Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Team Building: Open ended questions - facilitate thoughts for training program effectiveness

Using open ended questions is a tool that a team building facilitator uses to bring participants to examine what was learned. These questions have no right or wrong answer they are meant to trigger thought and insight in the team members.
These questions can be used for front loading - setting up the thoughts prior to the beginning of a team building activity. These questions can also be used following an activity to reflect on the team and where they are going.
Here are some examples of open ended questions that get results and inspire team work;
What was the first clue that the situation was not going well? How did the chaos stop? What had to happen before you could start working towards a solution? What type of solution were you, as small teams, striving for? What are some real examples from your work lives that mirror this activity? As a team initiative, which elements of high performing teams were evident and which elements needed more emphasis? Clarity of purpose and clarity of roles are essential for team performance. How did these two factors influence performance? What similarities do you see between this and the workplace? Is there anything we want to focus our attention on in future initiatives?How did you use your planning time? Was everyone incorporated into the planning, if not why? Those of you who did not feel part of the team what stopped you from pushing your way in? Was a common language created? How is this like work? How can we implement our learning into the team? What strategies did the group develop to implement an effective solution? What was the consequence of change during the activity? What strategies did the group develop to adjust to change? What recommendations does the group have for managing change at work based on the experience? How did this activity build trust? What changes have you noticed since you finished the stages? How did you overcome any anxieties? How well did you coach your partner?
Using an open ended question can raise ideas and create solutions that teams never thought possible. In your next meeting try some of these questions they will bring out the power of teams - and the power of facilitation.

- Michael Cardus serves as an Adventure Consultant for Create-Learning Team Building. Mike facilitates, trains, and speaks to groups in a variety of settings including Fortune 500 Companies, small business, universities and classrooms. Currently he lives in Buffalo NY, he travels to serve your groups needs - where and when your group desires.