As part of the employee training program I’ve developed over the last couple of years, I came up with the idea of doing a quick team-building activity with my staff on game days right after everyone arrives and before we get started with our work. We do work in sports, so I wanted these activities to come across as a pre-game speech or huddle…that special ritual that very few get to witness. Something to inspire; something to bring the team closer together; something to make us better. This post is part 2 of 7 for the 2014 version of Leadership Lessons with Bill – Good, Good, Bad.
Good, good, bad was not originally my idea, but one I took note of when talking about leadership with someone else I know. I don’t know if there is an original author, but it’s a great activity for developing rapport and confidence within a group setting and works best with a group of around 4 or more people and especially with medium sized groups of probably not more than 15-20 people. Depending on the size of the group, this activity should take anywhere from 10-25 minutes.
To begin this exercise, it’s best to clear the air at the beginning that no one should speak unless it is their turn to either compliment someone else or share about themselves. This activity is not meant to be a debate, but rather an activity geared around respect and mutual understanding. If your team is experiencing internal conflict, this might be a good activity to try when tempers are calm and energy is low. This is not something you’d want to try in the heat of an argument.
First, arrange everyone in a circle so they can all see each other clearly, seated is preferred. Choose one person in the group to be the “focal point” first and ask everyone else in the circle to say one compliment or one thing they admire or respect about the chosen “focal point” person. After everyone in the group has had an opportunity to say something to the “focal point,” the chosen person for this round must say one good thing about his or her self and one thing they want to improve on – hence the good, good, bad.
Repeat this process so that everyone in the group hears one good thing from each other person and also shares what they think is good about their own self and what they feel they could improve on at work.
The purpose of this group exercise is to build rapport and confidence in a group setting by focusing on the good qualities of each person and translating that into how each person’s unique skills are beneficial to the group. Each person is different and has different strengths and weaknesses, so it is only once everyone in the team, first, recognizes those differences, and second, embraces the fact that others may be better at some tasks than they might be themselves. Furthermore, by asking everyone to say something nice about every other person on their team, they are building a safe environment for sharing and thus setting the stage for better outcomes later. The good brain chemicals start flowing and most often everyone leaves feeling inspired and ready to take on the day. You can’t measure the ROI of this exercise in pure dollars, but you’ll definitely feel better about the people you work with when you’re finished.
When I tried this with my team a few weeks ago, I thought it went really well. The first few compliments were generic, but with a little probing and encouragement to dive deeper and more personal, the rest of the group comments were very poignant and sincere. My hope for you now is that you make team building and leadership development a regular activity and use this idea to improve your team dynamics, encourage group sharing and develop rapport inside your group.
Let me know in the comments what you think or if you end up trying this out with your group. I’d love to hear how things work out for you.