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Here is a presentation about Team Building which you might find useful involving a Jigsaw……..

Team Building – Oh what a Jigsaw

Team Building with a Jigsaw

Building a Practice Staff Team

This team building game was designed to allow a group of staff to discuss and think about being a team. What is it? How might it work? How can you get the best out of it.

The basic idea is to provide a small jigsaw with say 10 to 20 pieces to the group or groups. You might split the audience into groups of five or six. Then you can compare the results. So provide the group with a simple jigsaw and ask them to make the jigsaw and think about the structure of the jigsaw and the shape of the pieces. What are the pieces individually and what do you have when they are all joined together. Allow about 10 minutes. Then ask the group through a spokesman if necessary to list their conclusions.

You can use the ‘answers’ below as a slide or handout to provide at the end of the exercise.


What is a Jigsaw and what is a Team?

There are boundaries to a Jigsaw and also to a team. A team normally has a specific purpose or function.

Each jigsaw has pieces and each team member plays a specific role in a team.

When the jigsaw pieces are joined you have a jigsaw; when all team members are connected ‘teamwork’ should occur.

Each jigsaw piece is like each person; unique in its shape and size. Team members have their own skills, attributes, abilities, feelings, ambitions and desires and some have power!

The solution to a jigsaw puzzle is a fragile one – it can be easily broken up into pieces. A team is easily broken up and the mourning process starts.

The whole jigsaw is greater than the sum of its pieces. In other words in a team two heads are better than one!

Some jigsaw pieces are central and on the inside of the puzzle; some jigsaw pieces are peripheral and on the outside of the puzzle. Team members have different, skills, talents, abilities and competencies. They may all have a different degree of input to the team depending on their strengths and weaknesses.

There are natural groupings in the puzzle of colour, and design. The pieces with flat sides all go on the outside. Some team members hold the group together – others don’t 

When making the puzzle someone needs to select the pieces and move then around into position. Teams need to have a leader, a plan, aims and objectives.

Someone who can see the whole picture (who has an overall vision) helps a rapid solution to the puzzle. Is that person you?


Another exercise with a group or team is provide post it notes – 10 each. Ask those present to write down 5 positive things about their job and the environment they work and 5 negative things.

Then after say 10 minutes ask for the notes to be passed to you. Sort the negative and the positive into groups. Then discuss the conclusions. You might need to act on some of the things that have been raised. But make the point that the exercise is one of openness and that you are encouraging a blame free culture.

Here is a presentation about Team Building that you might also find helpful.

Team Building 2002




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