Quirky Exercise: Picture This
Tools needed: A variety of pens, crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils. Large notebooks–one for each person on the team. Consider buying the book The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide by Brandy Agerbeck and/or Blah Blah Blah by Dan Roam. You don’t need the books but they could be helpful to pass around to the team a couple of weeks before the exercise.
Your team will each become his/her own graphic recorder through a meeting, seminar, gathering, vision casting, etc. and then share their creations with the team. Graphic recorders are artists who listen to a speaker, summarize key points, and recast the information into images in large scale formats for a group to see (graphic facilitators do much the same thing but often focus on helping a group arrive at a decision or set goals).
Watch the above video to see a time lapse graphic facilitator/recorder in action.
During your next team gathering, give everyone an opportunity to visually record the meeting. Encourage them to take not only their own graphic notes on what you say but also to illustrate graphic responses and thoughts from their perspective. Your topic for this meeting should be something you are passionate about. Have everyone share his or her creation with the team. Take time to talk about each participant’s recording creation. Have each team member ask questions about the other’s creation.
Objective: Some will be hilarious. Some will be thoughtful. Some will be precise. Some will be sparse. Some will be cluttered. What symbols do they reuse? Are they detailed? Do they care? Who worked hard to make sure everything was perfect? Who used multiple colors? Who used one or two colors? Why? Who used more symbols and who used more text?
This exercise will surface is not to out the non-artist. Rather, it is to surface what your team members find important. What did they choose to highlight? What got the most attention? This exercise will help surface team quirks and help you get to the root of what they find important, what they struggle with, and where they buck the system. The goal is mutual understanding and unity in mission. It’s an opportunity to talk about why you do what you do in the way you do it.