Olivia Carere

Roses, Buds and Thorns

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5 - 15 Low

Roses, buds, and thorns is a quick and simple team exercise that can be performed at the start of a group meeting. The idea is to evaluate a project, team task, or even your day by having each team member come up with a Rose (positive highlight), Thorn (struggle or challenge), and Bud (opportunity for improvement). The goal of this activity is to open up discussion among team members and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of others. This can allow you to put measures in place to do more of what's going well, and fix what needs fixing. As well, this activity inspires creativity and debate within teams. Discussing Buds can encourage new, creative ideas to come to the fore. Finally, the activity allows you to gain insight from all members of the team as communication and honesty are important for every group!



Acknowledge strengths and weaknesses, inspire open discussion, creativity, and debate as well as gain insight from all members of a team. 





    1. Set aside 10-15 minutes at the start of a meeting to run the activity

    2. Before the meeting, send team members the informational graphic attached to introduce them to what "Roses, Buds & Thorns" is along with its meaning and purpose. 


    3. At the start of the meeting, introduce the activity and give a recap of the instructions

    a) State a Rose: The Rose is the positive highlight. If reviewing your day, maybe your Rose is the pancakes you had for breakfast, or if reviewing a project, maybe it was the positive feedback you received on your work.

    b) Next, share a Thorn: Thorns are something that most of us are pretty good at spotting. It's anything that didn't go the way you hoped it would. Maybe you dropped your first pancake when trying to flip it, or maybe there was an aspect of your project that you weren't able to fully understand.

    c) Finally share a Bud: The Bud is an opportunity for improvement - an idea you had, or something you're looking forward to. It's is a potential Rose. This might be your morning workout tomorrow or an upcoming project you're excited to start.


    4. Go around one by one, each sharing a rose, thorn, and bud. It helps if after each person speaks, they name someone else to go next. 

    5. If you find that there are moments of silence, or difficulty coming up with ideas, use the attached facilitator guiding questions to prompt your team! 


    6. Complete this activity at the start of every month, week or even day! The more you do it, the quicker it will become. Make sure to get feedback from your team on how effective they are finding the team activity!


    This activity is popular in successful businesses such as Apple and Google as well as in schools, mindfulness classes, hospitals, and even when debriefing with friends after a first date! The idea is to evaluate a project, team task, or even your day by highlighting a Rose, Bud, and Thorn

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