Move your team from dysfunction to action

Give people a chance to share their POVs

  • Belief & Purpose Statement Definition: Ask individuals to complete the following statement on their own: “We believe _____, We exist to _____.” This should be specific to the purpose of their team. Collect the answers then post them on the wall (each with its own number). Have the group cast votes for their two favorites, then workshop the leading statement until it feels representative and accepted by all.
  • Team Values: Have each person quietly write down a list of values — as many as they can think of — then ask them to share their list with the group (while capturing inputs on a whiteboard). Next, have each person choose the three values they think best describe the team from the options listed. Let each person share their final votes with the group, then discuss as a team which values have staying power.

Facilitate co-creation

  • Co-create a 1-year plan: Identify the outcomes the team wants to be able to say are true in 1–1.5 years. Have each individual make a list then choose their top 3 outcomes to share with the group more broadly. Post the inputs on the wall, number each, then have each person cast votes for their top two priorities. Follow the same model for a Key Results exercise so you can add a few measures for each top priority.
  • Co-create problem statements: Ask each team member to write their own “How Might We” statements for the problems that are most important for the team to solve. Decide if it’s important to keep submissions anonymous, then post each suggestion up on the wall. Let each person rank their favorites and workshop the sole finalist until the group is happy.

Check-in with people on a human level

  • Set the tone up front: I love asking the team right away on Day 1 of a workshop: “How do you want to feel at the end of X days together?” It’s not about what they want to achieve, or how much they want to accomplish. Instead, it puts the focus on feeling and emotion (two things that are often ignored in work environments, yet so critical to team success).
  • Check in throughout the day: My first order of business on each workshop morning is to ask teams how they are and how they’re feeling. Give each contributor a space to share, then acknowledge where they’re at. Similarly, tune into human needs over the course of the session, recognizing where there might be a tension that has to be diffused, or a team member in need of a 1:1 moment apart from the group.

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