11 Stones is a team building activity that can be used in training or any type of meeting. It uses images of eleven stones with words to draw out the thoughts of people in a meeting in a creative way. This engagement activity can be used in online meetings or in-person.
Often, we need a way to engage what people are thinking or feeling in the meeting. We can just ask them, but we might only get superficial answers. If, however, we give them a picture of 11 stones and ask them to choose one and react to it, we might just get a better glimpse into what is really going on in their minds.
Barb Pedersen, an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator, introduced me to this activity and I put it to use the very next week at the end of an online team building meeting. It’s simple, visual, and adaptable, making it a new go-to team building activity of mine.
Simply show the slide with the photo taken by Barb, who has given us full permission to use it. Then, ask your questions to the team.
I showed the slides in the last 5 minutes of the session and asked each person to "Choose one word and tell us why you selected it." I left this very open-ended and because the words are so positive, their comments were too. It was a nice way to close the team meeting.
Here are some ideas Barb shared with me:
- Which stone/s is the closest to what you feel about our work (your work) today? Why?
- Which stone/s are the farthest away from what you feel about our work (your work) today? Why? What might you do to move towards these stones?
- Which 3 stones sum up our journey (your journey) today? Why?
- Which stones might you use as you prepare for our next session (lesson, class)? Why and how will you use them?
You can use any of these questions or make up your own. You could make this short and sweet or take more time to allow each person to talk more about the reason they chose their stone(s). The possibilities are endless.
Blog Contributor: “Facilitate with fun, fervor, and focus” is Barb Pedersen’s approach to helping people in meetings, workshops, and sessions. Barb formed her facilitation and consulting business, Barbara Pedersen Facilitation Services Inc. 26 years ago, and enjoys work with the non-profit, government, and corporate sectors.
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