9 Executive Leadership Retreat Team Building Activities That Actually Work

It’s crucial to engage in team building activities at every level of an organization, even among the highest-ranking members. Effective communication and collaboration are paramount for executives to work cohesively toward the company’s core objectives. 

Engaging in team building activities can help executives develop their untapped potential and build strong communication skills. Such activities also empower leaders to enhance their management skills, creating a positive work environment. 

That said, let’s explore the best executive leadership team building activities and strategies.

Before Planning Team Building Activities, Learn What Your Team Wants (and Needs)

When it comes to team building for executives, it’s not just about fun activities like retreats and trust falls. It’s also about analyzing your team’s needs and desires through boardroom activities. 

Executive teams face unique challenges in their leadership styles, goals and expectations. So, if you want to plan effective activities for a highly engaged executive team, consider these factors:

  • Your organization’s objectives for the team
  • Your team’s strengths and weaknesses and the areas they need to improve
  • Team member’s preferences, capabilities and limitations
  • The time required to complete team building activities
  • Expert facilitation
  • The time necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of the team building event and how to implement the lessons beyond the sessions

Learning what your team wants and needs before planning executive leadership team building activities can make all the difference in their success.

Why Focus on Leadership Activities?

With a clear and objective strategy, you can leverage leadership activities to target specific skills and competencies in your leadership team. These activities act as a platform for senior executives to practice leadership skills in a safe space and learn from each other’s experiences without fear of criticism or judgment.

Leadership activities are a good way of encouraging participants to hone their existing skills, explore new leadership styles and embrace organizational changes. 

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9 Board Room Activities You Can Do With Your Leadership Team

While most team activities require members to step out of their office confines, you don’t always have to. There are other highly effective leadership activities that you can do in the boardroom and still make a significant impact on your team. 

Let’s explore some boardroom activities you can do with your leadership team and how they can help improve their performance.

1. DISC Assessments

DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. It’s a personality test that helps individuals understand their unique traits and which profile they fit into. This assessment allows executives to improve their communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills. Team assessment surveys are a fantastic way of understanding what your team really wants and needs.

It also fosters positive team dynamics by promoting respect and reducing conflicts among team members. Leaders can use DISC assessments to identify areas of weakness and improve their ability to delegate tasks, manage conflicts, and work collaboratively with their team. Group DISC assessments can help team members better understand each other’s profiles and work together more effectively.

2. Communication Style Workshop

Communication skills affect how leaders interact with others, be it colleagues, customers or stakeholders. 

A communication style workshop is another great team building activity that you can do in the boardroom. It will help leaders identify their communication styles and how they differ from others. This workshop also allows leaders to adapt their responses to different situations and audiences to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.

You can base your boardroom communication style workshop on models and frameworks that suit your company goals and team preferences. 

Some of the most effective frameworks to explore in a communication style workshop include:

  • Analytical, personal, functional and intuitive communication styles
  • Passive vs. aggressive communication styles
  • The “six thinking hats” technique to learn how to see things from a variety of perspectives

3. Conflict Resolution Training

In any organization, conflicts are bound to arise due to differences in opinion, perspectives and interests among leaders. To manage these conflicts, conflict resolution training is essential. 

This training equips leaders with skills and strategies to handle workplace conflicts effectively. Through conflict resolution training, leaders learn constructive communication, problem-solving, active listening and practical collaboration skills.

4. Decision-Making Course

Leaders play a crucial role in determining an organization’s direction and performance. In dynamic and unpredictable work environments, equipping your leadership team with effective decision-making skills is important. One way to achieve this is through a decision-making course, which can improve critical thinking, decision quality, consensus building, risk assessment and team alignment. 

These courses cover a range of topics, including decision-making styles, techniques, biases and models. Investing in decision-making training can help your leaders make better, more informed decisions that benefit your organization.

5. Ethical Leadership Training

Ethical leadership is essential for leaders who demonstrate trust, loyalty and credibility amongst their teams and stakeholders. This training helps leaders develop integrity, accountability and a culture of ethics in their units.

You can apply ethical leadership training through team discussions, quizzes, lectures and role-play ethical dilemma games.

6. Remote Management Workshops

Remote management workshops equip leaders with the skills and strategies for effectively leading remote or hybrid teams. These workshops provide insights, practical tools and best practices for leading successful teams in a remote work environment.

Remote management workshops should cover topics such as:

  • How your executives can build a strong company culture when working remotely
  • Common challenges of remote teams and the solutions
  • How to communicate and collaborate when working remotely
  • Best practices to instill in remote working teams

You can organize remote management workshops in the boardroom through providers such as professional training platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera. You can also rely on online universities and consulting firms specializing in remote management training.

7. “Return to Roots” Program

The “Return to Roots” program is a team building activity where leaders take an in-depth look at the entry-level positions of the company. By shadowing employees at this level, they can gain valuable insight into what they go through and what challenges they may experience. 

With these insights, your executives can discuss what they learned and observed. This is a great way to facilitate cross-departmental collaborations and reinforce organizational identity, as it involves the company’s leaders coming together to brainstorm new ideas and solutions to implement. 

8. Gifts and Needs

This interactive activity raises self-awareness in the workplace. It lets participants present what they are good at as “gifts” and their areas of weakness as “needs.”

The gifts and needs team building activity can be done using simple Post-it notes and markers on a flip chart. Participants can share their “gifts” and “needs” and use the information to learn from and with each other. As a result, your leadership team can better support each other while leveraging team members’ strengths.  

9. Build a Team

This leadership exercise is designed to assist you in creating a team of leaders united in their efforts to achieve particular business objectives. The activity requires your leaders to answer the following question:

  • What can we do together as a team that we wouldn’t be able to achieve on our own?
  • How do we want people to think, talk and feel about the team?
  • How should team members behave on the team to achieve the shared purpose?
  • How will we measure the success or progress of the team?

After answering individually, leaders discuss their answers together. They should nail down their shared purpose, brand, behaviors and metrics to measure their team’s impact. Doing so will ensure they all work toward the same goal and understand what is expected of them. 

High-Quality Team Building Activities Are Possible

Elevate your executive leadership team’s skills with interactive team training and executive leadership team building activities that are simple and innovative. These exercises offer valuable insights and solutions for overcoming leadership challenges while also fostering innovation and leadership skills throughout your organization. 

With RallyBright, planning and tracking the impact of your executive leadership retreats is a breeze, ensuring you get the most out of your experience. Book a demo today to learn more.