I was lucky enough to be in Brisbane last week, working with the great team at Living Faith Early Learning Centre. I had the opportunity to see an amazing learning experience used to create a sense of belonging.
Each family was given a pebble and asked to write one special word, which has meaning for their family.
“Please take a pebble home and use the markers provided to write one word which has special meaning for your family. We’ll use these pebbles to help guide our principles and practices.”
Each educator had also taken the time to write one special word, which holds meaning for them. By emphasizing common beliefs this experience is able to create a sense of belonging between staff and families.
What a great way to kick off a conversation about belonging!
This week I’ll be presenting a breakfast workshop on “Leading High Performing Teams” for Gowrie. This breakfast workshop is perfect for managers who are short of time and on the go. In this three-hour workshop I’ll focus on creating inclusive, dynamic and collaborative teams. The session will focus on the key ingredients to create high performing teams and how you can use ground rules to create a positive and inspiring culture. Breakfast is included in this early morning event where you’ll be inspired and motivated before midday!
1. Start Doing, Stop Doing, Continue Doing
This is a fantastic little process to improve communication and reduce conflict in a non-confrontational environment. In your next team meeting, ask each team member to divide their paper into 3 sections. Title each section, Start Doing, Stop Doing, Continue Doing!
First, under the heading start doing, everyone list one thing the team should start doing, this could be a new initiative, a new idea or something that’s not been happening in recent times.
Next, under stop doing list one thing that needs to end. This might be a process or could be a team behaviour or disposition.
Finally, continue doing. Ask everyone to list something that they’ve observed, which they think is great and should continue.
Ask everyone to read out their 3 statements and have a discussion about moving forward!
Drawing is a great non-confrontational way to help team members reflect how they build positive relationships with each other. In a team meeting, hand out some drawing paper and ask the team to divide their paper into 3 sections.
In the first section ask them to draw an animal that represents how they operate in their team.
In the second section as them to draw an animal of how they think their team see’s them.
In the third section have the team draw an animal which they feel represents them.
You’ll end up with some amazing animals! Often the 3 animals are very different, this is a great launch pad into discussing how people operate and are perceived in the team. Have a quick discussion about whether the 3 animals on the page have similar or dissimilar characteristics and why.
Do want to find out more about how to reduce conflict and improve communication in your team?
Having staff that are passionate about their jobs is great, however whilst passion is necessary it’s often not sufficient. Here are 5 quick ways to keep to motivation flowing:
- Annual Leave Raffle
An Annual leave raffle is a great way to encourage staff to attend voluntary meetings. Everyone who attends the meeting receives a ticket in the raffle. Once a month the raffle is drawn, if the staff member is in attendance, they’ll win an extra annual leave day! Annual leave tickets also become a currency in themselves. The possibilities are endless!
- Hide and Seek
Have you ever left educational journals in the staff room only to find them left unread? Grab a handful of $5 Myer gift cards and your favourite stick of roller glue. Find some interesting articles and start sticking! Burry the gift cards deep in the middle of the articles. Once the word gets out, there’ll be a rush on the journals!
- Warm Fuzzies
Take 20mins out of your next meeting to focus on each other’s strengths. When you focus on strengths your focusing on what’s right about your team. Focusing on your strengths allows teams to be more collaborative, solve problems more creatively and see the bigger picture. It helps teams be more innovative, more productive and more energised. Take a few minutes to write something nice about a colleague you’ve observed in the last month and how they’ve helped you.
- Bring a Plate
Pizzas might be cool for dinner before the meeting once or twice, but how about having everyone bring their signature dish. Cooking show’s are all the rage these days. Ask everyone to bring a plate of food for dinner and you’ll be amazed with the response.
- How do you like your tea?
Shared rituals are great way to create a sense of belonging and generate engagement. Rituals foster a group’s culture and identity. They create an atmosphere of trust and build bonds between team members. A great way to create a ritual is to place a simple sign in the kitchen, which list each staff member and how they like their tea or coffee. When you have a new team member staff, you can make a point of adding them to the list. This not only encourages people to be considerate but it creates a great way of welcoming people to the team.
Do want to find out more about how to motivate staff?