Here is my team-building activity. I like to do it whenever I will be working with someone new.
Everybody figures out the following about themselves:
- How do you communicate?
- What are three strengths of yours?
- What are two areas you could be supported with?
- When you get overwhelmed, how can your teammates tell? How can they support you when you are overwhelmed?
Then you present to each other.
It is key that you do this AFTER everybody has an established place on the team. This is not an interview. This is not a pitch. This is an honest expression of who you are and how we can work best with you. You are not trying to ‘sell’ anything. This is a conversation opener about collaboration.
- Hi! I’m Writ.
- I like direct communication. I work out my thoughts best in conversation, and then I can type things out. I prefer informal and explicit communication. I tend to take things literally.
- I am good at project management, strategic organization, and message design.
- I would appreciate support with partnerships and communication.
- When I get really overwhelmed, I may zone out. When that starts happening, I appreciate a direct conversation one on one about how to proceed.
The cool thing about this is that is asset-based. We talk about our strengths and what we are awesome at, and we also talk about where we can use help from others.
By expressing how we communicate first, it allows us to share this is how I come to the world. I’ve heard some people say that they get really passionate when they speak, and people may assume they are angry when they aren’t because of it. It allows you to mention common misunderstandings before they happen. You can also let people know how you process information best.
The next part is talking about what your good at. What can you do? What do you like doing? This is the assets-based part. All the good things! Tell people how great you are!
The next part is about what you would appreciate help with. We can’t be good at everything. Where you would appreciate support? By acknowledging our “meh” areas, we invite others to show up and support us so that we can use our energy for those things we just mentioned we rock at.
(The reason why there are three things you’re awesome at and two things you would like support with, is because we want to focus more on your strengths than your weaknesses. It’s asset-based framing.)
The next part is just acknowledging the inevitability that life happens. Things go wrong. We aren’t always going to be our best. What does that look like and how can people tell? Most importantly, how can they show up for you? For me, I appreciate a little extra support, and I like telling people how to support me in a way I would find helpful so they don’t have to guess and can put their energy into something that has the desired effect. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, let people know. It’s helpful to have those boundaries and plans in place ahead of time.
I hope this activity helps, and I’d love to hear about your experiences using it, adapting it, etc. Let me know in the comments below!