IAF Methods

Personal Appreciation Exercise

by for . Last edit was over 2 years ago
2 - 45 5 - 10

Writing what each person appreciates about each other person in the group

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To have individuals state what they appreciate about others in the group, to hear what others appreciate about them, and to experience the power of stating what you appreciate about others and to hear what others appreciate about you.


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    • This exercise can be used as an opening exercise or closing. 
    • The context will be different however it is used. 
    • Some care and sensitivity needs to be used in preparing some groups for this kind of exercise.


    1. Ask the team to sit in a circle.

    2. Pass out sheets of paper and check to see that everyone has a pen or pencil.

    3. Ask them to write their name at the top of the sheet.

    4. Ask them to pass one person to the left (or right).

    5. Ask them to write one thing they appreciate about the person whose name is at the top of the sheet.

    6. When they have finished they pass it to the next person keeping them going in the same direction (to the left or right).

    7. When the sheets go around to the person with their name at the top, give them time to read what has been said.


    1. Used in teams of 5 - 10 working together interdependently.

    2. Arrange the chairs into a circle before the session.

    3. This same exercise can be done verbally but this way creates a more reflective atmosphere 

    Usual or Expected Outcomes: A sense of connectedness between the participants. Some of the participants may be quite emotionally moved by the exercise.

    Potential pitfalls: If there are real conflicts within the group and some individuals are past the stage where they can appreciate others, this is not a good exercise. Be careful that it is not seen as manipulation.


    Derived from: Shared by Judy Cohen judy.cohen@faa.gov on the GRP-FACL Listserve at http://www.albany.edu/cpr/gf

    History of Development: unknown I ran into a similar process in Poland in the mid 1990's

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    • I have seen this used at the end of a week-long retreat as a way of affirming each person, who gets to take the paper home. It also stretches the person who has to create a way to appreciate someone they have had conflict with.

      over 2 years ago