team

Telling Our Stories

To work effectively together team members need to build relations, show trust, and be open with each other. This method supports those things through a process of structured storytelling. Team members answer questions related to their childhood, young adulthood, and now; then weave them into a story to share with the rest of their team.

  1. Step 1:

    Explain the purpose of the exercise. That trust and openness in teams is important for effective working relationships. By sharing personal stories we are going to build those relationships. Let them know that nobody should feel like they have to share anything they don’t want to.

    If relevant discuss with the group the importance of these ideas. You might refer to the Johari Window theory in the toolbox.

    Facilitator notes

    It is very important to create a safe and inviting space since individuals will share personal stories. In some cases, individuals may share experiences that generate emotion in themselves and/or within the group. As a facilitator, remind participants that this is normal and welcome. If individuals become very emotional, follow-up with them individually after the session.

  2. Step 2:

    Ask the participants to take three different colors of post-its and a pen. Then to spread out across the room and find a space where they are comfortable. Explain that there will be three rounds of questions. Each round will last about 5-7 minutes. They will write down answers to the questions, one per post-it.

  3. Step 3:

    The first round is about childhood. Choose one color post-it and write down your answers. Don’t think too much:

    • Think of a situation where you felt happy
    • A person that meant a lot to you.
    • A situation where you changed; where you got a new view of yourself or of the world.
    • (Optionally, other similar questions...)
  4. Step 4:

    The second round is about your young adulthood. Pick a new color of post-it and think about:

    • A passion that fulfilled you.
    • A situation or person who made you grow.
    • A situation where you were challenged.
    • (Optionally, other similar questions...)
  5. Step 5:

    The final round focused on now. Choose a new color, and write down:

    • A driving force.
    • A situation where you learned you have a talent.
    • A failure that you learned something from - private or professional.
    • (Optionally, other similar questions...)
  6. Step 6:

    Give the group 10 minutes to review their post-its and to organize them on a flip-chart however they choose. They can use a marker to add words or symbols. They don’t have to use all of them, but they should try to make it engaging and visual.

    Let them know that they will each have 4 minutes to tell their story.

  7. Step 7:

    When everyone is ready or the 10 minutes is up, gather the group into a horseshoe. Invite the participants to share their stories at the front, one at a time.

    If you have time you can invite the group to ask questions after each story.