Monday, November 17, 2008

Team Motivation - Team Building Activity

Recently on The Challenge a forum question was posted and I responded;

Daniel wrote
"Hello All!
Next week, I am speaking during a conference about Motivation. The audience is composed by young people who are starting their business and who are quite demotivated by the financial crisis...I would like to really "catch" them and to captivate their attention and mind in involving them in a game or activity about motivation but I hardly find some... Do you have an idea? they are about 15 to 30...

Thanks a lot,

Mike Responded;

I have some ideas here is one that I feel will work well.It all depends on how you front-load, or explain the idea.

If you are not familiar with rope handcuffs, Also Known as Infinite loops or shackles I will send you some images..
A) Ask the group to get into teams of three. I would ask the teams of three to spend 5-10 minutes discussing what motivates them to greatness. (Dealing with young entrepreneurs they will be happy to talk about themselves). Ask them to share motivation that is internal - how they started their business? what keeps them going when challenges arise? what are some challenges they have overcome? etc..

Ask the groups to briefly share what they spoke about.

B) Then I would speak some about overcoming challenges that appear impossible although with assistance and motivation from a network (the group that is here with you today) we can take our level of expertise and amplify it - with help. The challenge that many entrepreneurs face is the pride to not ask for help when needed. We feel that we built this thing (business etc..) we can do it alone, and often time our motivation for greatness causes blind spots that we are not aware of. Although greatness comes to those who admit that they need help and learned from the mistakes and successes of others. Spend about 10 minutes speaking about challenge, motivation, and helping others.

C) Have enough rope handcuffs available for one for each participant. Ask the teams of three to connect themselves (according to the pdf. For a team of three you are just adding one person to one of the participants ropes if you are unclear about this email me!)

Explain that this team building initiative takes motivation to work through what seems impossible problems. The team building activity is not complete until all the groups are separate. (by adding that all groups must be successful leaves a processing time at the end of helping others reach success).

D) if you notice teams are struggling - I generally walk into the crowd with a rope on my own wrists and start illustrating the solution VERY FAST to random teams. (this concept of teaching a confusing concept fast - develops a teachable moment of how as leaders we feel we are helping, when those whom we are helping have no idea of what we are speaking about)

F) after about 15 minutes tell teams that are still attached to stay attached while you process the time together.

G) Possible processing questions;

What was the goal? Was the goal achieved? why or why not? Where did team find motivation?Where did individuals find motivation? Where was the breakthrough moment? When the fun stopped describe your thoughts? How, as a business person, do you solve challenging problems? Did you accept help when it was offered? Did you offer help? What does helping others have to do with motivation? When can motivation block you from achieving success? What can we learn from this?

H) show them how to free themselves.

I) explain that motivation is a great concept - helping others to achieve and find their motivation creates cultures that are internally motivated and more profitable.


- 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.