When you are looking to build a better team, you need to start with knowing who each other is, knowing how each other like to get stuff done. This exercise is a chance for you and your team to share your preferences for how you like to work.

Download your copy of Getting Stuff Done Canvas.

 

Usage

One of my favorite ways to use this with teams is

  1. Get this printed as large as possible; 3 feet tall or more, and taping it to the wall. (Tip: If you don’t have access to a plotter printer, then use 2 flip chart sheets side-by-side. You can recreate this very easily.)
  2. Give each team member 7 small Post-it notes or large dots. Have them put their name or initials on each one.
  3. Read the first line and have all the team members put their Post-it or dot where they think they belong on the line. (Tip: If someone asks me to define the line, I don’t. Instead I ask the team to define the meaning. Then we all place our dots on the poster with our common understanding in mind.)
  4. Continue this line-by-line until the end.
  5. After the whole team has identified how they like working, I ask team members to come up and describe how themselves.
  6. After the sharing and laughter, I ask what we should change to better accommodate each other and their working style.
  7. You will get more use out of this if team members continue to talk about what they and their colleagues prefer in the weeks after you go through this exercise.

Note: It’s possible to have too much similarity. If you find everyone is grouped at one extreme, or almost everyone, ask how that impacts our interactions with other teams, leadership, stakeholders, and so on.

 

Don’t forget to grab Getting Stuff Done Canvas.