Article text

Additional Info

  • Duration Less than 30 min
  • Participants 2-5, 6-10, More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Break the ice with team members and encourage a healthy virtual working environment.

  • Procedure

    Step 1:

    • Each person must make three statements about themselves, one of which isn't true. (Example: I have two brothers, I was born in Australia, I have a motorcycle).

    Step 2:

    • Then the facilitator should invite to the people to exchange the answers.

    Step 3:

    • The group must guess, or vote on, which statement is the tale.
Published in Icebreakers

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Introduce new teams and/or team members and foster communication.

  • Procedure

    Directions
    Answers are for who you are now...... not who you were in the past. Have pen or pencil and paper ready. It's only 10 simple questions, so...... grab a pencil and paper; keep track of your letter answers. Number your paper 1 to 10 first.

    1. When do you feel at your best? a) In the morning b) during the afternoon and early evening c) Late at night

    2. You usually walk..... a) Fairly fast, with long steps b) Fairly fast, with little steps c) Less fast head up, looking the world in the face d) Less fast, head down e) Very slowly

    3. When talking to people, you... a) Stand with your arms folded b) Have your hands clasped c) Have one or both your hands on your hips or in pockets d) Touch or push the person to whom you are talking e) Play with your ear, touch your chin or smooth your hair

    4. When relaxing, you sit with... a) Your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side b) Your legs crossed c) Your legs stretched out or straight d) One leg curled under you

    5. When something really amuses you, you react with... a) A big appreciated laugh b) A laugh, but not a loud one c) A quiet chuckle d) A sheepish smile

    6. When you go to a party or social gathering, you... a) Make a loud entrance so everyone notices you b) Make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know c) Make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

    7. When you're working or concentrating very hard, and you're interrupted, you... a) Welcome the break b) Feel extremely irritated c) Vary between these two extremes

    8. Which of the following colours do you like most? a) Red or orange b) Black c) Yellow or light blue d) Green e) Dark blue or purple f) White g) Brown or grey

    9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lay... a) Stretched out on your back b) Stretched out face down on your stomach c) On your side, slightly curled d) With your head on one arm e) With your head under the covers

    10. You often dream that you are... a) Falling b) Fighting or struggling c) Searching for something or somebody d) Flying or floating e) You usually have dreamless sleep f) Your dreams are always pleasant

    POINTS DISTRIBUTION IF ANSWER IS:
    1. (a) 2 | (b) 4 | (c) 6
    2. (a) 6 | (b) 4 | (c) 7 | (d) 2 | (e) 1
    3. (a) 4 | (b) 2 | (c) 5 | (d) 7 | (e) 6
    4. (a) 4 | (b) 6 | (c) 2 | (d) 1
    5. (a) 6 | (b) 4 | (c) 3 | (d) 5 | (e) 2
    6. (a) 6 | (b) 4 | (c) 2
    7. (a) 6 | (b) 2 | (c) 4
    8. (a) 6 | (b) 7 | (c) 5 | (d) 4 | (e) 3 | (f) 2 | (g) 1
    9. (a) 7 | (b) 6 | (c) 4 | (d) 2 | (e) 1
    10. (a) 4 | (b) 2 | (c) 3 | (d) 5 | (e) 6 | (f) 1

    Now add up the total number of points.

    Debrief

    • OVER 60 POINTS Others see you as someone they should 'handle with care.' You're seen as vain, self-centred and one who is extremely domineering. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

    • 51 TO 60 POINTS Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, one who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

    • 41 TO 50 POINTS Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the centre of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

    • 31 TO 40 POINTS Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

    • 1 TO 30 POINTS Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.
Published in Introductions

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Introduce new teams and/or team members and foster communication.

  • Procedure

    Set Up

    Everyone in the group writes down 3 questions they would like to ask others in the group. Not the normal “what’s your name” type questions but something like, "Where is the most interesting place you have ever traveled" or "Name a topic you feel absolutely passionate about".

    Put all the questions in a hat and ask them to the group

Published in Introductions

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Strengthen team communication and activate the communication channels.

