Category Archives: team

Team Health Tool (DIAGNOSTIC TOOL)


Time

Depends on how deep the discussion goes but at least 15 minutes
Description

This diagnostic tool gives teams a quick way to assess the health of their team in three key areas: Caring (engagement), Closeness (relationships) and Commitment (dedication to the team and its goals).

 

Materials

  • Pens and paper for each person (markers can also be used)

 

Preparation

  • Draw an example of the bar chart to show later.  It can look something like the one below:

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to do a quick assessment that will help you to assess the health of your team and go deep quickly in sharing reasons why it may not be as healthy as it could be.”
  • “This diagnostic tool measures three elements of your team:
    • Caring – which is your personal level of engagement or motivation about the work you are doing together
    • Closeness – which is how you feel about your relationships with your team members
    • Commitment – which is how dedicated you are to staying with the team and supporting the work that you are doing together”
    • “You will assess each of these individually and about how you personally feel.”
    • “Then you will share your assessment with each other and tell why you answered the way you did.”
    • “I would like you to rate each of these three elements on a 1-10 scale.  1 is low; 10 is high.”
    • “And I would like for you to chart it for us so that we can see a visual of how you are feeling.  The chart should look like this…” (Show an example that you have drawn beforehand.)
    • “Okay, go ahead and make your charts.  There are no wrong answers, because you are just putting down how you feel.” (Allow a few minutes for them to make their charts.  Describe the three categories again if you need to.  When they are all done, have them go around the group and individually share their charts.  Ask them to explain each of their answers, and allow the others to ask questions.  However, don’t allow anyone to tell a person that they are wrong for feeling the way that they do.)
    • “It’s important to note that a score of 10 on each of these elements isn’t necessary for all teams to be healthy.  Some teams are fine with lower scores in ‘Closeness,’ for example.  What do you think are healthy scores for your team?” (Allow them to discuss their thoughts on this until they come to an agreement.  Then, ask them to discuss what needs to happen to get the scores to the optimal levels.  Finally, have them create a plan and ask for their commitment to act on it.)
    • “Great work!  You can use this tool anytime you want to do a quick temperature check on your team’s health.  Now that you’ve been through the process once, it should go pretty fast in the future.”

 

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Filed under Assessment, Commitment, Diagnostic Tool, team

Building the Church – GAME


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to recognize the need for effective collaboration/teamwork when working to build up or serve the Church.  It is a “Gotcha” type of activity that sets up the participants to fail in order to make the point about teamwork.  By the end of the game, though, everyone wins!

 

Scriptures

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Materials

o  Copies of the file “Building the Church – Pattern.ppt” (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – There are 2 pages. You will need one copy of both pages for every two groups.  It will be necessary to divide the participants into an even number of groups for this exercise.  It’s best if these are in color.)

  • Copy (or copies) of the file “Building the Church – Vision.ppt”  (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – You will need at least one copy for every two groups unless you project the image with an LCD projector.  If you print it, it’s best that it’s in color.)

o  Scissors or cutting tool (one or more per group)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print out the “Building the Church – Pattern” file. (2 pages – 1 set for every two groups)

o  Decide how you will divide the participants into an even number of groups.

o  Decide which groups you will secretly pair together for the activity.  One group in the pair of groups will get one of the pages from the “Building the Church – Pattern” file, and the other group will get the other page.

o  Set out scissors or another cutting tool on each table.  (To make the activity go faster, I recommend giving each table several pairs of scissors.)

