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The Importance of Puzzle Activity Team-Building Exercises

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier, studioD

Puzzle team-building exercises encourage team focus and create group synergy. When individuals work together to solve a problem, their commitment to the group deepens. Puzzle team builders provide an opportunity to practice problem solving in a nonthreatening way. They reinforce that working together is fun. Group members who enjoy one another eagerly tackle new projects and become more productive in the process.

Solving Problems

When a group works together on a puzzle activity, they learn new ways to solve problems. Puzzle team builders are used to both physically and mentally engage team members. For example, if a team has to build a structure in a limited amount of time with only paper and paper clips, participants are compelled to use problem-solving skills to accomplish the task. They have to be resourceful with limited resources. This can be applied to real-world situations related to the group’s purpose.

Talents And Skills

Engaging in a puzzle team builder showcases the strengths and weaknesses of each group member. When group members veer from their usual roles and participate in a puzzle team builder, the experience often reveals new ideas and ways of thinking. A puzzle team builder requires analytical skills, creativity and ingenuity. Team members observe one another and learn new things in the process. A team becomes stronger from this insight when they apply it to the context of their work.


Puzzle team building exercises inspire groups to work together to formulate a plan. The opportunity to solve a puzzle as a team encourages the members to bond together and become excited about their accomplishment. These feelings are transferable to the everyday purpose of the group. Puzzle team builders provide a challenging goal that can be accomplished in a short period of time. The impact of a synergistic team builder like this helps a group come together and feel good about their combined talents.


Group involvement in a puzzle team activity requires participants to share ideas and settle on a solution. As the group brainstorms possibilities, each voice is critical. The group has to ensure that everyone is heard and that all ideas are considered. Without collective contribution, the solution to the puzzle might be overlooked. If a time constraint is imposed, clear and concise communication is necessary. A puzzle team activity underscores the need for strong communication skills and reminds the group that every team member is necessary.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

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