(More Questions for) Break the Ice with the Four Quadrants Activity

I was both excited and surprised with all the buzz from the my post Break the Ice with the Four Quadrants Activity. It really seemed to resonate with people and gave me positive affirmation that I am on the right track with providing you valuable information for your leadership journey.

A big “thank you” to all of you who responded with additional questions or ideas on how to modify the activity. I have compiled some of the best ideas for you in this follow up post. If you need to catch up on what this activity is all about, check out the first post here.

Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas on this activity via the comments below. I’m enjoying the virtual collaboration with you all!

New question contributions:

  1. Caroline Lewis (for a Leadership Seminar)
    • A symbol that represents Leadership
    • My greatest strength as a Leader
    • How my team would describe me as their Leader
    • An area that I’d like to develop as a Leader
  2. Serena Cammock-Gumbs
    • What do like about this group?
    • If you could change one thing about the group, what would it be?
    • What do you want to achieve personally/ professionally from this group?
    • What is one of your hidden talents?
  3. Sharon Lucas
    • What is a strength/skill set you bring to the team?
    • What is a skill gap/opportunity for you?
    • How do you best like to communicate?
    • What annoys you most at work (or in a team situation)?
  4. Toniya Singh
    • At work, what is my value outside of my job?
    • When I am absent, how do my co-workers manage without me?
    • How do my colleagues see me?
    • How (in)dispensable I think I am, in the eyes of the people I work with?
  5. Shahzad Sultan Ali
    • Draw a picture that relates to your personality
    • Your dream or vision
    • How today’s session will help you to achieve your vision
    • Add your own question to share with the audience
  6. Tony Woods
    • First proper Team?
    • Worst ever Team?
    • What’s great about this Team?
    • How can we make it (even) better?

More ideas shared for different variations of The Four Quadrants:

  • Jenn Lofgren – For groups that are new to one another, have weaker relationships or more introverts, I recommend adding a middle step. Share with a partner prior to sharing with the whole group. This allows each participant to test out their creativity and explanation of their 4 Quadrants with one member of the group to get clear on how they want to talk about their quadrants before presenting to the whole room.
  • Susan Brookshire – I have used a similar activity with several groups, only instead of using flipchart paper I give them a piece of paper and ask them to fold it in half to make a booklet entitled ‘My Book about Me.’ On the cover they have to draw a superhero that best describes them, on the 1st page (inside cover) answer the question “Three things that are great about working with me:” On the 2nd page, answer the question, “Two things you might find challenging when working with me on a team:” and on the last page, the have to draw a picture of their ideal retirement (or sometimes use the legacy question – What do you want your legacy to be?) Participants always enjoy the activity. I spread the introductions throughout the day so they don’t get too bored introducing themselves all at once.
  • Kathleen (Katie) Gibbs – My classes are often a week or more. I have them leave the last quadrant blank for the other participants to draw in images about what they learn about each other throughout the week. Works great to gain engagement!
  • Jack James – I use something similar to this but I call it your family crest. (In the form of a badge) I then ask the participants to give us details about their personal life like their family details, Their hobbies or sports etc. and anything else of interest. I do however do it myself first to break the ice. By asking them to fill out the badge allows them to relax and not become tongue tied by just standing up and giving their details.

If you’d like another activity to try with your team, get the 9 Dimensions Activity here.


About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field, Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are highly productive and positive. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here.

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Comments 8

  1. You might ask:
    1. who has made the greatest impact on your life
    2. why do think team membership is important to the assigned task
    3. what similarities do we bring to the team
    4. what differences do we bring to the team

    1. Post

      Myron – these are great questions to get a team talking and understanding each other – thank you for adding them!

  2. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this excellent blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking
    and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    1. Post

      Thank you Perry… if you like the blogs – please also check out a product I have called Team Building In-A-Box- a full kit you can use to lead your team through a workshop on how they can communicate better together.

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