move the room with energizers
Tools to inject energy into the process, get people moving, and have fun.
The purpose of reflecting as a team is for members to express thoughts, feelings and opinions about a shared experience, to build openness and trust in the team, and to draw out key learnings and insights to take forward into subsequent experiences. Team members generally sit in a circle, reflecting first as individuals, sharing those reflections with the group, then discussing the insights and potential actions to take out of the session. Use this session one or more times throughout a project or program.
Create a welcoming, calm, and quiet space for the session to take place. You might want to start with a check-in to support the participants to feel present and focused.
There are as many ways to run a reflection session as there are facilitators. Don’t feel bound by the steps above, and feel free to experiment with other ways of running the session. What is key to the session is your intent. Bear in mind some facilitative practices: Support the group to meet its own purpose, not yours. Meet the group members where they are emotionally. Don’t force deep soul-searching if they want to keep the session light and playful, or vice versa. Be present with yourself. Listen to your reactions and feelings as they arise, and use them in the session where appropriate.
If it is the first the group does this exercise, introduce the purpose of team reflection and some guidelines for an effective group experience: participants should speak from their individual perspective (“I-statements”) , they should avoid generalizations like “everybody” and “some people”, and they should practice active listening when others are speaking.
You can also introduce the models and theories that underpin team reflection: learning-by-doing and reflective practice. Draw these on a flipchart and conduct a short discussion with the team members to explore any fears or confusion.
Introduce the following reflection questions. Write them on a flipchart or provide a printed handout, so the questions are easily visible:
Ask the team members to reflect on the questions, individually and in silence, writing in their notebooks for about 10 minutes. Put some gentle music on if appropriate.
After the set time, ask participants to organize in small groups (3-5) and share their reflections with each other. Give 15-20 minutes for this step and remind participants to ensure that each person gets the chance to share.
Bring the full group back to the circle. Invite team members to share their reflections one-by-one, either going round the circle or randomly. Encourage them to go deeper into thoughts and feelings, not just read out what they have in their notebooks.
The facilitator’s role here is to support the sense of trust and openness. Encourage participants to share from the individual “I” voice, to practice active listening, and not to engage in discussion or debate.
When the time is up or it feels like the right time to end, close the session. Thank the team members for their engagement and participation. Optionally, conduct a short check-out. Make sure they have a short break before the next activity.
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.