A few months ago my team took part in a seminar that kicked off with a short team-building exercise:
- Everyone gets a blank sheet of paper taped to his or her back
- Everyone grabs a writing instrument [Note: I advise you to choose a non-bleeding marker, and/or use multiple layers of paper!]
- There’s a “mingling” period in which everyone writes something on everyone else’s back, capturing a characteristic of that person that the writer likes or respects
- Each person removes the paper from his or her back and reads it – if you’ve done things correctly, this is a positive experience
In our session, there was much laughing, some puzzling, and widespread general enjoyment of the results. Does it seem a bit “fluffy”? Sure. Is it fun? You bet! Plus, our instructor advised us to “Hang onto those – look at them when you’re having a bad day!” Even months later, I see workspaces at which they’re proudly pinned to the wall.
Try this out with your team the next time you all get together for a strategy meeting – it’s a great way to liven things up and get the creative juices flowing, as well as to give everyone a nice boost of confidence before getting down to business.