I recently met up with a friend who told me how tired she was of her team meetings and away days. Every time she got her team together, she found herself using the same format and the same approach, leading – not surprisingly – to practically the same discussion each time.
Like her, the team were clearly becoming bored with this, but although she was desperate to change things she did not have the head space to come up with new ideas.
The purpose of her team meetings was “to get everyone together.” Many of her team worked virtually, so it was a rare occasion when they were all in the same room.
I suggested she could try some energisers…
The purpose of an energiser is, quite literally, to energise – to move people from a state of lethargy or disengagement to vitality and engagement.
There are lots of ways a good energiser can help. It can:
So if you lead a team, or find yourself in energy-sapping team meetings or away days, here are our 5 meeting energisers to help.
A word of warning: if you don’t like it, your team won’t – so choose wisely.
Ask each of your team to come up with two statements – one true and one a lie. For example, ‘I like bananas and I used to win competitions in Irish dancing.’ Each person takes it in turn to read out their statements and the team then votes on which statement they think is true and which a lie. A great energiser for teams who already know each other well – as a way of uncovering new facts about each other – or for newly formed teams to learn something about their colleagues.
A physical energiser that will get your team off their seats. Ask your team to write down the name of two people in the room on a post-it note, and not let anyone else see it. Then get everyone to stand up. Tell them their goal is to be equidistant at all times from the two names they wrote down. Get people to move until they are. You can decide how long this energiser lasts. A good way of injecting a physical activity if your team need an uplift.
Not the one you think. Get a box of Celebrations, Heroes or any sort that has a number of different chocolates inside. Before you start, give each type of chocolate a question. For example, if you’re using Heroes it could be Dairy Milk: what’s your favourite film? Twirl: what’s your favourite type of music? Fudge: what’s something you’re proud of? Wispa: tell us about an embarrassing moment? You catch my drift. Then hand around the box and ask each person to take a chocolate – without looking – and respond to the question that relates to the chocolate they picked out. Go round as many times as you like – or until you’ve had enough chocolates. You could try mixing up the questions to include work topics as a way of doing individual updates differently. For example, ‘What’s the team you most enjoyed working with?’ ‘What’s been your biggest highlight?’ ‘What’s been your biggest challenge?’ etc. A great energiser for new teams to get to know each other, or as an alternative way of doing team updates.
A very quick physical energiser and a good one to bond teams or get them working better together. You will need an even number of people, so you might not be able to join in. Explain to the team that they are going to take part in a form of speed dating. You can either set up chairs in pairs opposite each other in a large circle or, if you think people need to be up and moving, this can be done standing up. Ask the team to stand/sit opposite someone else in the room and tell them they have 3 minutes to find out as many things as possible that they have in common – and that they don’t already know. Let them know when their time is up and then ask one person in each pair to move to their right. Repeat – with the same people moving each time – until there’s been a complete circle. The team will end up knowing a lot more about each other than when they started and will have found some common ground with each other.
A good energiser if your team has been going through difficult changes. Ask everyone to write down their most significant achievement over the past 3-6 months either at work or at home, and to explain it to their neighbour. Each person then takes it in turn to talk about their colleague’s achievement, followed by 10 seconds of team applause.
If you are looking for new ideas for team development or would like to discuss possible training options, get in touch with our L&D team on 0207 978 1516 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Yvette Gyles, Director