Here is an activity that causes people to react with a competitive instinct and hear the rules the way they want to:
Hula Hoops - one for each team plus one. A bunch of soft balls and objects that would not hurt participants that are hit by them.
Place all of the balls and objects into the hoop in the center of the playing field.
Place one hoop for each sub-group that you will divide the team into equidistant from the center and each other. If there are three sub-groups, then you will have a triangle with a hoop full of balls in the center.
Divide the team and have each division go to a hoop.
"The objects in the center of the team are potential clients/sales/bonuses. The objective is for the team to get all of the objects into one hoop. You may take objects from the center hoop or from another hoop (gesture to the sub-group's hoops). In the first minute of the activity you may only touch one object. In the second minute you may only touch two objects, and on and on. I will call out when you may begin to carry more. You may not touch any other participants, you may only walk fast, there is no running allowed, and you may not throw the objects - they must remain in someone's hand or on the ground inside a hoop."
"Again, No running, No throwing, No touching, and you may get objects from anyone's hoop. GO!!!!!!"
You will want to call the object by its name for this game instead of using the word object each time, that increases their desire to have it. Be prepared for some serious competition instead of cooperation at first.
There is no rule against moving the hoops. I usually call out, "You may now carry two/three/etc. objects," every thirty to forty seconds to speed up the activity. One full minute is a long time.
Have the team circle up after all of the balls are placed into one hoop (are there holdouts?). Make sure the circle is one-person deep so that everyone may be seen and heard.
Process the activity by asking, "What happened?" and "So what did you learn from all of this?"
Point out that the activities that the team (it was always still just one team even if artificially divided) will encounter throughout the day will require that they work together, not competing against anyone but themselves to be the best team possible. That is the key to success in today's program.
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