Watch Michael Bungay Stainer’s latest book recommendations on this short insightful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=584SyZXvXPk&feature=youtube_gdata_player. Decisive is a great book he recommends. Tune in to learn more!
Yesterday I posted a versatile recognition activity that fits just about any size group or situation. Here’s another cool activity that my friend Brenda introduced me and is used in a great Emerging Leaders Program. Do it on your own or in a team!
What is your “ing”?
This exercise is great because it:
- can be done quickly
- can be done one-on-one, in small to large number groups
- allows people to self-reflect on their strengths
- requires little planning, set-up or materials
- small index cards
- pen or fine tipped markers
- Hand out one index card per person. On the lined side, ask people to write how they identify themselves such as how they would introduce themselves to someone at a conference (e.g., their name, business title). To save time, people could tape their business card to that side, but I prefer to see what people chose to write!
- Next, they are going to reflect on what really matters to them and who they really are as leaders. You can ask probing questions such as: What are you known for? How would people describe you? What makes you unique? What value do you bring to the workplace and your organization? What is most important to you?
- Once they have reflected, they can record these thoughts on the blank side of the index card, but here’s the catch. Each word needs to end in “ing” (e.g., caring, organizing, mentoring, planning, supporting). They will likely come up with a combination of things they do as well as what they stand for.
- Next, ask people to underline the 5 “ing’s” that best describe them and how they want to be known. Point out how this new type of business card allows them to acknowledge not just the role(s) they occupy but also the unique gifts and talents they bring to it.
- What are your most important “ing’s” and why?
- How do you live your “ing’s” in your current job?
- What, if any, “ing’s” are currently dormant or less pronounced than you would like? What is the impact of this?
- If you could live more fully into all 5 “ing’s”, what might you do?
Whether this exercise is new to you or have used a version of it before, please share your experience in the comments section!
Exercise: Give ‘um a Pad on the Back
It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day work that we don’t stop to take stock of the specific gifts and talents that our colleagues bring to the table (beyond the passing thought “hey, she’s really good that that”), let alone take time to intentionally acknowledge these to each other. To counteract that, in this post, we talk about a cool recognition activity. Tomorrow I’ll post some additional ways you can use this exercise in everyday work settings.
This exercise is great because it:
- can be anonymously or people can make the feedback personal
- everyone in the group receives feedback
- can be done quickly
- can be done in small to large number groups
- safety pins
- card stock (plain or with a heading)
- fine tipped markers (preferred but pens or pencils will do)
- Take your safety pin and a piece of card stock. Find someone in the room who can pin the card stock to your back. Have then pin it on yours.
- Taking your marker, pen or pencil with you, walk around the room, writing what you would like to acknowledge about that person. It may be something you have told them before, or maybe something you would like to recognize as a strength or skill you have never shared with him or her.
- Continue until time is up or you have given feedback to everyone.
- Have someone unpin the card stock and read the comments.
- Reflect on what you notice. What do your colleagues recognize as your strengths, gives and talents?
- What was that like for you?
- What surprised you about what your colleagues shared?
- What would you like to do with this? What’s next?
Tomorrow I’ll share some adaptations to this exercise and additional ways you can incorporate what you learn from this activity in the workplace.
For more on recognition, check out the F.R.O.G. (Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness) post here.
Now that you’ve created your vision board, here are some more tips and ideas to get the most from the experience:
- Frame it so you cherish it. Give it the care it deserves. It’s a reflection of your inner values, needs and hopes.
- Hang your vision board somewhere you will see it everyday or where you go for inspiration. Make it a part of your environment.
- Explain your board to someone you care about – your best friend, spouse, teen or colleague. This is especially important for extraverts that will better understand the important nuisances of the board by talking it though.
- When you describe your board to someone else, put yourself into the future. If you’re hoping your vision comes true in 2016, envision yourself in two years time, and explain what happened between 2014 (i.e., today) and 2016 that allowed you to live into your vision. Again, reflect on what comes up as the intentions, beliefs and actions you describe in that journey.
For more on how to create a vision board, click here.
A key first step for leaders is to create a vision board for their leadership style. Enjoy!
I am reposting the Choice Map post as I have just discovered this video of Marilee Adams explaining the Choice Map – check it out here and enjoy!
A simple book with a powerful message and a great tool – the Choice Map. Google the map and pick up the book. Key to staying focused on strengths is taking the “Learner Path”. Learn more in this great book – a must for every leader’s shelf!
I also realized Marilee has a new book out: Teaching that Changes Lives (shush…don’t tell my teacher hubby that that’ what he’s getting for his birthday…)