Workshop Leader Nightmare Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about a nightmarish workshop setup I walked into and had to improvise on the spot. You can read about it here if you missed it!   Making lemonade from lemons... I quickly popped in an Altoid, just in case, for the people in front of me, took a deep breath and got started. After a very short introduction and brief about why we were together, I quickly changed the order of my content.  Instead of providing them with key content, I went right into an individual activity called Choices, which shows the value of alignment with the[...]Read More...
Posted on Leave a comment

Intense Trust Team Building Activity for 10-15 People and a Few Hours

Intense Trust Team Building Activity for 10-15 People and a Few Hours Question: "I need an intense trust primer for 10-15 people (I have not decided who should attend yet) and I have a few hours at my disposal.  What could I do for the group to get them to be able to understand how to repair and deepen trust?" Answer: Trust comes from real vulnerability, not silly activities that poorly mimic 'trust'.  If you want and intense trust session, the trust that people extend MUST be real, not 'put-my-company-hat-on' trust.  That means each person being vulnerable.  A GREAT trust[...]Read More...
Posted on Leave a comment

Communication and Percentages

  Many companies today think that email and mobile phone communications can solve all of their communications problems, but they can’t. In person meetings, conferences and activities work because they are face-to-face, which is essential for all sensitive communications. Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960’s. He received his Ph.D. from Clark University and in l964 commenced an extended career of teaching and research at the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently devotes his time to research, writing, and consulting as Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA. Aside from his many and various other fascinating[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Whys Activity

Below is an excerpt from 'Discover Your Inner Strength', which I wrote with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Brian Tracy. This is an example of how you can use the 5 Whys to discover your core purpose, but you could use the the same tool to discover just about anything: Excerpt The activity is designed to help you discover your core motivation in life as well as examine your behavior. The 5 Whys was created by Sakichi Toyoda and made popular by Toyota as a way to determine root causes in the manufacturing methodologies.  The 5 Whys are now used[...]Read More...
Posted on Leave a comment

Group Work Debrief

This is a great tool to use in the beginning to help create a learning debrief, especially for new facilitators, to help provide some structure to the debrief. Have them fill out individually before group debrief. Three ways that we helped each other to complete the activity were: Three areas we could have worked together better to achieve greater results: The single greatest asset our group had was: The single greatest challenge our group had was: How does this difficulty represent itself at work? To resolve the difficulty at work, I could: [hr] What are some success with debriefing tools[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Peer Introductions

  This is a series of questions you can ask people to complete prior to coming together, use as a paired activity in the beginning or simply give them a few minutes in the beginning to ponder and then share. We have used this many times when a group is first forming, in conference settings where people who not know one another yet and even in intact teams who have worked together for some time. Below are the questions: How did I get here? Many people will answer literally – “by airplane, by car, etc”  Decide before you turn them[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Example of Agreements for Full Value Contracts

  The Full Value Contract was introduced as a setup tool and below are some additional agreements you can use: Be present Pay attention Speak your truth Be open to outcomes Create a safe environment [hr] I will value myself and others. I will behave in a way that keeps myself and others safe. I agree to give and receive feedback and work toward changing my behavior when needed. I agree to work together towards individual and group goals. [hr] Try Hard Play Safe Be Fair [hr] Be here. Be present mentally, physically, emotionally. Be Safe. Create a level of safety so[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Plus Delta as a Feedback Tool

Plus Delta Feedback Tool Plus Delta originated from Total Quality Management and is a Lean Six Sigma tool. The Plus Delta is a great tool to help you stay in alignment with your group over a longer period - a workshop or a retreat is great and a longer project is event better.  The tool works well because it helps each person stay focused on the positive. Even the Deltas - I have to have an idea of what I want if I want to see a change. Much of the time, I am working with a group of people[...]Read More...
Posted on Leave a comment

FIMAGE

The ‘Fimage Factor’ is Fear of IMAGE. If we were to summarize in a word why people wear masks, it would be FIMAGE. People spend thousands of dollars and hours every year to cultivate their personal image.  This image defines them.  People begin to develop this image in early adolescence and by the time they are adults, they are heavily invested in this image. This image can help us when it portrays confidences, competence and enthusiasm.  In some cases it can also hold people back from reaching their potential. How do you respond to your friends versus strangers? How do[…]Read More…

Posted on 1 Comment

Four Agreements

Created by Don Miguel Ruiz, if you commit to living these agreements, it WILL change your life.  It is also a great set of agreements for a group to agree to at the beginning of the day. You can use this as part of your Full Value Contract or as a standalone set of agreements. Be Impeccable with Your Word Speak with Integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. Don't Take Anything Personally Nothing others[...]Read More...
Posted on 1 Comment

