Activity: Helping teams to develop trust and to be more open

Employee Engagement Hints and TipsThe following activity has been provided by Shay McConnon (An Even Better Place to Work) and is one of a series of safe, short and fun activities on a number of key employee engagement themes such as giving feedback, managing differences, ownership, openness, motivation and feeling valued.  It is ideal for when time is limited and you are looking for a quick activity to improve engagement levels and can be used as part of a team meeting, lunch ‘n’ learn sessions etc or combined with other activities for a longer session.

Openness activities are designed to enable people to deal with those delicate and often unspoken issues that hinder working relationships.   This particular activity aims to provide an opportunity for people to be more open and to develop greater trust and openness in the team

ACTIVITY: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Objective: to enable people to deal with those delicate and often unspoken issues that hinder working relationships.   This particular activity aims to provide an opportunity for people to be more open and to develop greater trust and openness in the team

Time:   20 minutes

Materials:   Pen and Paper

Instructions:

Phase 1
1. Ask everyone to write on a sheer of paper 3 words that describe them e.g cheerful, open minded, ambitious.
2. Form trios.
3. Now ask people to write 3 words that describe the other 2 people in their trio.
4. People take it in turns to share what they have written i.e. their perception of each other and of themselves.
5. Convene the team and discuss:
a. How easy was it to be open about our perceptions of each other?
b. Were any of the perceptions written of a negative nature?
c. How easy would it be to be open about a negative perception?
d. Was anyone surprised at how others perceived them?
e. Why do perception gaps happen?
6. Return to trios and discuss: How would you like to be seen by others?
7. In trios, explore what you need to be doing so people saw you in your preferred way.

Phase 2
1. Convene the team and ask people to select a spot on the ceiling.
2. Keeping their eyes on that spot, ask everyone to bring their two forefingers together in front of their eyes but they must focus on that spot even though it is now hidden by their forefingers.
3. A ‘finger sausage’ appears.
4. Ask the group:
a. Can you see the ‘finger sausage’?  (yes)
b. Is it real? (no)
c. Does it exist? (yes, but only in my mind)
d. Are perceptions and opinions a bit like the finger sausage i.e. real for me but may not be seen by others?
e. What happens if we believe that ‘my view is the right one’?
f. How do we make openness part of everyday team life?
5. Record any team and personal goals that have been agreed.

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