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a game called, ‘Building the Church.’”
  • “I’m passing out a puzzle pattern to each group, and I would like you to cut out the pieces using the scissors on your table.”
  • “Do a good job cutting them out, because you will then piece them together like a puzzle to make a church building.”
  • “The first group to correctly ‘build’ their church will win!”
  • “Any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, tell them to start.  Walk around the room as they are “building the church” so that you can see their progress.  If they are able to make a building that looks like a church from the pieces in their pattern, let them know that it is a nice effort but not what you are expecting.  Tell them that you think the church can be improved, and let them have more time to work on it.  After most groups have had a chance to create some time of building with the pattern, interrupt with the following information.)
  • “You’re doing a good job building your churches, but I think they can be much better.”
  • “I think I need to share with you what my vision for the church is.”  (At this point, either project the image of the church from the “Building the Church – Vision” file or hand out copies of the file to each table group.)
  • “This is more along the lines of what I had in mind.  Build THIS church!”  (Allow more time for them to work to build this church.  Before too long, they should realize that they don’t have enough pieces to complete the pattern.  The only way for them to complete the church is for them to collaborate with another group to share pieces.  Not all patterns were the same, however, so they must partner with the “right” group if they want to complete their church.  If they are struggling to discover this, you can drop hints until they understand.  Then, allow them to finish building their churches.  When they are done, have them go back to their original groups and discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. When did you realize that you didn’t have enough pieces in the pattern to build your church?
  2. What did you have to do to finish building your church?
  3. What impact did seeing the Vision for the church have on your efforts?
  4. How important is it to have a common vision in our organization for building up the Church?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:11-13.  What does it say about the different roles in the Body of Christ and why/how they should work together?
  6. How do you think this applies to us in this organization and our work with the Church?
  7. What should we do differently to help us build up the Church more effectively?

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Filed under Church, Collaboration, competition, Game, Problem solving, team, teamwork

Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Annimuzzles (ICEBREAKER)


Time

45-55 minutes
Description

This icebreaker takes longer than most to facilitate, but it can be a fun way to start an event where it is important for the group to think creatively.  Participants will work together in teams to create puzzles from their own illustration of different types of animals.  Another team will solve the puzzle.

 

Materials

·      Sheets of blank paper (1 per team)

·      Notecards (3×5 inch – 31 per team)

·      Markers (several colors per team)

·      Masking tape (1 roll per team)

·      Prize for the winning team (optional)

 

Preparation

·      Use one notecard from each team’s supply to write down the type of animal they have to draw.  Here are some suggestions for what you can write on the cards (but feel free to make up your own):

o   Tasty Animal

o   Smart Animal

o   Arctic Animal

o   Australian Animal

o   African Animal

o   Ugly Animal

o   Unfriendly Animal

o   Mythical Animal

o   Dangerous Animal

o   Farm Animal

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s do an icebreaker!”
  • “I need everyone to line up in order from least to greatest by your answer to this question: ‘How many pets have you owned over your lifetime?’”
  • “Those with the most should be on this side of the room.”  (Pick a side and point to it.)
  • “Those with the least should be on this side of the room.” (Point to the other side.  Allow them to sort themselves out.  Then debrief by finding out how many pets various people had.  Finally, divide the participants into groups by having them number off and having like numbers get together.  Make sure that there are no more than six people per team.  When they are in their teams, hand each team some markers, a sheet of paper and their 31 notecards, including the one with the assignment written on it.)
  • “I’ve handed each group 31 notecards, some markers and a sheet of paper.”
  • “On the top notecard is your assignment.”
  • “You are to work together to draw that type of animal on the blank sheet of paper.”
  • “Once you are happy with it, you are going to make a larger version of the same drawing on your 30 remaining notecards.”
  • “It’s easiest if you lay the notecards out side-by-side like a big canvas and then draw the picture on them.”
  • “You will be making a puzzle that another team will have to solve.”
  • “There are some rules you have to follow as a team:
    • Each person on your team must draw on at least four cards.
    • There must be some drawing on every card.  (It’s okay if it is background or landscape – it doesn’t have to be the animal itself.)
    • You will have only 20 minutes to make your drawing.”
  • “When your drawing is complete, shuffle your notecards.”
  • “When I give the signal, you will give them to another team, and we will see who is able to solve the puzzle first.”
  • “The first team to solve their puzzle will be the winner!”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer questions, then let them begin drawing.  When it comes time to pass the cards, you can have them pass them in any order you want as long as every group gets a set.  Make sure everyone starts solving at the same time.  When you have a winner, award the prize, if you chose to have one.  Then, have groups debrief using the following three questions.  After they are done, you can use the tape to tape the puzzles on the back so that they can be hung for everyone to see.)

