Working Collaboratively AND Working Independently

Working Collaboratively AND Working Independently

As a busy leader we understand how hard it can be to find the time to develop your team.  This is why each month we provide you with two team-building ideas that are easy to deliver and proven to be effective.  Enjoy!

Team-Building Activity

Working Collaboratively AND Working Independently (approximately 20 minutes)

When your team can find #HealthyTension between Working Collaboratively AND Working Independently, you will experience a winning combination of productivity and effectiveness. Here is a worksheet that will allow you to see this tension more clearly:

February Graphic

Step 1 – Print out the worksheet and give a copy to each team member (click here for the file).  Read through all four of the quadrants on the worksheet.

Step 2 – Ask your team to hold up any number on their hands/fingers between 1 and 10 that shows how well (or poorly) they feel the team is managing this tension.  1 being horribly and 10 being perfectly.  Explore the numbers to hear the variety of perspectives.  Start with the lower numbers and work your way up to the higher numbers.

Step 3 – Brainstorm ways the team can leverage this tension in the season ahead.  Narrow down the list to 2 or 3 ideas and commit to trying these ideas in the month ahead.



Team Balderdash (approximately 10 minutes)

Carving out a few minutes to start your next team meeting with some fun will set a positive and safe tone for the rest of the meeting.  This will result in more participation and stronger relationships.  A new spin on the classic game Balderdash is an easy and effective way to make this happen.

Step 1 – Choose one of the following questions (or another fun question of your own).  Give each person a Post-it Note and have them privately write down their answer to this question.  Ensure they put their name on the answer.

  • What book should everyone read at some point in their lives?
  • If you got to choose a celebrity to play you in a movie of your life, who would it be?
  • If you were stranded on a deserted island with no possibility of escape, what three personal possessions would you want to have with you?
  • If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite?
  • If you had to pick a theme song for your life, what song would it be?

Step 2 – Have each person give you their response and then read each answer to the team without revealing anyone’s name.  Have team members list who they think offered each response.

Step 3 – After reading all the responses and giving team members a chance to guess who offered each one, go through the responses again but this time reveal who each person was.  Have team members score themselves on how many they got right.  Award some fun, inexpensive prize to the person who got the most answers correct.


Tim Arnold is passionate about helping people understand the chronic issues that limit leadership and teamwork, so they can thrive.  He is the author of The Power of Healthy Tension and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can overcome chronic issues and conflicting values.

Tim Arnold

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