February 2011, Moon Ball
There is just something fun about knocking a beach ball around with other people. It is really a natural engager.
You can use that natural attraction for a simple yet powerful team building activity – Moon Ball.
Objective – the objective you give the participants is simple. Challenge them to hit the ball to other member with the goal of obtaining the maximum hits possible without the ball hitting the ground, Arrange the folks with plenty of space so that they can move without running into each other.
- If in-doors, be cautious about obstacles in the room that might be hazards, or which might be damaged in the exercise.
- If out-of-doors, select a space free of tripping hazards, etc.
Monitor the dynamics to keep it getting out-of-control, allowing people to do things that might be unsafe. (People do tend to get into this game and the sense of competition sometimes tries to take over.)
Keep tracks of the number of "hits" for each round. Encourage the team to think of ways to improve their process.
Additional challenge – insist that everyone has opportunities to strike the ball. This forces the team to consciously think about how to be inclusive of all members.
Celebrate as records are broken round-to-round.
Processing / debrief:
It is a simple activity, but important lessons can emerge. Cast the net of questions widely at first, beginning with what they actually did in the exercise:
Ask: How did you begin?
How were your results?
In what ways were you surprised with your progress?
What things seemed to help you score more?
What things made it difficult?
How did you communicate?
How did you try to make intentional improvement?
How was your sense of competition – trying to break your records?
Turn the corner to work issues.
Ask: What are areas in your real work where improvements in outcomes are important?
When do things get competitive at work?
What are your thoughts on competition at work?
When is in an asset?
When is it not?
Ask: What did it take to get everyone included?
How did you accomplish it?
When was it difficult?
Again, turn the corner to work issues.
Ask: At your work, when is it important to have the whole team engaged and involved?
How do you accomplish that?
Ask: It seemed like you enjoyed celebrating when you scored a new record. Why?
When is celebration important with work projects?
How do you do that where you work?