Participants: 8 – 20
Activity Level: Low
DIY Team Center Access: Videos, photos, tips and tricks and more for this activity
Time Needed: 15 to 20 Minutes plus debrief – 45 to 60 minutes total
Objectives: Problem Solving, Communication
Warning! Do not use this event with groups already in serious conflict.
Now, saying that, this can be an extremely fun event for the right team. Instead of feeling frustrated, many teams will feel the challenge of an incredibly hard event.
Be careful with this event. It is best used in a few types of scenarios:
- You have a high-performing group that needs to be challenged and understand that there is a need for constant improvement in communication and accomplishing difficult challenges as a team.
- You have a malfunctioning team that will not discuss any of the hidden or unspoken rules about what is happening. However, everyone points the finger at someone else about WHY the group cannot work well together.
- You have a new team or group. This event will show them the value of good communication AND actually practicing it.
The power of each person to influence the success of the team is never clearer than in this activity. The team members must work through frustrations and differences of opinions to solve this magically difficult event.
Overcoming frustration and resisting the temptation to blame each other will be key to moving the bar in the direction you choose. People can find themselves sacrificing their integrity and doing the opposite of their intention.
This is an exercise that you may have to stop in the middle to debrief and discuss what is happening, then try it again. This can be used with the same team or group EVERY week. Sometimes they will be successful, other times they will fail.
Brief Overview of Let Go My Ego:
Participants pick a partner to stand across from to create two lines. With index fingers at waist level, a bar is placed upon the fingers. The bar must be lowered below the knees while all fingers must maintain contact with the bar.
Sounds simple, right? It’s not.
As you can see in the right picture, the bar immediately goes up!
This is where many teams fall short. Good communication is the real ‘win’ on this exercise, not actually lowering the bar. If the team can treat each other with respect and maintain open lines of communication while failing, frustrated and somewhat stressed, the team is in great shape.
This problem is exacerbated because each individual is in fact doing their part. Each individual is fulfilling their role and responsibility and yet the entire team is failing to meet the goal. This is where much of the stress and frustration will come from because many individuals will assume that someone is NOT fulfilling their responsibility.
Since the exercise is almost impossible, it will be necessary for the team to try it several times. As the ideas are thrown around, many will simply be discarded without discussing them. A potentially important point of discussion is how the group arrived at a solution and whether any good suggestions were not discussed and why.
Because this event is so difficult, the problem solving and strategizing may become an important aspect for the group to focus on instead of the event itself. This is especially true if the group does well with the communication aspect.
This is a great activity for teams to experience how Tuckman’s model of team development really works in teams:
- Forming – the team comes together to achieve the goal (lower the pole to the ground)
- Storming – the pole goes up, communication mayhem and madness
- Norming – the group finally starts paying attention to more than ‘my job’
- Performing – a team emerges and they are able to lower the poleGetting to the ground may be the goal but success is getting the team to perform.
Be sure to have enough time to debrief the exercise and discuss what has happened. If there is not enough time to thoroughly discuss the breakdowns, you should not utilize this event.
If Let Go My Ego gets too serious, stop the event and remind everyone this is supposed to be fun. Use this event as a ‘safe’ exercise to discuss some of the difficulties that are also happening at work.
This event will challenge all groups and will unlock many of the ‘unspoken rules’ to will get the group talking.
Have fun and don’t blame it on Let Go My Ego!
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If you would like help in selecting an event, please do contact us at 800-513-8759 . Our representatives will be more than happy to help you.