  • Procedure

    Set Up

    On a table, place as many pieces of paper with a pen as you have teams. Have pre-made simple images or "emails" made (example: Heart, Tree, Smilie Face, Star, Stickman, etc.)

    The players should be divided up into at least two teams with at least five people per team. Teams should have an even amount of players.

    Directions

    Have the teams line up in a straight line in front of their piece of paper on the table. Instruct them that there is to be no talking. The person at the back of the line (furthest from the table) on each team is shown a simple image we call the "email". The image is then taken away. Once one person from each team has seen the image, he/she must then draw that image with their finger on the back of the person infront of them. That next person draws on the back of the person in front of them what they think the person behind them drew on their back. It continues down the line until it reaches the person standing at the table with the paper and pen. That person draws the image on the piece of paper. Once all teams are finished, the original image or "email" is revealed. The team who finished first, and drew the correct image wins.

Published in Communication

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Strengthen team communication and activate the communication channels.

  • Materials
    • Cell phones equipped to read QR codes (e.g. iPhones, Android-powered devices like the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1, and the Palm Pre, many Samsung and Sony-Ericsson models, and most Nokia phones).
    • paper & tape (or stickers to print the QR codes onto)
  • Procedure

    Set Up

    This activity requires a bit of prep
    Decide on your clues - clues can be a mix of text riddles and websites, or email addresses with auto reponses.
    Create QR codes with clues embedded using a generator.
    Post the clues around your office, school, or all over your neighborhood or city

    Directions

    Divide the group into teams. Make sure each team has an internet equipped phone that can correctly scan a test QR code (and it's a good idea for each group to have a backup as well). Send them out to scan the codes and solve the puzzles.

Published in Communication

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Activate the connection between team members.

  • Procedure

    Set Up
    Each person picks a letter card out of the hat (if you have a big group, you will need more letter cards, and it is probably good to include a few extra vowels (A,E,I,O,U) and consider removing the X, Q and Z from the hat.

    Directions
    Tell the group their task is to arrange themselves into complete words given the cards they select from the hat. The group can come up with several small words or just a few long words, but every letter needs to be included. Once they are done, you can have everyone put their cards back in and re-draw, or move on to a new activity.

    Once they are in their word groups, have participants do mini get to know you activities e.g. share your hobbies, the last book you read or movie you saw, your first memories as a child, plans for an upcoming holiday or summer vacation, etc.

    Debrief
    Talk about communication, whose ideas were heard, what challenges were there, etc. You can also ask them initially how hard they expect it to be and at the end ask why it was harder/easier than expected.

Published in Team work

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Face to face
  • Objectives

    Strengthen team work and identify the importance of working together to achieve goals.

  • Procedure

    Set Up
    Have the group stand in a circle about arms length apart, while the instructor stands in the middle (or with one less place in the circle than people in the group if the instructor does not want to play).

    Directions
    This is a very difficult game to explain, but I've found that the debrief is very useful in teams where people blame others for their groups failures.Explain to the group that when the game starts you are not allowed to speak at all except to say the word "Go." With the instructor (or odd person out) starting by standing in between 2 of the equally spaced participants. Tell the group that you are making eye contact (ONLY) to get the attention of someone across the circle with the intent of getting them to say "Go" so you may leave your space. When one person says go (only after making eye contact) the instructor can start at a slow pace walking towards the person who told them to go. While the instructor is walking towards the person (we'll call them Person A), Person A must make eye contact with those across the circle with the intent of having one of them tell them to "Go."When this someone tells Person A to go (we'll call this new participant, Person B), Person A can leave their space and head towards Person B. If timed correctly Person A should be moving out of their spot in time for the Instructor take their spot. This continues when Person B searches for someone to say go and then moves (only when told to) and Person A can take their spot.

    Enforce these rules:

    1. Nothing can be said besides the word "Go."
    2. You may not leave your spot unless someone has told you to go, after you've told someone to go.
    3. You may only say "Go" if you've made eye contact with the person who needs your help.
    In the event that a person tries to enter a spot before the spot holder has time to get someone to tell them to go, the game ends and is quickly debriefed in regards to accountability and strategy. Keep trying until the group fully understands how it works and they can move fluidly for a while. Then do a full debrief.

