Helping your team get to know one another, strengths and preferences is an important part of team development. As a team leader yourself, it is important to have a number of tools at your disposal. I'll cover more than two dozen facilitation tools which can be used for planning, team development, problem solving and consensus building during the Virtual Facilitation Essentials program.
For this post, I wanted to share four quick ones you can include in your weekly meetings. These are all short activities which may take 10 minutes or less, and can be useful in strengthening team relationships.
Activity #1: The Coin Share. This one comes from a colleague of mine Jason, an alumni of past facilitation skills training . Using loose change in your pocket, give each participant one piece. Ask them to share one key story about the year that the coin is from. It's a pretty interesting activity helping each of us learn a little more about each other, but also encouraging us to think about what happened to us that day.
Activity #2 - Question of the week. We are now well into Week 20 of our Weekly Team Building Questions. Print them off and use them as a conversation starter. I've also created some BETA card decks with the questions for those that might be interested in having a hard copy yourself. If you are interested in trying out one of the five sets of fifty cards with your team, and would be willing to share your story and photos about their use, please email me. No cost to you other than your feedback!
Activity #3 - Photo Cards - Pictures can create a new doorway into meaning. For this activity you will want to have a series of photos of your own or you may want to look into purchasing a photo deck of your own like our Conversation Sparker Card deck. A colleague did this recently using some calendars from a dollar store and they worked quite well. Have about 2 cards for each team member, so if you have 7 members have approximately 15 cards. Lay them out, and have team members select the card which responds to your questions. You might ask them to select the photo which represents:
1. What they bring to the team
2. Their vision of where they see the team going
3. The values the team stands for
4. The strengths (or challenges) the team is facing
5. What the priority should be
Cards a great way to connect with more complicated issues, giving a "picture" to the situation. It can also be less threatening for people to raise issues around. I go into more than six ways to use photo cards over at my site - ConversationSparker.com.
Activity #4: What's important to us - A - Z
As a quick activity the A-Z of what's important to us gets the team to quickly collect items/ or name items from a-z which are important to you. for example, a team might indicate that action, bountiful, cheerfulness, diversity and effort are key to them. They can draw these out, or collect items which represent these. After doing the activity, post them or take a photo of the item to remind you of the adjectives which are important.
What other team activities do you think you could incorporate into your meetings?
Enjoy your conversations,
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