Team Building Activities: Problem Solving Methods

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Team Building Activities – Problem Solving Methods helps the team evaluate the way they manage problems in the organization and seeks ways through discussion how they can improve on it.

This exercise uses the popular conflict resolution chart that plots “concern for self” against “concern for others”. While this chart may not explain everything, but it serves as a good bridge for open discussion in a conflict situation.

Purpose:

  • To have each participant understand his/her own conflict resolution style
  • To help participants understand the team’s problem solving methods.
  • To aid the team in improving its problem solving methods.

Size of Group:

Up to a maximum of 20. The numbers are more important if you intend to make this a facilitation session where everyone gets to speak.

Materials Required:

Time Required:

1 – 1.5 hours is sufficient. But you should use the time to resolve certain conflicts or underlying issues by using this problem solving methods sheet as a bridge. If you do so, this session can take up to 3-4 hours.

Instructions:

  1. Explain the purpose of the activity and spend some time to define the five terms that are in the Problem Solving Methods Sheet. It is important to define each of the terms as well as possible because it is needed for the next part of the exercise.
  2. Once these points are defined, each participant should be given his own Problem Solving Methods Sheet.
  3. Each participant should have his own Problem Solving Methods Sheet and label a point where they believe their own conflict management style is at, whether competitive, avoidance, compromising, accommodating or collaborating.
  4. After about 15 minutes, the facilitator compiles and the sheet, counting the number of participants that chose each problem solving style. Give extra weight (3 points) to the leader or manager’s sheet because he usually has greater influence in the team.
  5. The Problem Solving style that is chosen the most is usually the team’s conflict management style as well.
  6. Ask each participant to talk about one or two incidents that reflect this Problem Solving style of the team. There should be some very interesting stories here!

Debriefing Notes:

  1. What insights have you gained from this short exercise?
  2. What improvements can be made to the problem solving methods that the team currently uses?

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