Creating the Environment:
Post team-related quotes on the wall.
Clip cartoons on team themes and post them around the
Use colour to enliven the room: flip charts, posters, tent
Learn to make simple line drawings and incorporate them
into your visual aids (flip charts and slides).
Bring toys into the room related to the topic being
discussed. For example, if training on problem solving,
bring in different types of puzzles and brain teasers.
Have team members write down 3 truths and 1 lie about
themselves. Then have the rest of the team guess which is
Have team members identify one thing others don’t know
about them. Then have the group guess who’s who.
Have each person identify several people on the team who
are most different from themselves. Then try to find 5
things in common with those "different" people.
Have each person share three rules they live by. Then
develop rules for the team to live by.
Write 3X5 cards with statements about teams (ex: Good
teams never disagree). Distribute cards to team members
and have them swap until they hold a card they agree with.
Swapping must be done silently, without knowing the card
they will receive.
Use a Koosh Ball to get participation. The person with the
Koosh has the floor. When they are finished speaking, they
toss the Koosh to someone else. This allows the team to
direct the discussion and prevents interruptions.
Have individuals write one question they want answered
about the topic of the meeting on a 3x5 card. Then revisit
the question at the end of the meeting and have their team
mates answer the questions.
Have individuals write down their feelings about the team
on 3x5 cards. Then collect all cards and redistribute
them. Have team members read and explain the cards based
on what they think the writer meant. This allows issues
and concerns to be brought forward without fear of
When brainstorming, have team members write their ideas on
post-it notes. Then have them post the notes on a wall or
flip chart and cluster related notes.
Use chips to control talkers. Each person receives 3-5
chips, each worth up to 1 minute of floor time. When you
want to speak, you turn in a chip. When chips are gone,
you cannot speak.
Have each person draw their vision of success for the team
(pictures only - no words). Then have others explain the
Have each person complete this sentence: "One thing I need
to understand on this team is..." Then discuss the
Meeting Facilitation Tips:
Use and post an agenda. When discussion strays, use the
agenda to bring the group back.
Use a "Parking Lot" flip chart - record side issues or
those outside of the agenda on a flip chart. At the end of
the meeting, determine when those issues will be
When you want to lead the discussion, stand front and
center in the room. When you want the team to lead the
discussion, sit or stand to the side of the room. Changing
position sends cues to the team and helps you maintain
Capture minutes and decisions on flip charts during the
Set ground rules as a team and review at every meeting.
Conflict Management Tips:
Have the team identify the criteria they will use to make
a decision. Then evaluate ideas against each criteria.
Post each position on a flip chart, with two charts per
idea (one pro and one con). Have participants silently
post their ideas on the appropriate flip chart. Each idea
must be no more than 5 words in length. Each person can
spend no more than 1 minute at a flip chart.
When two people disagree, ask each to reflect the opposite
position using active listening. Continue reflecting until
the other person agrees that they fully understand the
Summarize the issues on which there is agreement and
confirm to show progress and possibilities.
When there appears to be agreement, confirm with each team
Look for non-verbal signs of dissent and address them
Divide team into two groups. Assign each group either
positive conflict behaviours or negative conflict
behaviours and have them identify five items on their
assigned list. Then have groups act out the behaviours on
their list while the other group guesses. Debrief by
developing a list of ground rules for conflict on the
Never take sides. Instead, suggest a way for the team to
overcome its roadblock.
Tips for Ending a Session:
Ask for one thing each person learned in the session.
Revisit action items and assignments and confirm due
Develop a game or quiz for the team to see how many
questions they can answer correctly about the meeting
content. For example, if the meeting was a "get
acquainted" meeting for a new team, one question might be:
"Which person on your team has been to Graceland three
Ask each person to share one action they will take in the
next week as a result of the team session.
Have each person draw a picture of something they learned
in the meeting. Then have others guess what it is.