There are tasks in our jobs that we love, tasks to which we are indifferent, and tasks we despise. The more we spend time doing tasks we love, the greater our engagement and fulfillment, both fundamental to our happiness, which is one of five areas in the Better Teams Model.
We often get into rhythms and accept some tasks as things that we must do because it’s a responsibility of our role or because it’s always been done that way. In a time when most people feel overwhelmed already, doing tasks that drain us only makes us feel tired.
What’s interesting is that one person’s dreaded task is another person’s pleasure. So, what if we actively look for tasks we can swap so that we are doing things we enjoy more of the time?
In this simple team activity, team members are given the opportunity to release their dreaded tasks and take on new tasks that they look forward to doing. I learned this idea from my colleague Tierah Chorba, a master facilitator and trainer.
- Pass out large sticky notes and markers to everyone on the team.
- Ask each person to write 1-3 tasks (one task per sticky note) that they would like someone else to do.
- Each person briefly shares what this task is and posts it on a wall in the room (or on a whiteboard in a virtual room).
- After hearing what all the tasks are, team members go to the wall and write their name on any tasks they are interested in taking on.
- If there are tasks no one wants to do, look to see if there are pieces of that task that can be eliminated, automated, or delegated.
It always amazes me how many of the tasks are taken and the sense of excitement and relief the team feels. Not only does it feel good to give up something that you don’t enjoy, but team members also find pleasure in helping others.
Keep in mind, there may be people who take on more than one task, and there may be people who take on none. The key is not to force this, but to allow for those interested and able to support their team members.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, Team Consultant Academy, and FORWARD, 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.
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