No matter how much I plan out my team building sessions, I usually make mid-meeting adjustments to my processes in order to adapt to the needs of the group. I need to be ready for anything, so there are a few basic supplies that I always have with me just in case they are needed.
These seven essentials supplies are the first things I pack in my facilitator kit:
- Mr. Sketch Markers – These scented markers smell delicious, provide a unique sensory input that stimulates our brains and participants LOVE them. I also love the colors that come in their 12 pack. They aren’t always easy to find, but you can buy them online at Staples.
- Post-its™ – 4×6 – This size is big enough to write ideas and be able to see them from a distance as long as everyone uses a marker (not a pen) to write on them. I like to have 4 different colors, in case I want small groups to each to have their own color as an identifier. They are also handy to collect open issues or just to jot down ideas.
- Painters Tape – This is helpful when things won’t stick. And as a bonus, the tape is helpful if I forget a lint roller and have cat fur on my pants. 😊
- A Slide Advancer (aka: a clicker) – If you are presenting a slide deck, you will want a “clicker” so you can move around the room while you advance your slides. Most places I facilitate at have one available, but I like mine because I know how to work it and it results in a smoother experience.
- USB Flash Drive – Helpful if my computer isn’t compatible with the client’s system or someone wants to share documents with me.
- Dot Stickers – I like Avery #5468 which comes in four colors of 1-inch dots. You never know when you’ll want to let people vote or express their opinions. Dot stickers can be used for a variety of reasons including giving “points” for participation and even dividing people into sub-teams.
- Business Cards – Someone will always ask you for your card, so it’s nice to be able to share your contact information so you can stay in touch.
Here are six other items that are also helpful to have during a team building session:
- Index cards – I find index cards useful if you want people to write down ideas, but don’t want to use Post-its™. These non-sticky cards can be collected or passed around. They come in numerous colors and are much less expensive than Post-its™.
- ELMO – A plush Elmo doll is a fun prop to signify “Enough Let’s Move On” in a light-hearted way. This is a ground rule I often use, and the Elmo doll serves as a reminder.
- Gum – Helpful after coffee or lunch for fresh breath or if my mouth is dry.
- Protein bar – In case the food doesn’t match my diet or desire, and I want an easy, healthy fueling.
- Photo Metaphors cards – This is a deck of photo cards that can be used in a variety of activities. Check out this photo metaphors activity.
- Tingsha Cymbals – A gentle sound to capture the attention of the room.
What else do you always have with you to ensure you are ready to facilitate no matter the situation?
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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