Debrief Questions

  1. What was challenging about that activity?
  2. What would have made it easier?
  3. How is this like the work and challenges you experience in your teams?

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Filed under creativity, Energizer, Facilitation, Fun, Game, Icebreaker, Teaching, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Breaking Out of the Silos (EXERCISE)


Purpose

This activity helps participants to challenge silo mentalities by forcing them to work collaboratively to complete a task.  The task is a painting task, in which each team (or individual) will only receive some of the colors they need to finish.  In order to meet all the requirements of the task, they will have to negotiate for resources from other teams or individuals.

 

Setup

  • Give each team (or individual, depending upon the size of your group) several colors of paint (poster paints work well).
  • Teams or individuals should get different color combinations so that no one group or individual has everything that he or she needs.  Recommended color combinations are:
    • Team #1 – Black, white, red and yellow
    • Team #2 – Black, white, blue and yellow
    • Team #3 – Black, white, green and yellow
    • Team #4 – Black, white, red and blue
  • Give each team or individual enough paintbrushes for each team member to participate in the painting, a large sheet of paper (a flipchart works well for groups), something to mix their paint on (a piece of cardboard or a paper plate) and several small cups with water in them for rinsing the paint brush.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 20 minutes

Debrief: 15 minutes.

 

Procedure

  • Tell participants that they are going to work in their teams to produce a work of art with the supplies that you have given them.
  • To be judged successful, each team or individual must paint a picture of Noah’s Ark complete with the rainbow that was God’s promise never to flood the earth again. (You can choose another theme if you like; the only essential element is the rainbow, because it uses all the color combinations that will force the teams to break out of their silos.)
  • The rainbow must be at least one-third of the picture, and it must contain all the colors of a rainbow (which can be remembered with the acronym ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
  • The picture must fill the paper.
  • They will have 20 minutes to complete their paintings.
  • (After they begin, observe how they solve the problem of not having all the right color combinations for the rainbow.  You may want to bring out your observations during the debrief.  When the 20 minutes are up, have the groups answer the debrief questions below.  Then, discuss their insights as a large group.  Emphasize the need to share limited resources so that everyone could succeed.  This is not a competitive activity.)

Debrief

  • How did you resolve the problem of not having enough colors to make all the colors of the rainbow?
  • How willing were the other teams to share their paint with you?
  • How willing were you to share your paint with them?
  • Why was this difficult at times?
  • How is this like sharing limited resources in the work environment?
  • What could you do to make it more likely that individuals and groups would share their resources for the greater good of the organization?

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Filed under Abundance, generosity, Overcoming obstacles, Performance, Problem solving, Productivity, Resources, Scarcity, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Remember the Titans (MOVIE MENTORING)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

3 hours
Description

Remember the Titans deals with race relations in the 1970s in Virginia, when black students were bussed into white schools.  A black coach is appointed to lead a high-school football team, and he and other members of the team struggle with the prejudice and racism that threatens to ruin their chances at a successful season.

The movie is relatively safe to show to teens and with different types of audiences.  There is minimal swearing and only one inappropriate scene (where Sunshine, kisses Bertier in the locker room).  Sunshine is apparently trying to be provocative.  It does not appear that the character is actually homosexual, and homosexuality is not glorified.  Christianity is shown in both positive and negative ways.  Some Christians act in prejudiced or racist ways, but others (particularly Rev and Louie) put Scripture to song to encourage the other players.

These questions are for teaching about high-performing teams.

Scriptures

These Scriptures speak to some of the themes of the movie. 

o  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

o  Hebrews 10:24-25

Materials

o  Copy of the movie

o  Equipment for showing the movie (TV, DVD player, LCD projector, Speakers, Screen…)

o  Question Sheet (attached)

o  Popcorn and drinks (optional)

Preparation

o  Print out copies of the question sheet for each individual or group.

o  Set up everything for viewing the movie.  (Be sure to test it all out to make sure that the movie plays well and that the sound can be heard by everyone.)

o  Prepare snacks. (optional)

 

Procedure

Watch the movie.  Then on your own, with a mentor or with a group, answer the questions on the Question Sheet.

Question Sheet

1.     What were some of the challenges that the Titans faced as their coaches tried to make them into a team at the beginning of the movie?

