Surviving Team Building Exercises


Nothing elevates an introvert’s blood pressure more than a good team building exercise. It’s like a Bataan Death March with fewer bathroom breaks. It’s also your employer’s way of saying “Total mismanagement of our company has failed to raise profits; how about trust exercises at a Holiday Inn.”

Look on the bright side. Your colleagues know you as that sullen woman who never talks to anyone and hasn’t made eye contact in a meeting since 1993. What better way to show your cubicle mates there’s more to you than the back of your head?

Still not convinced? Who can blame you? But if you don’t attend it might affect the bonus your company has been vaguely promising for years.

It’s not going to be easy. There will be times you think you can’t go on. But you’re a trooper, granted an introverted trooper.

Here are some Team Building Survival tips. They can make the difference between a horrifying experience and a merely traumatic episode easily managed with generous doses of psychotropic drugs.

  • Team Building Exercises frequently begin with each participant telling everyone something interesting about themselves. This is a trap. Do you really want HR to know you enjoy collecting stamps in the nude? Simply state: “If I told you I’d have to kill every one of you.”
  • When instructed to break into teams, declare you’re a free agent and go out for a cup of coffee.
  • Politely decline involvement in all games by announcing you are a conscientious objector.
  • After the first exercise, enthusiastically yelp, “I’m jazzed. Let’s rob a bank.”
  • Before the Trust game, offer to clean the room of hidden listening devices.
  • Pace yourself. Take quick 8-hour bathroom breaks.
  • Every time the spotlight of attention is pointed at you, nervously roll two steel ball bearings in your hand and mumble something about “a traitor in our midst.”
  • In every problem solving situation, say “I know a guy who can make that go away for $500, no questions asked.”
  • Keep insisting there is an “I” in “Team.”
  • When all else fails, revert to the fetal position.

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