This year I am focusing on helping my team do some self-discovery. I started with a simple activity at our last all team meeting in September. The activity was drawn from Bruce Wellman's book Groups at Work on page 42 - it is called Compass Points (also see this resource) and is a great way for people to quickly recognize and appreciate their diverse personal working styles. It is designed to help people understand their own preferred way of thinking and working and appreciate people (their team mates) that are different from themselves. The activity was a hit and the team members got right into it. The way it works is like this:
- put up chart paper on the wall in four corners of a large room (2 or more sheets depending on the size of your team and how they cluster into the four choices)
- provide color markers
- describe the four working and thinking styles which are
- North: Just get it done
- West: Pay attention to detail
- South: Caring about people's feelings
- East: Think about the big picture
- write the label of the working style on the top of the chart paper
- ask your team members to contemplate which style they identify with the most and ask them to go to that corner
- ask them to discuss these questions among their group members and to respond with 3 or four adjectives for each question using the chart paper
- What are the strengths of your working style?
- What are the limitations of your working style?
- What style do you find the most difficult to work with and why?
- List examples that people from the other styles need to know about you so you can work well / successfully together?
- Bonus question: What do you appreciate about the other styles?
- when they are done, ask them to nominate a spokesperson and then go around the room and ask the groups to report out on their discovery