AREAS OF INSIGHT:
- Getting to know team members better
- Recognizing inherent strengths within the team
- Respecting personal differences
This is a very simple and interesting exercise to understand the different strengths that individual members bring to the team and designing a team charter. It is especially useful for senior teams, who might have reservations about opening up in a team building workshop. This works best for small groups of up-to 10-15 people.
The activity works best when used after an icebreaker to get the team members to loosen up a bit and know a bit more about each other. One useful icebreaker which could be used as a precursor to the activity Is the “pair-introduction” icebreaker, where participants are grouped into pairs, and each team members introduces his/her partner to the group, with a specific effort to highlight the strengths that his partner brings to the team. Points could be allocated to the most creative introduction for adding the fun element as well.
THE ROAD AHEAD – INSTRUCTION TO GROUP:
Individual Activity: Distribute one chart paper and different color markers to each team member. Ask them to note down individual their answers to the below questions.
1. What are some of your key skills/competencies that you think will strengthen the team you are part of?
2. What are two most important personal values that you bring to the team?
3. What is one/two of your greatest achievements personally so far?
4. What are some areas where you think your team mates could help you to improve?
5. What are some of the things that put you off while working in a team?
Allow a time of around 10-15 minutes for the participants to think through their answers and share with the rest of the group. If it is a team which has worked together for some time and are comfortable with each other, sharing your own sheet with the rest of the team is usually an eye-opener. If the participants are not comfortable sharing, the facilitator could collect the sheets at the end of the workshop and collate the answers to be shared with the team as a program handout later during the workshop.
Group Activity: Give one large chart paper to the group for taking notes. Share the below questions on a slide and allow the group some time( at least 30 minutes) for discussion.
1. What is the team’s mission? Ask the team to put this down in one simple sentence. This often serves as a good indicator of how clear the team’s vision about their overall goal is. If they find this difficult, allow more time for discussion.
2. What is one team performance goal that all the team members must gun for?
3. What should be some of the core values of the team to achieve this performance goal? Important that the team has an open discussion around this and sets down values that most agree to. Allow time for debate and even a bit of conflict, so that everyone is in sync with the points noted.
4. What are top 5 key actionable areas in the short and medium term for achieving the performance goal for the team? Ask the team to detail this out with assigning responsibilities and timelines.
5. What should be our rules of engagement? Ask them to detail this out as well in terms of even rules for team engagement(for e.g.: meetings to start on time, how decisions are to be made etc., who would be the team’s brand ambassador within the organization to communicate the team’s vision and purpose to external stakeholders and so on)
Make sure that they use the inputs from the individual activity as well for finalizing their answers to the team questions. Once the team is done with the answers, ask them to present their views to all the team members and sign off on future course of action. One fun way to end the exercise could to take a “team oath” to abide by the points signed off on. Please remember to take notes and send a follow-up communication to the team with the points discussed post the workshop.
Do try it next time with your team 🙂