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Ideally something that people can actually do for real in the review.

A Spectrum of Options

The purpose of the activity is to start people thinking and working, and particularly to assist thinking and learning about:. Obviously avoid arrangements that will be unnecessarily time-consuming and tedious, for example do not ask a group of twenty people to do the task individually and to present their results individually, or the exercise will take til lunchtime..

Ideally review the group's work so that at least some of the resulting instructions can be viewed by the whole group. You should also encourage people to try to follow - in practice - at least some of the resulting instructions which is often overlooked by writers of manuals and instructions. The activity offers a very neat association with the concept and principles of empathy, and the metaphor of 'putting yourself in the other person's shoes' when communicating to others.

This is a very simple and amusing introductions activity, and a super icebreaker and energizer, for groups of people, any age and level, or bigger groups subject to splitting people into smaller sub-groups and giving guidance to self-facilitate as required. Then, after everyone has taken their sheets do not issue these instructions until everyone has taken their sheets :. Aside from the obvious values of the activity energizing, ice-breaking, quickly introducing people to each other in an interesting way , the exercise cleverly makes the points that:.

Tuckman's Forming Storming model. Presentation skills. Christmas Quizballs Instruct delegates to individually consider and describe the personality of a well known admired person which you can suggest, or assist the group in deciding who to describe. A common cause of differences between delegates' views - and a fascinating aspect of the exercise - is that delegates' descriptions of a greatly admired person commonly match their own self-image. For obvious reasons it can be preferable to omit 'self-image' from the name of the activity before you run it with a group.

Select a well known admired person. Involve the group in this if you wish but avoid being distracted by other discussions about the selection, unless you welcome such discussion. You may select more than one well known person to repeat the exercise, but of course the point of the exercise is for the group to describe the same person at one time. If the group has expertise in personality theories and psychometric systems, then for extra focus on the technical aspects of personality theories you may select more than one theory for delegates to work with which means delegates give more than one view - i.

Importantly you must be able to explain the basic workings of the chosen personality theory to the group, or the group must already understand the chosen theory to a very basic level. If working with young people or others who have no appreciation of personality theory then begin the activity by helping the group to establish and agree key describing words of personality, which can then be used for the exercise.

Encourage delegates to use only words to describe the dominant features of the personality. You and the group will perhaps think of more appropriate examples for your local situation and the group's interests. Personality theories. Johari Window theory. Interviewing and selection. Multiple Intelligences theory. Commonly staff social events, especially at Christmas time, involve eating and drinking in a pub or restaurant somewhere.

The format tends to be: drink, eat, more drink, maybe dance a bit, maybe fall over in the car-park, and for many, have a hangover the next day. The organization, and more likely these days the staff too, spend a lot of money and have little to show for it, let alone a sense of fulfilment or spiritual uplift. Many organizations now seek more wholesome and responsible ways for team members to socialize, celebrate and bond at Christmas parties and other social events.

Instead of spending or asking people to spend a big amount per head on a meal out - instead do it yourselves 'in-house'. Perhaps ask every staff member of staff to bring in some interesting food. This can be especially rewarding for groups of varying ethnicity. Food reflects culture, and so offers a helpful basis for improving mutual awareness. If you have a kitchen most workplaces do , then you can handle a certain amount of hot food. If you don't have a kitchen, then be creative with some camping stoves or an outside barbecue.

That's assuming you want to serve hot food. Otherwise keep it to a cold buffet, which depending on the weather and time of year, can be perfectly acceptable. When you feed people in-house, on a biggish scale, it is very cost-effective and can produce excellent quality and quantities of food, for a fraction of eating-out costs. Many groups will expect an alcoholic drink of some sort. Often alcohol is appropriate. Again be creative and imaginative. Again seek help and involvement from staff members with experience and skills in making and providing drinks for large groups.

Recipes are available on the web. Consider the strength of drinks that you provide and consider implications of people's health, proper behaviour, transport, driving, etc.

Is the Alternative Workplace Right for Your Organization?

Most offices have a big space somewhere which can be quickly reorganized to produce a good-sized area for setting up a buffet and eating. Maybe offer starters, mains, and deserts in different departmental rooms, so people circulate and get to know each other better. If you don't have a room or rooms then go out and find the space you need. Again be imaginative and creative.

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There are interesting spaces everywhere. Find some space and make it work. Decorate the venue. Appoint a team to do this - and to dismantle and tidy up too. A consistent problem affecting traditional workplace parties and social events is that people tend to drink a lot when nothing else entertains them. People engage relatively little, with the event, and with each other. Organized activities instead get people involved and mixing and having fun together, which develops mutual understanding, builds relationships and teams, and diffuses tensions.

So think of some activities on which to build your event - to give people some entertainment apart from eating and drinking. Think about activities which will be different and participative, so that people will be active and entertained, rather than sat down drinking and chatting about work and office politics, etc. As already suggested, a really useful tone-setting idea is to have the bosses and executives take a leading role in serving and waiting on the staff.

The Alternative Workplace: Changing Where and How People Work

The tone of the event is important. Staff will be positive if the tone is right. If the bosses stand aloof and refuse to help and get involved, then the tone will be unfair and wrong, and staff will not put effort and commitment into the event. If the tone is right and good and fair, then staff will respond positively. Consider that in very many organizations throughout the year, staff see senior managers and bosses enjoy longer lunch-breaks, expenses-paid-for trips and meals, big company cars, reserved car-park spaces, better salaries, bonuses and perks, and all sorts of other privileges.

Team Building Games, Training, Ideas and Tips

So wouldn't it make a refreshing change for once if the bosses served the staff? You bet it would. A workplace social event is an opportunity for the organization to say thank you to its people. A sit down meal with drinks in a restaurant will achieve this to a degree, and of course in many cases is entirely appropriate, but for many other situations, a social event can achieve a lot more.

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Emotions and feelings within each of us are 'triggered' in different ways. We think differently and therefore see things differently. We often do not imagine that other people may see something quite differently to how we see the 'same' thing. Management and relationships, in work and outside of work too, depend heavily on our being able to understand the other person's view, and what causes it to be different to our own. To illustrate this, and to explore how mental associations can 'colour' US-English 'color' our worlds differently:.

Note: If anyone sees all the days as the same color, or sees no colour association at all, or perhaps sees or senses a more powerful alternative association, then this is another equally worthy personal viewpoint and difference. The days of the week are a simple fixed pattern. Yet we see them in different ways.


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It is easy to imagine the potential for far greater differences in the way we see more complex situations - like our work, our responsibilities and our relationships, etc. Human beings will never see things in exactly the same way - this is not the aim or work or life - instead the aim should be to understand each other's views far better, so that we can minimise conflict and maximise cooperation. Johari Window. Transactional Analysis.