Not to be left out of the plethora of Thanksgiving oriented blog posts I thought I would share a simple exercise that I have found can really help create a sense of shared gratitude in your team. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Or maybe you’ve thought of doing something like it but never tried. Trust me, it’s better than a turkey hangover.
Flip chart paper you can safely hang on the wall, post-it notes, colored markers, fun stickers (optional).
Gather your team together and don’t tell them ahead of time what you are going to do.
Ask the group to hang a flip-chart sheet on the wall with their name at the top, (that should make them immediately suspicious).
Give each person a stack of post it notes and a pen if they need it.
Ask them to write down 3 things they are sincerely grateful for about each person on the team. They should end up with 3 post-it notes for each person with one point on each note. Give them about 20 minutes or so.
Ask for a volunteer to go first or pick someone. Go around the room and ask each person to share their 3 points about that person, (encourage them to direct their comments to the person rather than the group). Now ask them to write, draw or otherwise creatively display their points on that person’s flip chart page, (this is where the markers and stickers come in to make it fun). For example, if there are 8 people on the team then each sheet should have 21 comments on it when you are done. Try to fill up the page. While one person is writing the next person can begin sharing.
Continue with Step 5 until everyone has had a turn. It’s OK if things get a little off track with laughter, bonus sharing, chatter or other random frivolity but try to get it back on track so you have time for everyone.
Note: By the way, all these steps include you.
When you are done ask the group to talk about how that process felt and what the experience was like for them.
Each person should take away their page as a reminder of their value to the team and how they make a difference.
Finish with an HR appropriate group hug or high-fives or whatever works for you.
There ya go!
By the way, you can do this any time but Thanksgiving is a nice excuse.
Maybe you have a great exercise or experience to share? Please do.