The Importance of Team Bonding

By: Celine Hsin

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”

-Henry Ford

In order to work most successfully as a team, you must know who your members are. When I first joined the contingent for our upcoming International Service Project to Malaysia and Singapore, I didn’t really know a lot of people until we started doing team bonding exercises. Team bonding is our way of planning fun activities for our members to work together in achieving a common goal. It is useful and important to do these activities because it helps outline a team’s strengths and weaknesses. Through these activities, we practiced effectively giving instructions, asking the right questions, and other skills for general problem solving. Most importantly, by working together in these small doses, we have better developed communication skills, enhanced trust, and strengthened these long-lasting friendships.

We did several team bonding activities through the year. Here are my top three favourites:

1. Blindfolded dodgeball. This is similar to the classic dodgeball game except everyone is partnered up and one partner is blindfolded. The other partner that can see guides their partner by talking only to try to get the other team out first. This activity really helped work on trust as well giving precise instructions and effective communication.

2. Zoom. In this activity, the team had to work together to piece together a picture story to form a narrative. Each person was given one picture from the story and without looking at each other’s pictures, we had to put the pictures into order through discussions. This activity brings the team together and works on team communication and problem solving.

3. Toxic waste. This is a super cool activity where the challenge is for the group to work out how to transfer the “toxic waste” from the small cup into the small bucket where it will be “neutralized”, using only the elastic bands and ropes provided. This game works on the team’s ability to problem solve given a short time frame and working together to achieve a common goal.

The team is trying to get the "waste" from the cup in the white bucket while staying out of the boundary of the circle.

The team is trying to get the “waste” from the cup in the white bucket while staying out of the boundary of the circle.

These activities gave me the opportunity to understand how my team members work, which is important when we will be undertaking several service projects in Malaysia and Singapore. These activities have also brought me closer together with the other contingent members and had enabled me feel a sense of belonging in the team. With the International Service Project in just less than a week, I am super thrilled for the adventure that we will be experiencing there together. I’m so excited for the meaningful and impactful projects that we will be doing that will hopefully make a difference in our international community.

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Cheryl Kwan

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