Many readers here at the blog are involved in team development at many different levels - whether you are a leader, mentor, coach or trainer. My intention is that this will "spark" some new ideas about what you might be bringing into your upcoming team development activities whether it's a team meeting, year end retreat, offsite or mentoring conversation.
Let's start at A with Assumptions. Henry Winkler wrote the "Assumptions are the termites of relationships". Just like termites assumptions can weaken the team fabric. Many times we are not aware or conscious of what assumptions we are holding. This activity gets team members thinking about this on the individual and team level, and in dialogue in identifying and exploring the assumptions they hold
What you'll need:
A series of photo cards - such as the Conversation Sparker Deck, or Points of View The Coaching Game, or Visual Explorer.
Time: 15 - 30 minutes
Lay out a series of cards - approximately 4 for each person that is in the room.
Have the team agree on the one focus area for this conversation. IT may be "What's our biggest challenge right now?" or "What we need to focus on"?" or "What's our biggest opportunity?"
Get people to reflect on the question:
"What is the one assumption we are making about this issue right now"
Have them select a card which represents that assumption. Given them 1-2 minutes to look at it -make some notes around it. You may prompt them by asking "What's in focus?" or "What's dominant?" or : "What does the photo represent about the assumption"
Have each team member share their photo and what it represents for them. After everyone has gone, get them to notice what patterns or trends have shown up across the team. Ask them "What's significant about this?".
You will likely want to probe deeper and spark more conversation by having the team explore:
What behaviors do these assumptions lead us to?
What results are we getting from these assumptions?
How is it helping us?
What are the assumptions we want to bust?
What are the assumptions we need to name?
What are the assumptions we need to lead from?
This discussion may take 15 or 30 minutes. If you have time you may want the team to select a final photo which represents the ideal end result, or what more accurate assumptions are.
Stay tuned for tomorrow as we look at an activity around Boundaries and Beliefs.
Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized - Leadership and Team Development, Coaching, Retreats
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email us to find out how we can support you and your team in getting your best results through coaching, training or a retreat program
Looking for more cool things to do with your team? Check out our Potentials Realized store for books, emanuals, and the Conversation Sparker Cards.