Team Building Exercises with Different Personality Types


There are many team building exercises – and they are all very productive and well received by employees because they are fun. These sessions highlight personality styles and through their awareness and acknowledgment of them, encourage and show how employees interact with one another.

Most importantly, the exercises, which range from being stranded in a jungle with a broken helicopter to supplying goods in crucial time to a valued customer in bad weather, increase harmony and productivity within a group effort or within an office department. They bring to light how co-workers work independently and as a team in an office. An employee’s personality style usually projects how he or she will react to a problem or handle difficult situations according to how they, as an individual, react to it.

In the helicopter scenario, props and supplies are provided and the team is set forth to fix the helicopter with the props and decide who is going to do what. They have a time limit and dire consequences if they don’t get out of the jungle on time. Inherent work personalities emerge in performing the tasks, and are later discussed by the team. It is a soft and effective way for same level professionals to point out what they and others could have done to save their lives! And by doing so, point out styles in their co-workers habits that inhibit team players.

The manager or supervisor is not present for these exercises; but is brought in a later date for interface in other exercises — and sometimes it is the manager who is the problem employee! The HR person does not get involved in the training except to answer questions of what can or cannot be done. Even when the simplest solution is the best way and the team makes it very complicated, the HR rep lets the group solve the problem by themselves.

Many work relationships have conflicts when personality styles are involved. In fact, it is the largest work problem. Drivers take charge right away. They will have a solution and be focused on how to fix it without anyone helping them or seeking additional solutions. Amiables might try to make everyone happy and neutralize emerging solutions to a problem. Analyticals may quietly try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it without sharing their analysis. They usually won’t project their solution until they are certain it will fix the problem. And Expressives may wring their hands and point out worst case scenarios along with projected reasons why they can’t fix the problem or conversely express excited solutions without thinking the problem through.

All these personality types make up whom we work with. Recognizing their characteristics and working with them to work as a team, and not focus on a personality style, will make a team or office workplace more cohesive and structured. Production increases when everyone feels they are working and pulling as a team.

Team building helps bring out latent personality styles in employees. Working on a make-believe project can propel co-workers to verbalize how these traits help in their virtual work environment. When team members become aware of their personality style in their everyday working situations, it can aid them in harnessing the parts of their personalities that can be a hindrance to their co-workers as well as becoming aware of how a different approach to solving problems can increase productivity, decrease personality conflicts and help them grow as a more valuable contributor of the ‘team’.

At these team building seminars, the employees learn how to deal with the different personality styles. They also learn to understand their own style and how they all relate to each in a group setting. Team building exercises can be arranged through your human resource or training departments.