move the room with energizers
Tools to inject energy into the process, get people moving, and have fun.
Purpose: Check-in and check-out processes are fundamental to the work we engage in, and set the context for what we actually do. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of them being powerful. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen, and heard. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus, and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and closure. Here are some questions to inspire you.
Managing time is crucial for running effective meetings. As the session leader or facilitator, you can introduce different constraints to a check-in to allow for more or less time. Examples are:
Check-in and check-out processes are not trivial time wasters in our meetings. If they feel that way, something is either missing or needs to be adjusted to relate to the session. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of the check-in and check-out being powerful.
Think about what stage the group is at. What would be a useful question for them to check-in with?
Think about the context and the general mood.
• How much time do you have for the check-in? Does the question invite a 3-5 minute story from each person, a word or two, or a sentence or two?
• How can the check-in connect and support the rest of the agenda and the overall purpose of the gathering?
• What kind of tone do you want to create? Playful? Serious? Connecting? Learning something new about each other?
• Consider: What has happened? What are they about to do? Has there been conflict? Is this a celebration?
Choose a reflection question that will support the kind of mood and atmosphere that you want to create. Adjust questions to fit your meeting criteria.
Early in a project
During a project
When a team knows each other well, or simply when the mood fits, you can introduce play/fun into your questions
End of a project
Many people leave a session seeing the possibility of bringing a check-in process to their own team or meetings but wonder exactly how to do that well. Using the same question all the time eventually wears out its appeal, so it becomes important to make it relevant, engaging, and purposeful. Bring fresh questions with you. It keeps things interesting. Which brings it all back to context, purpose and intention.
The purpose of this simple exercise is to demonstrate three key principles useful for creativity and idea generation: quantity is a condition for quality; building on the ideas of others; the ideas we come up with are usually all the same. The format is simple, with small groups standing and drawing apples. At the end of the exercise the whole group reflects and draws out learnings and reflections.
IDOARRT is a simple tool to support you to lead an effective meeting or group process by setting out clear purpose, structure and goals at the very beginning. It aims to enable all participants to understand every aspect of the meeting or process, which creates the security of a common ground to start from. The acronym stands for Intention, Desired Outcome, Agenda, Rules, Roles and Responsibilities and Time.
A short activity to run early in a program, focused on sharing fears, anxieties and uncertainties related to the program theme. The purpose is to create openness within a group. The stinky fish is a metaphor for "that thing that you carry around but don’t like to talk about; but the longer you hide it, the stinkier it gets." By putting stinky fish (fears and anxieties) on the table, participants begin relate to each other, become more comfortable sharing, and identify a clear area for development and learning.
A team-building activity in which a group is challenged to physically support one another in an endeavor to move from one end of a space to another. It requires working together creatively and strategically in order to solve a practical, physical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, leadership and membership, patience and problem-solving.
This workshop aims to help participants define, decide and achieve their goals. By supporting participants to envision where they want to be in a number of years on a holistic level, and defining the steps that will take them there, participants get a clearer picture of the action they need to take.
This exercise is useful for bringing groups together, to create interpersonal bonds, and to build trust. Participants stand opposite each other and have 30 seconds to give appreciative feedback to the other person. The group rotates until everyone has given feedback to everyone else. It is often used as part of wrap-up activities, to create an energized feeling to leave with.