    Debrief
    The debrief for this game can come as soon as the group fails for the first time (when a person tries to enter a spot before the person in the spot is told to go).

    Accountability: Ask the group about fault. Who's fault is it that the group failed? Is it the person walking, that was told to go? Was it the person who couldn't get anyone to tell them to go? Is it the whole group for not making eye contact and telling the person who is stuck with someone heading towards them to go? It's no one or everyones fault. There is no single blame. Explain that as a team they succeed and fail together and everyone has something they can add to the group for it to be successful.

    Strategy: How is strategy important in this game? What happened when you walked towards someone that was too close to you? How did you fix this?

    Communication: Ask the group about the difficulty of getting a person's attention across the circle. If they could not talk (besides the word "go") how were they able to do their jobs?

    Seeing what's not happening: Explain how complicated it is to not focus on the person walking and to focus on the person that needs assistance that is stuck in their spot. In this they must focus on what is not happening and leave what is happening alone as it does not involve them.

Published in Team work

Additional Info

  • Duration 1h - 3h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Activate the connection between team members.

  • Materials
    • Flip chart paper - enough for two sheets per functional work group - A variety of magic markers - Metaphor Cards; cards with images on them with no definitive meaning. These cards are a way for participants to discuss and determine the teams BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND areas.
    • You can make your own cards using index cards and cutting out and pasting various images on the index cards
  • Procedure

    Briefing
    “We all know that within our small teams and within the organization there are several ideas and issues that seem obvious to us and not to anyone else. As a team it is important to create a culture of transparent and open communication of needs and requirements for our teams and individuals to be their most effective. I ask that one representative from each team come and gather a small stack of the metaphor cards, two pieces of flip chart paper, and some markers then return to their team. These metaphor cards are just images that will be used to aid your team in clarifying the areas that will be discussed. Metaphor cards have no right or wrong, good or bad, positive or negative meaning. The only meaning they have is what you and your team attach to them. In a moment I am going to ask each small team to choose three metaphor cards with various meaning attached to them. The team must be in agreement of which three cards to use and what each card will symbolize for each small team.
    - One Card is going to represent BRIGHT - Bright is an issue or topic that is out in the open, clearly evident to the team about the organization. Bright is common knowledge everyone knows that this is an area of concern for the team and the organization.
    - The second card that represents BLURRY - Blurry is known and not spoken about enough, a subject that should become Brighter. Blurry is the undercurrent water cooler talk the area that the team feels in-secure about in reference to the organization and it’s status within the organization. Blurry is a topic or issue that if it was made brighter much of the “Gossip” would cease to exist and questions would be answered.
    - The third card that represents what they feel is BLIND - Blind is not known, lacking from the system or that the team feels is kept from them. Blind issues or topics are ones that the team feels only they struggle with and no other team are aware of. If the Blind issues and topics became Brighter the organization would become transparent and create a paradigm shift towards excellence.”

    The teams are asked to choose the three metaphor cards (one for BRIGHT, one for BLURRY, and one for BLIND) write these on flip chart paper and then present the BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND to the entire organizational and teams that are present for the activity.

    Processing

    BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND is an initiative that can stir up some powerful emotions and discussions. Be prepared to be open to the team criticizing and touching on topics that create conflict. The way this initiative is ended can create some real growth and increase trust within the organization.

    After each team has had the chance to present their BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND charts ask them to hang them on the walls. Give participants approximately 15-30 minutes (more time if necessary) to walk around and view the other team flip chart papers, allow for some unstructured speaking and question and answers sessions.
    Following the unstructured viewing time call the participants back into their functional teams and ask them to gather by their flip chart papers. Some possible processing questions;

    How were the metaphor cards chosen for the BRIGHT the BLURRY and the BLIND? How effective was the group’s communication process? In what ways were disagreements settled? What was the easy part? What made it easy? What was the challenging part? What challenges were faced? Are there any common themes that we noticed amongst all the departments? What BLURRY topics can we discuss right now to make BRIGHT? Any surprises that were found amongst teams with the BLIND areas? Are the areas that were BRIGHT to one team BRIGHT to all or other teams? What are the causes of BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND topics within organizations? How can we as a team minimize the BLIND areas? What are going to do with this information?

