The first step is customizing the trivia questions themselves, to tailor them specifically for the participants in attendance. The goal of customization is to make the event as relevant, meaningful and enjoyable to the group as possible- and thus more impactful. While you could certainly get by using generic trivia questions designed for a mass audience, by generating custom-made trivia you are virtually guaranteeing an event which participants will find meaningful.
The second step with these types of events is to break the larger group of attendees into smaller teams, who will be competing against each other. The breakdown of teams provides an opportunity to match up people who have little to no interaction in the office; conversely, it allows for coworkers who do work closely together to engage in a fun new environment, far unlike from their day to day teamwork and utilizing entirely different skill sets.
Once the trivia questions have been written and their groups broken down to their optimal teams, the next step is to run the event. The method I use is to pass out answer sheets and pens to each team, and to then have a host read out questions; after announcing the questions, teams are then given a moment to discuss, debate and ultimately arrive at a final answer as a team. I’ve found that this method offers the greatest opportunity for the group to practice those skills which we want to develop in a team building activity, primarily collaboration, communication and leadership.
After reading out each “round” of trivia, answer sheets are submitted for scoring. This presents an excellent opportunity for the entire group to briefly socialize, ensuring that the competition doesn’t become too serious. It’s also a good chance for teams to egg each other on in a friendly way, as well as break up the event so it stays fresh and fun.
Finally, the conclusion of the event by announcing the winning team & awarding prizes offers a chance to wrap up the skills utilized. A dramatic finish, high-stakes “showdown” finale or huge/humorous prize also ensures the event will end on a high note.
When done in this manner, live trivia naturally lends itself to positive inter-group and intra-group experiences, and offers an opportunity to practice important team building skills in a fun, challenging way.
How might a trivia event be run differently, in order to make it more effective for corporate team building?
Probably the most valid question I am asked when people learn what I do is, “how is live trivia a team building activity?” To understand the answer, let’s look at both items on their own:
According to the source of all knowledge (Wikipedia) team building is defined as “a wide range of activities…designed for improving team performance. Team building is an important factor in any environment, its focus is to specialize in bringing out the best in a team to ensure self development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to problem solve.”
When done in a certain way, live trivia events break a larger group down into smaller teams, who then compete against each other towards the goal of “winning.” When questions are asked, participants must collaborate as a team to determine a final answer, utilizing communication, leadership and time management skills in the process.
Sounds the same, doesn’t it? Employing customized trivia questions in an overall competitive environment only enhances the impact of these skills, which when delivered in a fun and enjoyable manner only enhances the positive group experience.
Having created and hosted well over 300 live trivia events, I can say with certainty that teams are never playing trivia for prizes- they simply want to win. However, there can only be one winning team in a trivia team building activity- does this present a problem if the goal of the event is to foster unity of the entire group? Not at all.
The group has just partaken in a highly energized and enjoyable group experience, which they will all remember- just because teams didn’t “win” doesn’t mean they didn’t have fun, or utilize the important team building skills that the event is designed to develop. Don’t forget: the competition may be intense, but it is entirely good-natured and friendly. Besides, having one winning team gloating in the office the next day only gets people fired up to win the next trivia event!
There are many other reasons I’ve discovered which make live trivia an ideal corporate team building activity, but I will save them for future posts. In the meantime, do you agree or disagree? If so, tell me why!