Activity:Difference Management – Recognising the value differences can bring
The 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.
Difference Management is used to help people recognise the value that differences can bring rather than letting differences degenerate into tension and conflict. This particular activity: ‘Get it Right’ can be used to demonstrate the validity of differences within a team and engage the team in discovering how colleagues need to be treated.
ACTIVITY: GET IT RIGHT
Objective: To help people recognise the value that differences can bring rather than letting differences degenerate into tension and conflict. This particular activity aims to demonstrate the validity of differences and discover how colleagues need to be treated.
Time: 20 minutes
Materials: Pack of Get it Right Cards for each group.
1. Deal everyone in the group 4 or 5 of the Get it Right Cards, ensuring there is a stack of cards left over.
2. Ask each member of the group to rank order their cards according to the way they want to be treated.
3. Explain that people can exchange cards enabling them to collect a round of cards which reflects how they want to be treated by their colleagues (the aim of the activity).
4. Ask person A for the one card that is least important to them. Take it from them and give A a replacement card from the top of the pack.
5. Offer A’s rejected card to the rest of the group: Who would like A’s card?
6. If someone wants this card from A, exchange it for a card they don’t want.
7. Now offer this new rejected card to the group and repeat the process.
8. If no-one wants the rejected card, put this card to the bottom of the stack.
9. Now ask person B for the one card that is least important to them and repeat the process.
10. Continue this until everyone has a group of cards they are happy with.
1. Ask everyone to rank their cards in order and give each card a score out of 10 (10 = very important).
2. Invite A to share their answers with the group i.e. the cards and the scores out of 10.
3. The other members of the group take it in turn to share their answers.
a) What have we learnt from this exercise?
b) Is it ok that we are different and need to be treated differently?
c) Should we expect these needs to be met at work and in this team?
d) What difference would it make if our needs are met at work?
e) How can our needs be met even more at work?
f) Is it always easy to tell others what we need from them?
g) How do we make it easier?
h) Are there any team or personal goals we would like to agree?
People take it in turns to sort the cards into three piles:
– Very Important to me
– Not Important
Now rank in order the Very Important pile and explain why the top three are so important and check if these needs are currently being met etc