50 Customer Service Training Activities for Live Chat and Telephone Teams

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Activity 26

Marshmallow Challenge

This design challenge was made famous by Peter Skillman at a conference in 2007, and even has a Ted Talk discussing its benefits.

This activity works brilliantly in conjunction with Belbin’s team roles, to illustrate the different roles in action.

To start, divide people into groups of 3 to 6, and give them the supplies listed above. Then give them 18 minutes to build the tallest, free-standing tower.

Once done, ask the groups some questions to draw out how they worked together to complete the activity:

  • Was there much planning done, and what did that look like?
  • Who took the lead?
  • Who contributed ideas?
  • Did anyone have any ideas they wished they’d contributed but didn’t? Why is that?
  • Was communication effective?
  • What parallels can we draw to our workplace interactions?

Don’t forget to take pictures of the resulting towers—you’ll be inspired by the creativity!