We can learn a lot about people from their life stories. Our stories paint pictures of our histories, values, and personalities. Yet, we don’t know much about the past lives of our team members. When we have greater knowledge of a person’s back story, we can better empathize and trust them. There’s nothing like picturing your manager as a 7-year-old child learning a tough life lesson.
In this team building activity of sharing life lessons, you’ll learn a lot about what formed your colleagues and shaped them into who they are today. Each person can choose how much to disclose and how vulnerable they want to be.
Ask each person to share a lesson learned from 4 stages in their life.
To get the most from this, you might want to give people the instructions at least one day ahead of time so they can think about their responses. Then, listen and learn about your team members.
1. Prior to this exercise, give team members at least 15 minutes to identify their stories. Ask them to share ONE lesson learned from their:
2. Take turns sharing lessons learned. Allow at least 5 minutes per person. This is NOT a speedy exercise; it is an opportunity to learn more about each other on a deeper level.
Take time to ask and listen to the stories of the members of your team, this will take relationships to a deeper level, thereby increasing trust and team bonding.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, 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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