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A light bulb team exercise for building engagement and culture....

One of the most beneficial team building exercises leaders can undertake is to explore both their own and their team's personal values.


Because in order to create a culture where employees feel involved and innovative, leaders have to be able to "stand in their shoes." When a leader understands what motivates their employees to perform, they are better able to coach in a manner that drives positive workplace behaviours and successes.

Our digitalised world allows us virtually free speech online. We can reach all corners of the earth to communicate at any time these days. This freedom drives the modern employee - no matter what their position, to have a voice in the workplace too, seeking their opinion to be heard.

In addition, this superficial world with fake news and obsessions with celebrities has driven today's employees to want to work with organisations who themselves have a purpose, operating with values and behaviours that enrich this purpose.

Determining that employees own values are aligned with their workplace is a vital piece of the culture jigsaw.

When employees understand the principals that their co workers live by, it helps them to communicate more collaboratively. Importantly, when leaders can share their own personal values, they are better understood by their team and perceived as more authentic and trustworthy.

Whilst there are numerous tools such as Myers Briggs that allow us to catergorise our personality type, understanding the values that form the behaviours exhibited in the workplace is important to establish how we see the world and perceive our work.

Simply the act of gathering your team in a

shared environment is

great to open the door for better collaboration.

So as a leader, how do you plan for this sort of team building exercise together? ....Here's a few tips to get you started.

  • Send your team a little pre work where you ask them to spend 5 minutes answering a few questions. These questions should be specifically aimed to allow them to reflect on behaviour choices they would make under certain cirumstances. If you would like some examples of questions you could ask contact me .

  • Remember, you are part of this exercise too. So that means you have to do the pre work aswell!

  • Explain the intended outcomes of your workshop in detail in advance. Honesty and open communication will increase buy in from your team.

  • Mix it up. This sort of exercise is best undertaken with 20 or less in the group so you may or may not have to run this workshop a few times.

  • Allow a morning to run this workshop. I much prefer to engage in team building where self expression is required in the morning. The group is fresher and more relaxed generally.

  • Post your introduction, start with a story, an authentic story that allows your team to see an example of where your own values and behaviours have come to the fore. This will help to set the scene for the honesty and openness required for this session to be a success.

  • Break up the values sharing workshop with some fun activities to encourage communication and to break it up.

  • Again, contact me if you would like some examples of activities that are relevant and engaging.

When conducted properly, this sort of workshop can certainly be a light bulb moment for building engagement and mutual respect within the team. Employees understand leaders better. Leaders understand what drives employees better. This understanding then becomes another piece, with communication and collaboration, in the jigsaw puzzle of awesome workplace culture.

If you would like me to facilitate an awesome values or other team building workshop at your organisation contact me here

DuBrin, A. 2012. Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skill. 7th Edition. South West Cengage Learning.

#values #culture #Authenticity #humility #teambuilding

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