Taking time to be thankful is important. It nourishes the soul, brings us to a happy place and allows us to celebrate.
Here is a simple activity for your team to express thankfulness as we head into the holiday season.
VERSION 1 – Super Easy
(no prep time and works with a remote team)
- Ask each person to fill in the blanks: I am thankful for (adjective) (noun) because (reason).
For example: I am thankful for loyal colleagues because they reaffirm my faith in humanity.
- Next, go around and let each person share their thankful statement.
VERSION 2 – Moderately Easy
(requires 15 minutes of prep time)
BEFORE THE MEETING:
- Ask each person to fill in the blanks: I am thankful for (adjective) (noun) because (reason) and to email their response to you. (Note: see sample email* below)
- Write (or type) each person’s response on a set of three index cards as follows:
- First, label one card with a “1” and write the adjective on that card.
- Second, label the second card with a “2” and write the noun.
- Lastly, label the third card with a “3” and write the reason on that card.
- Repeat steps 1-3 above for each person on your team.
Note: One person writes all of the cards so they will all be in the same handwriting and thus, it will not be obvious who wrote each one.
AT THE MEETING:
If the team has 6 people or less –
- Mix up all of cards in each stack (i.e.: mix up the “1s” into a stack, the “2s” into another stack, the “3s” into a third stack)
- Then, ask the team to try and reassemble the cards into the correct sets. (i.e.: reconstruct each person’s thankfulness sentence)
- After 5 minutes, review the “correct” sets and let each person share their thankful statement.
If the team has more than 7+ people –
- Split the team into small groups of 3-4 people.
- Then, divide the sets of cards into the number of groups you have. Be sure that you keep the sets together when you divide the cards.
- Next, for each group, mix up all of cards in each stack (i.e.: mix up the “1s” into a stack, the “2s” into another stack, the “3s” into a third stack).
- Furthermore, compete to see which team can put their sets in the correct order first. Consider offering a prize to the team who finishes first.
- At the end, let each person share their thankful statement.
*Sample Email (To use with Version #2):
Please answer the question below and email me your sentence by (insert date). We will be sharing these at our next team meeting.
Reflect on the last year (at work) and all of the things for which you are grateful. Consider the people in your work life…. the activities you did… any learning or growth that happened for you. Write one thing you are thankful for using the following formula:
- I am thankful for (adjective)(noun) because (reason).
I am thankful for wretched roadblocks because they made me re-navigate.
I am thankful for experienced volunteers and staff because they bring such a diverse range of skills, talents and passions to the table
Enjoy this uplifting activity! If you can think of another modification, please share in the comments below.
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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