A simple and powerful exercise for your next team meeting

| 9 July 2021

I got lots of responses to my recent post about dealing with low morale in a team – thanks to all of you who responded.

I was reminded me of a great exercise we often do when we’re working with leadership teams.

We ask each team member to describe the team metaphorically. (Or to draw it).

‘This team is like a……………………………….’

This is effective because it requires creativity, involves a lot of laughter, inspires curiosity and opens up a wider conversation – without all the usual ‘this team is very supportive’ or ‘this team is disorganised’ or ‘this team is exhausted’ ambiguity.

Imagine the conversation you can have when a team is described as a:

‘Top of the range Range-Rover with a flat battery’

Or a

Pride of hungry lions

Or a

‘Group of lemmings heading for the cliff’ (danger zone, that one……!)

It injects some humour (albeit dark humour at times) but gives them some great, creative ways forward.

A nice exercise for your next team meeting.

It will work in any team unless there is zero trust, zero psychological safety and a huge amount of dysfunction. (In which case, you’d better get some help because these things don’t fix themselves).