Fun Role Plays In Business Team Building Activities

A key part of effective team building is for people to enjoy the process. Being challenged (while still feeling comfortable) and having fun are important outcomes that will have your team members asking for more team building activities.

Team building role plays offers unique opportunities for team members to communicate, learn and have fun. The idea behind team building role plays is to practice various scenarios which often occur between people in the work place.

The reason why practising to talk to other people is important is that we sometimes find communicating difficult. This is often the case in business where there is a wide range of people involved. From customers and suppliers to fellow team members, there is often a break down in communication happening daily. Effective team building role plays increase the likelihood of successful outcomes between people in the real work place situation.

Role plays can be undertaken in small teams of five people where two people play out the particular situation and the other three people observe and learn. Team members should take turns at playing roles and observing.

Each group of five people should enact a role play stemming from an issue or situation that is a common problem for the business. Role plays should address one main theme only and not try to cover several themes. It is easier that way for team members to play the roles as they can focus on one key issue or problem. They can also develop solutions to problems and try them out in the role play. Participants should also be fair to each other and make the role plays realistic. That means that players should respond appropriately to each other so that progress with issues can be achieved.

In the first round of five role plays, each group of five people should present their role plays to their own small group. Five role plays can be conducted so that all five team members per group are given an opportunity to participate and observe. In the second round, each group will be asked to demonstrate their role plays to the entire group. By gently leading into the process with performances within the small groups, the larger group audiences will not be as great a challenge for some people not used to ‘getting up in front of other people.’

Here are some suggestions for topics to use in the role plays:
Dealing with unhappy customers
Communication breakdown between team members
Motivating people who are not interested in participating
Recruiting new team members
Making difficult decisions

Every role play should aim to display the issues that are present within the situation and serve as platforms for team members to learn more about how to communicate more effectively and build better work place relationships. For example, the topic of communication breakdown may deal with the issue of mixed messages where the words spoken by a person do not match the non-verbal cues delivered by that person. The intention is for participants to find out more about the core issues causing conflict and blocking understanding, and to try out ways to overcome problems.

Role plays are a useful way to assist team members in gaining a greater understanding of work relationships.

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Andrew Dunning

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