team-building exercises: a scourge upon the earth

A reader writes:

I just read this article on the worst team building exercises people have been forced to participate in. I’d love to hear yours and your readers’ experiences — I’m sure there are some doozies out there!

My personal one is that we were doing team building/diversity training run by an incredibly artsy, unusual duo who even had an artist creating “art” with magic markers on large easels based on her impressions of what we were doing. One of the exercises involved everyone being assigned a greeting from a different culture. My greeting involved kissing people on each cheek. We had to go around the room and give our greeting to absolutely everyone we came across. Needless to say, it was one of the most awkward moments in my career there, and I did my best to avoid having to kiss the president or vice president of the org.

Eeuuww. I would have walked out, seriously. I have a very low tolerance for that kind of thing.

I’d love to hear about the worst team-building exercises people have been subjected to … and on the opposite side, I’m also interested in hearing from anyone who was part of a team-building exercise that you felt was effective and why. (I am a curmudgeonly skeptic about this stuff, but I’d love to hear a different perspective.)


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