Ground Rules (For Purpose)
Kick-off Icebreakers for Team Sessions
Below are some strategies to engage people in a fun/meaningful way right from the start of the session. These are great activities to open up the conversation about ground rules & how we’ll use team norms to make us more successful.
- What’s Your Piece?
- Have participants put together a puzzle. As they come in, have them sign in & take one puzzle piece. Set out exactly the right number to match the number of participants in the session. Place remaining pieces around the room (hidden) and keep one yourself since you (the facilitator) ARE part of this experience. You may want to give observers, impacted people outside the room, or other people that would make a good point pieces as well.
- Before you do anything say, “We’re about to work together to solve x-problem. But before that, we want to look at how we behave solving ANY problem so we can set ourselves up for success. You have 4 minutes as a team to solve the puzzle you took a piece of when you signed in. Your 4 minutes starts now.”
- Key points you might discuss in the debrief:
- Was there a leader? Who took charge? Did this help/hurt the process?
- Who checked out (didn’t engage? Got on their iPhone/blackberry?)? What happens when this occurs in the session?
- Did we focus on what was there or what was missing? What was the impact to solving the puzzle?
- Where did we succeed as a team? Where did we fail?
- How was our communication?
- What happened when we noticed there were missing pieces? How can we learn from this to react in a helpful way when there are missing pieces of information, people, etc during THIS process?
- What was the level of engagement like? Did people care/not care?
- The instructions were not very specific/clear…how is this like the projects we work on? Do we always get 100% clear info or do we often have to “fill in the blanks?” What is the impact on our team and/or deliverables?
- Alphabet or Keyboard Engagement (great for 5DoT)
- Start with tiles of all letters and numbers OR all the keys from an old keyboard. As participants arrive, have them select one. To start the session, ask them to work in teams, then the larger group about what this meant to them.
- Key points as part of the debrief:
- The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts (taken together the letters make words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.)
- We need all the letters/keys to be most effective
- Missing any one key (or person from our team) and we take something away from the team
- When we need an “a” or select an “a,” we need to KNOW we will get an “a” and not an “s” or a “d”….etc.