From the desk of Teresa Jordan – One of my favourite team exercises is the resume mash-up. We list all of the workplaces, experience, education, years of service and other assets of each team member and then make one humongous resume. The beauty here is that the sum of all that experience is massive, and this exercise drives home that we all bring a little something to the group that makes the team as a whole super fantabulous.
These combined competencies and interests, if honoured, can make for an incredibly efficient, problem-solving team. Working in a team is hard, there is no question. While all of those different strengths and opinions are what makes the team stronger, ideas can clash; there can be misunderstandings and conflict.
I guess the magic elixir lies within two questions, the first being: Would you please help me to understand where you are coming from? Where we are coming from has a lot to do with all kinds of layers that we carry, how our family did things, our core beliefs, our habits and different experiences. What we do and how we do it makes complete sense to us.
The magic of the first question is that it simply asks to understand. In the outcome of that understanding a different way could be shared and learned. Or the person asking could decide that what at first seemed completely strange is a really great new way of doing things.
The second magic wand question is: What can I bring to this team that no one else can? Here again we are all so unique we need to remember that a solution that seems so simple to us may not even occur to someone else.
Our skills and abilities are our greatest asset, and ours alone to bring to the team. Seeking to understand where another is coming from helps us to understand their gifts, and in that understanding we can feel confident that our gifts will be received. This is the one-two punch of community building and the ultimate mash up of awesomeness.
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