"A small nonprofit organization I assist on occasion is in the midst of a communication crisis among the members of its very small (<10) staff - infighting and communication breakdowns are happening with increasing frequency. I suggested they try some team building/communication exercises to get the (highly stressed) staff members to open up and understand each other a bit better.
They asked me to try to find some resources for them online, as they don't have a budget to bring in an outside consultant or anything fancy like that. I've googled around and found a lot of garbage - do you have any tried and true resources you could share with me? Bonus points for direct links to materials like worksheets and activities. TIA!"
I'm a big believer in experiential exercises as the best way to teach appropriate team behavior. Ideally I'm able to do this by facilitating a team through a project and during the project helping them focus on their communication and conflict resolution skills. But in the absence of that kind of time or as an introduction to team building, I've had tremendous success using "The Puzzle Exercise."
The activity takes about an hour to do and works well with groups of all sizes, although it's better if the group is under 50. In it, team members participate in putting together simple puzzles, but there are several twists to what they're doing that ultimately lead them to the realization (among others) that even when we think that we're working in teams, we have a tendency to compete.
This exercise has always resulted in several "AHA!" moments for participants and some really hilarious, sometimes disturbing behavior that's great for learning. It's easy to do and the materials you need for it are minimal.
If you're interested in using it for a team-building session, I'm including a download here. If you have any questions on how to run it, let me know.