    Possibly ending the day by creating a team of individuals who are responsible for addressing and developing a system to enhance transparency and communication within the organization. The team can use the information gathered for a starting point.

    DO NOT LET THIS INFORMATION GO UNUSED! If you lead this team building activity and do nothing you will create an environment that is more hostile and subversive than before you began.

    Variations
    Try the activity without the metaphor cards, use plastic animals (sharks, camels, pigs, donkeys) Fruit (real or plastic) or no props just ask the questions. - Have the participants paint the BRIGHT BLURRY BLIND on canvases using acrylic or latex paints. Then hang the artwork in a lobby, classroom, or office space.

Published in Synergy

Additional Info

  • Duration 30min - 1h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives

    Activate the connection between team members.

  • Materials
    • A PC with webcam or similar device for online collaboration
    • Clipboards with Blank Paper
    • Pencils
    • Drawing Templates
  • Procedure

    Set Up

    • Have group divide into pairs (or groups of three with one person as an observer) and sit on the floor back to back.
    • Give one person the clipboard and a pencil.
    • Give the other part of the pair the template of the shape to be drawn.

    Directions
    The individual with the template has to get their partner to draw an exact duplicate of the shape drawn on their sheet using only verbal directions.
    After they are done, the partners should compare the provided shape with what was drawn.

    Variations

    • Have the group perform the activity twice with two different templates.
    • The first time through the exercise the "drawing" person is not allowed to speak to the "direction giver."
    • The second time they are allowed to ask only yes/no questions.
    • A third time, the drawer can ask any question they like.
    • Another variation would be to allow the pairs to sit face-to-face, however, the "direction giver" is not allowed to speak. They must get the person to draw the shape using only visual cues. Of course you would have to make sure that the direction giver doesn't just hand over the template.
    • In a large group setting, one person could be the direction giver for the rest of the group. No one else is allowed to speak and everyone must try to draw the shape the direction giver is describing. Afterwards, have everyone compare their drawings.
    • Print out a "7 errors" game. Give one illustration to one player and the second to the other player. The goal for the team is to compare drawings and find the 7 errors while sitting back to back.

    Debrief

    • What was it like to give directions? before they could ask questions, then after.
    • What was it like to receive directions?
    • Was it difficult not being allowed to ask questions?
    • Once you could ask questions, did that make the job easier? Why?
    • Why are all the pictures different???? Everyone heard the same message.
    • Do you think people communicate differently?
    • Do you think people receive or perceive the same instructions the same? What should/would you do to clarify? What's stopping you from simply asking?
    • Do you know your teammates enough in order to communicate effectively to get the same results?
    • If person x said to the group "ABC" would it be perceived the same if person y said the exact same thing?
Published in Synergy

Additional Info

  • Duration 1h - 3h
  • Participants More than 10
  • Methodology Face to face
  • Objectives

    Empower teams to reach goals and fulfill their potential.

  • Procedure

    Directions
    Participants stand in a circle with one person in the center. The physical skills necessary for spotting are simple – ask participants in the outer circle to develop a firm, flexible stance by placing one foot in front and one foot behind with feet about shoulder-width apart. Members of the circle place hands up at shoulder height with the person in center in catching position. The person in the middle then has 3 opportunities to “fall” towards members of the circle. The person in the center starts the activity by stating “spotters ready”, members of the circle respond “ready”. Center person says “falling” and waits for outside circle to respond with “fall on”. If the person in the center is confident, he or she can ask the group members to take a step back, creating a larger circle and greater distance between the faller and the spotters. Regardless of direction, everyone should go to catch.

    Facilitator Notes about Trust Activities

    • Safety Check: Activity require the facilitator to pay extra close attention to physical and emotional safety. Introduce safety before starting any activities in this series.
    • Each participant has the right to decide his or her own level of participation.
Published in Empowerment
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