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Team Member Differences

In a team meeting, before we got started I put a blank sheet of paper on the tables in front of my team with instructions they were not to turn them over, write on them or touch them. They found that difficult. At the end of the meeting I then gave them the same instructions with the exception that they were to pick up the paper and ball it up. I picked up a trash can and put it in the middle of the floor and told them that from where they were they were to toss the paper in the trash can. Some missed, under threw, over threw or didn't get close. They laughed at each ones try. The purpose was to show them that we all have differences and ways of getting to where we need to be but in the end we will all end in the same direction. This created a lot of laughter, conversation amongest themselves (allowing those who never talk to anyone to open up to them) at the end of the meeting and it carried on long after. They seemed to have enjoyed it.


Very creative and effective! I will certainly give this a try.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I really like this exercise. This is a great way to show diversity among the team! I am going to use this!

This sounds very interesting. It would be fun to see this happen during one of my team's meetings as we are made up of many diverse individuals. We have done similar types of "games" during team meetings and it is always very interesting to see the results and it is quite fun and does seem to ease a little tension and help some of the intraverts to open up.


I agree that using games is a great way for introverts to participate and are wonderful as ice-breakers. Keep in mind however that certain cultures are very uncomfortable with physical contact or elements of the activity that could be considered disrespectful. Always be mindful of the cultural differences of your team and never force participation.

Dr. Jamie Morley


Several others have decided that they are going to use this idea as well. Once you try it, let us know how it works for your team.

Dr. Jamie Morley

Very interesting way to make workers to interact with each others to created a better ambiance to communicate with each other and have fun before business.

Fun is a key learning vehicle and is often neglected or rejected in adult learning. Games not only help learning but helps to reinforce concepts and provides practical experience.

Ron Obstfeld

I will try the paper game technique for as a ice break for my next staff meeting. In the past, I started the meeting with a scenerio and asked my team member to respond . This techinque encourage small group discuss and a opportunity to share resolution ideas.


Great! You might also want to leverage your teams experience and ask them to present icebreakers at your meetings.

Ron Obstfeld

Yes, I have used icebreakers to great effect in the past and their usefullness cannot be understated.

In line with the theme of icebreakers and/or using humor or humerous activities, I whole heartedly agree with that technique. I used to lead a staff(team) of department heads at a major multinational educational institution. My team of dept. heads came from several different countries and therefore different backgrounds. Using an icebreaker to "loosen" them up was productive. Using humor is as well. But one has to be careful not to offend. One nation's idea of humor might be completely different than another's.

Great comment Mark. Thanks for sharing.

Ron Obstfeld

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