10% Miracle

This is quite possibly the easiest method of participant buy-in you have in your arsenal.  In front of the group simply ask: “Who feels they cannot improve <insert topic, i.e. communication> 10%?” 99.9% of the time, everyone will raise their hand.  (This is not saying that the same people are not trying as hard as they can.  Many are giving the 100% effort, but that does not mean they cannot improve.  Sometimes you need to make the distinction.) “Does everyone agree that improving 10% is a reasonable  goal?”  Everyone will agree.  After all we are not asking for a HUGE[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Pick a Team Building Activity

Running a new activity can be terrifying.  We know as we are trying new activities all the time and sometimes they don’t work the way I thought they would. DO NOT FEAR!  We are here to help you pick and execute the perfect activity for your group that is guaranteed to be awesome. Selecting an activity is both simple and challenging.  If in doubt, KEEP IT SIMPLE.  However, here are the steps we take to choose activities in our facilitation: First, look at the logistical parameters you have to work with for the activity: How many participants do you have?[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Workshop Leader Nightmare

Anyone who leads workshops or provides training will relate to this recent nightmare of mine.  I literally had a dream about it last night and just had to share it... Last November I had the opportunity to provide our Mindset of a Legend training to 25 HR executives from GE.  This is, quite frankly, the opportunity of a lifetime. If these HR folks liked it, we would be able to provide mindset training to thousands and even TENS of thousands of smart people. So, major pressure but I was definitely up to it. Until I walked in the room... GE[...]Read More...
Posted on 1 Comment

Story of Two Dogs

The Story of Two Dogs is a great parable to give as a handout, put in a binder read or tell as a story to participants at the very beginning of the day. This parable will help them do a quick self-check about their attitude and make a conscious choice about how they will spend the time and whether anything good will come of it. There is a story they tell of two dogs. Both dogs, at separate times, walk into the same room. One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling. A woman watching this[...]Read More...
Posted on Leave a comment

MBTI as a Team Building Tool

We talk a lot about tools for use in team building. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tools available and used in ‘team building’ situations. Whether it is a true ‘team building’ or not is not relevant here as Myers Briggs is actually an individual tool first. However, a short discussion of tools are necessary before we can talk specifically about Myers Briggs. Think of a shovel — you bring in a shovel and train the participants to use it. Then ask them to dig a hole. A percentage of them will take the shovel and begin to dig.[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Individual and Group Loop

A balance between group and individual learning is the most exciting process a facilitator can create.  By understanding the process of individual and group development, a facilitator can create an experience to match individual and group needs. Below is a handout for your group, based upon Tuckman’s Model, that may help them understand where they are both individually and as a group in the process. While it is designed as a learning model for you, it is also a method to stimulate conversation with your group. Asking them to define for themselves where they feel they are individually and then[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Debrief Handout

  Below is a Pie Chart that represents 100% of the entire activity and is broken into 12 separate slices. Please list below the difficult areas that your group faced and shade the areas that correspond to the degree of difficulty. If 6 key areas were identified, assign the slices according to the degree of challenge it poses for your group.  For instance, planning was a challenge for the group, but not a major one, perhaps it only deserves one slice of the pie.  But communication was a serious challenge and deserves 4 slices.  Write the name in the shaded[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Full Value Contract

This full value contract asks you to agree to these five commitments as guidelines for group participation. Because I care about myself and my group, I agree to: Work Together: I with my group in order to achieve both my own goals and the goals of the group. I will support the group in achieving our goals. Be Safe, Emotionally and Physically: I will take care of myself and my group’s physical and emotional safety. This includes having a positive attitude, respecting each other, avoiding putdowns, and following directions. Give & Receive Honest Feedback / To Listen: I will tell others what I[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Chris Argyris Ladder of Inference

  Chris Argyris Ladder of Inference describes the progressive process of making observations, gathering information, making assumptions, and deciding action as being similar to climbing up on a “ladder of inference.”  This concept was later used by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.  Starting at the bottom of the ladder , we have reality and facts. From there, we: Experience these selectively based on our beliefs and prior experience. Interpret what they mean. Apply our existing assumptions, sometimes without considering them (heuristics). Draw conclusions based on the interpreted facts and our assumptions.[…]Read More…

Posted on 1 Comment

MSU

Almost every one of us has a graduate degree from/in MSU – Making Stuff Up! I typically poke fun at myself and say, “I am not sure how many of you know, but I have a Ph.D. in MSU!  Did you know that?  Yeah, MSU – Making Stuff Up!“ We constantly make stuff up.  With a lack of information, we fill the gap.  And we almost never have ALL the information, so we MSU. In a ‘team’ or group context, it would be MSU about other people: I know why Jane didn’t forward that memo to me.  She is mad[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment

Story of Two Wolves Legend

The Two Wolves Legend is a great parable to help participants make a conscious decision to actively participate. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” “The same fight is going[…]Read More…

Posted on Leave a comment