Whether due to the fluidity of today’s workforce, or the constant churn some industries encounter with their talent pool, we are often asked to work with new teams or teams that have recently undergone significant personnel changes.
One of the best methods to accelerate familiarity and personal comfort with a team is an exercise called About Me. It's also a great way to document certain teamwork skills.
Based on a form with room for a Polaroid photo, About Me asks each participant to reveal such basic information about themselves such as birthday, company anniversary date, favorite book, fantasy vacation, etc.
Progressively more in-depth information is requested, such as "What I am most proud of concerning my contributions to the company," "Here is how to approach me when you have ideas or suggestions, feedback or need help," and "WARNING! this is how to tell that I am under a lot of pressure."
Team members receive an About Me form in advance so they have plenty of time to thoroughly explore each question. Interspersed throughout the workshop are opportunities for two or three participants at a time to share their responses and participate in a photo shoot.
All of the pages are placed into a binder given to the team to take back to the workplace, making it accessible to all team members. This final step of documentation is important as this is how teams create their history.
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