Want to know how to reflect on the New Year with your team in a human way? Check out these reflection activities that can build trust, foster relationships and allow everyone to get to know each other better.
There is a lot to get done at work each day. Most of us spend our days working long hours in front of a computer and move onto the next urgent task one after the other (and another, and another).
We’re probably struggling to make time, get together and check in with each other. With this, we also forget to reflect on the way we’re working individually.
Even during our busy work weeks, with a little planning and some easy reflection activities you can make time to spend with your team.
“Step in Another Person’s Shoes for a Day” Activity
At least two people can partner up and do this activity for an hour or a day, with the primary objectives being appreciation, bonding and teamwork. Include all team members/staff in this activity—there are endless possibilities for the number of different coworker pairings!
The facilitator assigns each person to take on someone else’s role for an hour or a day. The team leader might take the role of a member and vice versa.
This activity offers reflection and insight for everyone on the stresses, challenges and demands of each specific position.
While brief, quotes are inspiring! They can also be interpreted in different ways. You can use a couple of quotes to represent different viewpoints or those that can have varying interpretations. You can also invite your team members to share their personal quotes so others can get to know them even more.
Fill a box with different quotes. Let each individual draw, read and interpret the quote they chose. Later, allow each person to discuss how it pertains to a specific project/task in the workplace. A few examples of quotes to use include:
- A different world cannot be built by indifferent people. —Horace Mann, Philosopher
- Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
- We are the leaders we have been waiting for. —June Jordan, Poet (and turned into a song by Sweet Honey in the Rock)
Short Speech Activity
Don’t tell your group members about this activity in advance so that the speech will be impromptu and insightful. It will help your team find their inner motivation/passion for their work and allow them to express themselves genuinely.
Give each person about a minute or so to communicate their thoughts and keep the conversation flowing. Allow team members to ask questions or discuss what resonated with them about each short speech.
A good prompt could be, “Why do you do the work you do?”
This activity allows the team to reflect and identify a problem that needs both an action and resolution. You can start by asking a member to identify an issue and then another member will pose a solution.
The succeeding member and then the next will build on that solution until everyone in the team has arrived at a conclusion on how to solve the problem. (A consensus may or may not be a part of this process, which is part of the team building activity.)
Letter Writing Activity
Have all participants write a letter to themselves. They can write about what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling about their job or what parts of it they enjoy (or don’t enjoy). This activity allows each person to reflect, pause for awhile and think about how they work and what they want to improve for themselves.
This activity will develop and hone the empathy skills of your team members. Ask them to think about a specific event from the week or month that involved some conflict. Then, ask each of them to assume the viewpoint that they had during the conflict or the viewpoint that they felt least empathetic with. In the end, ask members what they realized through this activity and how they will use this information going forward.
1-2 Hour Activities
Divide your team in half and ask members to interview each other about their service experience. Take notes, and later present a summary to the group.
Reflection activities for your team members provide them with an opportunity to express their opinions, feelings and thoughts in a shared environment. They will also be able to talk about this experience with each other in the future.
These exercises, both individual and collective, will help build trust within the team and gain insight that your team can establish in the future.
In love and respect,
Founder & CEO, Corna Partners