76 methods
Hyper Island

Stinky Fish

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A short activity to run early in a program focused on sharing fears, anxieties and uncertainties related to the program theme. The purpose is to create openness within a group. The stinky fish is a metaphor for "that thing that you carry around but don’t like to talk about; but the longer you hide it, the stinkier it gets." By putting stinky fish (fears and anxieties) on the table, participants begin to relate to each other, become more comfortable sharing, and identify a clear area for development and learning.

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Engineering Your Team OS

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This is designed to work as a standalone workshop or as a companion to the Team Self-Assessment tool. Using reflections and insights on your working process, your team will 'update' its operating system by making deliberate choices about how to work together. The goal is gradual development, not a radical shift. You will design an ideal-state for your team and slowly work towards that.

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Reflection: Team

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The purpose of reflecting as a team is for members to express thoughts, feelings and opinions about a shared experience, to build openness and trust in the team, and to draw out key learnings and insights to take forward into subsequent experiences. Team members generally sit in a circle, reflecting first as individuals, sharing those reflections with the group, then discussing the insights and potential actions to take out of the session. Use this session one or more times throughout a project or program.

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Active Listening

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This activity supports participants to reflect on a question and generate their own solutions using simple principles of active listening and peer coaching. It’s an excellent introduction to active listening but can also be used with groups that are already familiar with it. Participants work in groups of three and take turns being: “the subject”, the listener, and the observer.

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Explore your Values

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Your Values is an exercise for participants to explore what their most important values are. It’s done in an intuitive and rapid way to encourage participants to follow their intuitive feeling rather than over-thinking and finding the “correct” values. It is a good exercise to use to initiate reflection and dialogue around personal values.

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Check-In Questions

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This tool gives suggestions for how to do different kinds of check-ins. Checking-in is a simple way for a team to open a session or start a project. Groups go through different stages: when they start; during a project; and when a project ends. You can support the group by asking different questions at different times.

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Feedback Mingle

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The Feedback Mingle is an exercise in which every member in a group gives feedback to every other member in the group. Often used as a closing activity, it aims to facilitate feedback, generate positive energy and create a sense of team.

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Project Wrap-up

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This session is for members of a team to learn from their experiences on a project, to support each other to improve, and to bring closure to the team. They start by drawing out the high and low points of the project, and use these to move into a discussion about what they have learned. They define some actions that they are going to take into future projects, and support each other by giving feedback to improve their practice.

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Parking Lot

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This is a classic business tool used to keep meetings and workshops focused on track. During discussions, questions will often emerge that are important but not fully relevant to the focus at the moment. These questions or issues are “parked” on a flipchart, to be addressed and answered later. This practice helps ensure that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things.

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Marshmallow Challenge

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A team-building activity in which teams must compete to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, collaboration, innovation and problem solving strategy. The Marshmallow Challenge was developed by Tom Wujec, who has done the activity with hundreds of groups around the world. Visit the Marshmallow Challenge website for more information.

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World Cafe

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World Café is a simple yet powerful method, originated by Juanita Brown, for enabling meaningful conversations driven completely by participants and the topics that are relevant and important to them. Facilitators create a cafe-style space and provide simple guidelines. Participants then self-organize and explore a set of relevant topics or questions for conversation.