How do you choose an activity for a team workshop? There are so many to pick from and which ones would be best for your group? The coach’s Facebook groups are awash with people asking ‘What would be a good activity for a team session?‘ The answer is often – Well, it depends.
Here Charlotte Blair draws on her extensive experience coaching teams. She suggests a few pointers to help you find the best activity for your team session.
Start with the end in mind
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is one of my favourite books. Attending his course in 2011 was a pivotal point for me in changing my career. Habit Two to Begin with the End in Mind® always sticks in my mind to guide my decisions.
When I design workshops, this is always what I am working towards. What are the outcomes the client or participants are hoping for? There is a whole array of activities you could do in your workshops. Many are available in Gallup’s course materials, the Activity Guides, and from the community of coaches in the Facebook groups. But which ones will help you achieve the outcomes you are looking for?
The answer to this question comes from finding out more about your stakeholders.
When posting in the Facebook community, including this information will gain better responses from the audience of coaches.
- How many people are in the group?
- Will they be in person, virtual or a mixture?
- How much time do you have for your session?
- What is their level of exposure to CliftonStrengths®?
The biggest question should be:
How do you want participants to be thinking, feeling
and doing differently as a result of the workshop?
Find the Right Team Activity
Knowing the answers to the earlier questions will help you find the best activity for your workshop.
Scenario: A group of 50 people who know their CliftonStrengths® and now have a 3-hour offsite workshop. Their objective is to have fun and build new and stronger relationships. Using the CliftonStrengths® Team Activities Guide Volume 1 the Scavenger Hunt, Strengths Charades and Strengths Slogans activities may be a good idea. These will help them learn more about their strengths and discover those of their colleagues.
A group of 7 Executives whose objective is to come together as a team and get to know each on a deeper level, may not appreciate these activities. Especially if they want to think about how they can meet the business strategy by leveraging their collective talents and strengths. This group would be better off starting with the basics by understanding their own talents. Begin by sharing their themes around the table and giving them the opportunity to ask questions. Then you can leverage some of the Develop Partnerships exercises in the Activities Book, before moving on to some of the getting work done activities.
When asking the community ‘What activity you would do with a group of executives in 3 hours?’ is like saying ‘Where shall I visit when I come to the USA?’ It depends! You need to explain more about the participants in order to hear good recommendations. As coaches, our job is to ask great questions and the open ones are the best. Those soliciting greater detail will enable the responses to dig down further into the unsaid.
Be prepared to flex
I will often start with a loose agenda in my head based on some basic questions as above. Once I’ve had a look at the talents and strengths of the team, this might change a little bit. If the group are more dominant in say Relator®, Deliberative® and Intellection®, doing fun high-energy games might turn them off. My Woo®, Activator®, Positivity®, and Communication® might love the activity, but they possibly won’t. They might prefer deeper one on one interactions with each other, as they prefer to take time and build trust.
Creating some flexibility in your agenda is always useful in case things change in the moment. Not being so rigid with timing allows you to meet the needs of the group. If the group are finding gold in one activity then don’t be in a hurry to rush to the next. Ask if they want to stay longer with something if it meets their objectives.
Team Activity Resources
Some of the resources available for team activities include:
Strengths-Based Coaching With Managers and Teams Kit
The 5-day Gallup Global Strengths Coach accreditation program contains the Strengths-Based Coaching With Managers and Teams Kit. It also includes the Manager and Team Interview resources. For course attendees, the information is in the Learning Center of your Gallup Access portal.
Those who have not attended the course can purchase the resources from the Gallup store.
CliftonStrengths Team Activities Guide – Volume One
CliftonStrengths Team Activities Guide – Volume One contains 40 different activities that range from Enhancing Self Awareness, Developing Partnerships, Building Strengths-based teams and Improving Performance. For each activity, the guide shows the purpose and intention, the suggested timings, the tools and resources needed, the set-up, and the debrief. With the digital version, you can download the worksheets.
CliftonStrengths Team Activities Guide – Volume Two
CliftonStrengths Team Activities Guide – Volume Two also contains activities. In addition, it comes with slide packs as well as downloadable worksheets. The activities cover topics such as Theme Dynamics, What About Weaknesses, Enhancing Team Partnership and using the Team Grid.
Think about your audience and their objectives before looking for a team activity.
- Understand what the group are hoping to achieve in the time you have with them. Remember, less is more.
- Ask as many questions as possible to understand where they are now, and where they want to be at the end of your session – Think, Feel, Do.
- Don’t be tempted to rush from one activity to the next.
- Think about the talents and strengths of the group, and what they might prefer. For a mixed group include some paired activities, some small group activities, and some bigger group discussions. Explain that you have tried to structure your session to meet the differing needs of the group
- Finally, there is no right or wrong – just maybe something that slightly better meets the needs of the group.
Written by Charlotte Blair who is an experienced team facilitator and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.
Header Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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