The 4 Types of Team Building


The abundance of team building options can make it very difficult to decide which activity will be the most beneficial for your team. Today we will simplify the process as we break down the four types of team building and provide a few examples of each. Ready to jump-start the planning process? Sit back, read along, and see what is the best fit for your team!

  1. Activity-Based

Activity- based team building allows your team to bond as they work together to achieve a common goal. This type of team building is often designed to take your team out of their normal comfort zone to explore various environments and challenges. Activity-based team building can be very rewarding as teams learn to work together and trust one another. This type of team building can be broken down into two sub-categories.

  • Physical Activities – Physical activities get your team out of their everyday environment and simultaneously get them up and moving. If you have an active group and you would like to bring out their competitive side, a physical activity is a perfect fit. Common physical activity options include sporting games such as dodgeball, kickball, softball, bowling, golf, laser tag, canoeing, go kart races, trampoline parks, and scavenger hunts.

*Tip- Be sure to keep the activity inclusive so everyone can participate.  If you have a group that has any team members with limited physical ability, you will want to consider this when choosing your activity. This may result in choosing a less physically taxing activity or moving along to one of the other three types of team building.

  • Intellectual Activities – Challenge your team to think strategically and work together towards a common goal with an intellectual activity. Opposed to focusing on physical ability, intellectual or problem-solving activities focus on the thought processes of your team. Most problem-solving activities are designed to bring a team’s working dynamics to life. In turn, teams can acknowledge strengths and weaknesses to work on as they move forward. Escape the room challenges, board game tournaments, brain teasers, and puzzles are just a few examples of intellectual activities.
  1. Skill-Based

Would you like to improve a specific skill within your team? Then skill-based team building is a perfect place to start. This type of team building is tied directly to your team’s performance and is meant to teach your team a skill that they can immediately implement into their everyday lives. Sales, leadership, negotiation, and conflict management training are all examples of skill-based team building. Another example is personality based training. This unique training can teach your team about themselves as individuals and about their colleagues as they learn to use one personality styles to work more effectively together.

*Tip- Skills-based team building can require more planning and financial resources than others. You often will need to find a skilled facilitator to conduct the training. Be sure you allow the time and resources needed to make the most of your team’ s time.

  1. Value-Based

Tie your next team building activity into your organizations’ corporate social responsibility initiatives through value-based team building. Team members bond over the memorable experience of giving back to those in need.  This type of team building is philanthropic in nature and provides your team with a memorable experience. Your team will leave with a sense of achievement and an understanding that they can work together to do something great. Spend time cooking a meal at a local shelter, run a toy or food drive and drop the donation off together, or build and donate bicycles to your local youth organization!

  1. Team Bonding

In the today’s busy world, you can often find team members who just want the opportunity to relax (especially after a busy time or stressful project). Social networking gives teams the opportunity to relax and helps colleagues build stronger working relationships. Allow your team to get to know each other more personally by giving them a team bonding experience. These types of team building activities are often just for fun and do not develop a specific skill. Take the team to a great restaurant or local pub to enjoy music and drinks. Looking to offer an activity along with your team bonding experience? Karaoke is a frequent team bonding experience that will help you uncover the hidden talent among your team.

Now that you have read about the four types of team building, we hope that you can identify which type will be the best fit for your next activity. If you are looking for additional activity-based team building, check out our Activity Book 3 for 30 examples of easy to facilitate activities.


  • Great article! These team building & group activities helped me to know what type of activities I should prepare. I need to consider the strength & weaknesses of my team members and make sure that the activities we’ll do will improve themselves.

  • Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I started my online business for a while now and realize that it is important to have team building activities. Even though our team members are located in different places, to have team building activities will certainly build strong team.

    I particularly like your description on Team Bonding. I agree with you that in the today’s busy world, team members need to have opportunity to relax. Social networking not only give teams the opportunity to relax, but also help colleagues to build stronger relationships.

    Karaoke is a nice idea to build team bonding. In the same time it is possible to discover the hidden talent among our team.

  • This is very good and I’m happy to learn about how to build my own team from the ground up because I understand that it is not easy to bring a group of people together to start something but this is something good and I am happy to learn about this whole team building skills. Thank you very much for this information.

  • Well, team building is an activity or a process that spans for a longer period of time.  It is also important to be structured and administered with proper care towards taking one step at a time to ensure success. The activities listed here are spot on and I think one of the most difficult phase is the team bonding. 

    • Team Building is something that should be ongoing – like physical exercise.  It’s not something we do once and check off our bucket list it’s something we do regularly and vary to maintain and strengthen our team relationships to ultimately create and maintain a stronger team.

  • Thank you for sharing this informative life altering information on team building.   You are right on with your opening statement about having so many options for team building can make it hard to decide which to implement.  The various team building topics listed here such as activity based which includes physical activity and skill-based which involves improving on a specific skill are all needed in the workplace.  I recently retired from an organization that could really benefit from these practices.  I will share this with them.  Thank you.

  • I appreciate how well you have expressed your observations in this article. You have obviously done a lot of work on this. Your writing style makes this interesting.

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