Use one of the three mapping team activities below to help your team discover more about each other or to prepare to travel effectively together.
Supplies (vary depending on which activity you select):
- A poster of a world map (or a smaller copy of the world map for each team member)
- Tacks or Stick Pins or Dot Stickers (each team member should get a unique color – and some may need numerous pins)
- Tape (to post the poster on the wall)
- Black Sharpie pens (if using dot stickers)
- String or Thread (only needed if using pins with Mapping the Places We’ve Lived)
Instructions for three team building activities:
(1) Globe Trotters – Mapping Travel Excursions
Note to facilitator: If the team has not traveled globally, you could use a map of a country and focus on cities or states. This activity requires dot stickers INSTEAD of pins.
- First, tape the poster on the wall or lay flat in the center of a table.
- Secondly, ask each person to select a sheet of colored dots. (Each person needs to have a different color.)
- Thirdly, explain the activity:
- “Let’s learn more about each other by learning more about where you have traveled and where you hope to travel in the future.”
- “Place a dot with a check on each country to which you have already traveled. Then, place a blank dot on 2-3 countries you’d like to visit in the future.”
- Then, give the team several minutes to prepare and post their dots.
- Lastly, let each team member share their favorite city to live in and one city they would like to visit – be sure to ask them “why” they selected those locations.
(2) Home Sweet Home – Mapping the Places We’ve Lived
Note to facilitator: Excellent for teams living in different locations or who are diverse in background. If your team has more than 5 people, consider giving each person their own smaller world map so they can all map their locations at the same time.
- First, tape the poster on a cork board or thick cardboard if using pins so the pins won’t damage the wall. If using dots, tape the poster on the wall.
- Then, ask each team member to select a bag of colored pins or dots to use. (Each person needs to have a different color.)
- Finally, explain the activity:
- “Let’s learn more about each other by discovering all the places where you have lived from birth to present.”
- “Place a dot or pin on every city in which you have lived.”
Note to Facilitator:
- If using dot stickers, ask them to number the dots in order of when they lived there. Their birth place would be number one, etc.
- If using pins, ask them to take a small string or thick thread, and connect the pins, to show the path of where they have lived beginning with birth.
- Give the team several minutes to prepare and post their dots/pins.
- Let each team member share the cities they have lived in.
(3) My Traveling Ways – Learning How to Travel Well Together
Note to facilitator: This is to be done for a team who is planning to travel together.
- First complete Mapping Travel Excursions (the first activity above).
- Then, explain the activity:
- “Traveling evokes various emotions for each of us and we all have different preferences and needs related to our traveling experience. As we prepare to travel together for our meeting, let’s be proactive and learn about what is important to each of us. This information will provide insights for us about how we can support each other during the trip and set ourselves up for an enjoyable and productive experience.”
- Lastly, ask the following questions, allowing each person to answer one at a time:
- Specifically, what stresses you the most about traveling with a group?
- Moreover, what excites you the most about traveling with a group?
- Furthermore, what would you like for us to know about your travel preferences so that we can support you?
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 happy and high-performing. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here.
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