Do you want to know some activities that take place during the forming stage of team building? The first stage of Bruce Tuckman’s Team development model is known as Forming. As a business leader, you shouldn’t neglect this stage. The reason is this stage sets the foundation for the overall success of a group.
In this article, let’s look at the forming stage as well as 10 team building activities that you can try during this stage.
What’s Forming Stage?
In this stage, although the team is formed, its members haven’t fully adopted the team’s attributes. In other words, the individuals belong to a group physically, but not mentally. The reason is the members didn’t either know or connect with each other yet. So, they would be trying to know more about their colleagues such as attitudes, behavior, etc. After this stage, the next stages that will follow are storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.
What Should Teams Accomplish During the Forming Stage?
At the end of the forming stage and just before the beginning of the next stage (storming), the teams should complete several tasks. Basically, there are three main tasks or goals a team should accomplish during this stage. They are:
Task 1: Connecting with each other on a personal level
The first task the teams must accomplish is their members connect with each other on a personal level. Remember, your employees wouldn’t be comfortable in a group unless they know their colleagues well. So, as a business leader, ask yourself these questions.
- Do all the members know each other well?
- What are the similarities and differences among the members?
- Are there any issues among members with trusting each other?
When you have a totally new team or some members are new to an existing group, things won’t be easy. To work as a group, employees must trust each other. To trust each other, they must know each other.
Task 2: Adopting the characteristics of a team
The second task the teams must accomplish is their members adopt the characteristics of a team. For this, ask yourself these questions.
- What’s the core purpose of the team?
- Are the members working towards their own goals or team goals?
- Are all the members aligned to the common goal of the group?
Every team should have a purpose and its members should be clear about that. Moreover, they should have shared goals and values, not just individual objectives.
Task 3: Figuring out how to work together as a group
The third task the teams must accomplish is to figure out how their members work together as a group. For this, ask yourself these questions.
- How to best utilize someone’s strength?
- How to overcome the weaknesses that hinder the team’s progress?
- Can the members cooperate with each other?
The members must know how they will collaborate in order to meet the team’s goals.
10 Forming Stage Activities for Successful Team Building
To accomplish the above three tasks, you can try some activities that help your teams to get to know each other well and strengthen their bonds. So, icebreakers and bonding activities work well here.
Here are 10 team building activities that you can try.
#1. Candy Stories
You can conduct this activity in different ways. One of the common ways is to give candies of different colors to the participants. Then, depending on the color of the candy they receive, ask them to share a story on the topic as given below.
Green: A proud moment in life
Red: A sad moment in life
Blue: A person you admire and why
Yellow: A funny moment in life
Orange: A moment in life that you regret
There is no particular rule here; you can propose any kind of topic as you wish. Just in case you don’t have candies of different colors, affix a sticky note of instruction with each candy. Once everyone has shared their story, encourage them to eat the candy.
#2. Commonalities vs Differences
The facilitator should read a few statements one by one. At the same time, the participants should respond to each statement by raising their hands and coming forward if it applies to them.
Who is born in the month of June?
Are you the eldest child in your family?
Who are vegetarians?
Do you like cooking food?
(Note: Make sure that the statements are respectful and comfortable for them to answer.)
#3. Goal Sharing
Have each participant shares the goal that he wants to achieve in a year and the reason for that. Then, each person should write his goal on a paper piece.
Now, collect all the paper pieces, and redistribute them to the team members. Make sure that nobody gets his own paper piece.
Instruct the participants to look at the paper piece they got and identify the person with that goal. Now, encourage them to help their partner to achieve the goal.
#4. Instead of
Let the participants sit in a circle. Then, have one person talk about something he likes to do in a sentence. For example, I’d like to do X.
Now, the next person says “instead of X, I’d like to do Y. Then, another person can say like “instead of Y, I’d like to do Z.” This process repeats.
#5. Memory Wall
Provide a sheet of paper to each person. First, ask them to write their name at the top of it. Then, the facilitator should write a few topics on the flipchart.
This can be something like:
Best friend during childhood
First day at college
First day at work
Now, invite each person to pick a topic from the list that they are excited about. Then, they should write a short story about that incident in a few sentences.
Finally, everyone can share their stories with the rest of the teammates and post them on the wall.
#6. My Best Friend is
Ask the participants to form pairs. Then, give each pair some time to mingle with each other and get some personal information like favorite food, favorite dress, hobbies, etc.
Now, one person from the pair must introduce his partner to the rest of the team by saying my best friend is [Name of the partner]. His hobbies are X and Y. His favorite food is Z.
Then, switch roles and repeat the exercise.
Initially, ask the participants to close their eyes for a minute and recall the happiest moments in their life.
Now, ask them to open their eyes and assume that they have only 2 minutes left in their life. Then, each person must share which life moment they want to relive along with the reason.
#8. Personal Trivia
First, prepare a list of at least 10 personal trivia questions. These questions can be:
“What’s the meaning of your name?”
“Who’s your best friend?”
“What would you like to do the most?”
“Which internet connection do you use?”
“What cell phone do you use?”
Ask these questions to the participants and let everyone answers them.
#9. Q & A Session
Choose one person from each group to act as an interviewee. Then, the rest of the teammates can act as interviewers and ask different questions to the interviewee.
The questions can be both personal and work-related. However, make sure to avoid generic questions. Some of the questions you can try are:
For you, what’s the best age to get married?
Would you go by data and facts or your own intuition to make a decision?
What are the 3 things you value the most?
Once a person answered all the questions, pick another person, and repeat the activity.
#10. Truths and Lies
Ask each person to tell four different statements about him. However, make sure that three of the statements must be true about himself and one must be a lie.
Now, the remaining teammates must try to find which one is the lie. For this, they can ask different questions to the participant if necessary.
Want Some Unique Team Building Activities for the Forming Stage?
If you want some unique team building activities for the forming stage (and also for all other stages), you can get my new e-book:
A good forming stage sets the foundation for the success of a team. For this reason, you must not ignore the importance of this stage.
Hopefully, the above forming stage activities can develop strong connections between the employees and make them ready for the next stage. Just in case you want more insight into building and managing strong teams, you can read my newly published article: “25 Best Team Building Books for Managers and Leaders”.