2.     What did the coaches do that was helpful in shaping the players into a team?

3.     What did the coaches do that was harmful to their goal?

4.     What did the players do that was harmful to teamwork?

5.     What did Julius Campbell (the leader of the black students, played by Wood Harris) mean when he told Gerry Bertier (the leader of the white students, played by Ryan Hurst) that “attitude reflects leadership?”

6.     How did this feedback impact their relationship and the team?

7.     What was the turning point for the team?  Why do you think so?

8.     What were some characteristics of the Titans when they became a high-performing team?

9.     What challenges did the team face after they became a high-performing team?

10. How did they respond to these?

11. What kinds of changes do individuals need to make in order to become part of a high-performing team?

12. What do you think is the most important lesson that you can take away from this movie?

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Filed under Challenges, Change, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, diversity, Fear, forgiveness, Group Dynamics, Healing, leadership, Relationships, team, teambuilding, teamwork, Trust, unity

Shared Resources (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-25 minutes
Description

This game teaches that we often need to share resources in order to be successful.  Competition with others outside the team is usually productive, but competition within a team can create a lose-lose outcome for all involved.

Scriptures

o  Acts 2:42-47

 

Materials

o  Flipchart and marker

o  Large, open space to play

o  Mats of some type

o   They can be pieces of cardboard or posterboard, table mats or even newspaper or flipchart paper.

o   You will need one per participant, plus one extra per team.  For example if you have four teams of five people each, you will need 20 mats (one per participant) plus four mats (one extra per team) for a total of 24 mats.

o   They should be large enough for one person to stand on (i.e., about 2’x2’).

o  (Optional) Prizes for the winning teams.

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Clear the open space of any obstacles.

o  Divide participants into teams of similar size (5-8 is best).

o  Identify a starting line and a finishing line. It should be across the room and a significant distance away.

o  Count out the mats for each team.  They should have one more mat than people on their teams.  It doesn’t matter if teams are not the same size.  If you have three teams with five people and one team with six, the three teams should have six mats, and the fourth team should have seven mats.

o  Space the mats out along the starting line.  Keep them close enough together that teams will be able to pass mats back and forth between them.

o  Write the debriefing questions (at the end of this lesson) on a flipchart, but conceal them until it is time to debrief.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to play a game about sharing resources, and we will do it twice.”
  • “The first time, your team will be in competition with the others, and we will see how can get from the Start Line to the Finish Line first.”
  • “I’ve put mats out along this Start Line.”
  • “Your goal is to travel to the Finish Line only stepping on the mats as you go.”
  • “It might not sound too difficult, but I have a few additional rules to share.”
  • “You can never have more than one person on a mat at a time.  In other words, no sharing mats.”
  • “Your feet must never touch anything except for a mat as you go from the Start Line to the Finish Line – no standing on other peoples’ shoes, no stepping on the floor, no using other objects as mats – these are the only mats you can use.”
  • “If you break a rule, you have to go back to the Start Line and begin again.”
  • “Each team has one more mat than you have people.”
  • “So the way that you will move is that people in the back will pass a mat forward to the leader.”
  • “The leader will step on the new mat, and everyone behind him will step forward to stand on the mat of the person that was in front of them.”
  • “Eventually, you will fill up all but one of your mats.”
  • “Pass that mat from the back of the line to the front of the line, and everyone will be able to take another step forward.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, get ready, get set……..GO!”  (Allow teams to race.  Make sure they are following the rules.  Send a team back if it breaks a rule. When a team has crossed the Finish Line, declare them the winner and have everyone return to the Start Line.)
  • “Now, let’s do it again, but this time, I’m going to take away some of your mats.”  (Select groups, and take away one mat from each of them.  You can even take away two mats from one team to add more difficulty to the challenge.  Leave two groups with all their mats (including the one extra per team). )
  • “During the last race, success was beating the other teams, but this time, success is ALL teams crossing the Finish Line.”
  • “Unfortunately, not all teams are equally equipped, so you are going to have to find a way to share resources.”
  • “All other rules still apply.”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, get ready, get set………GO!”  (Allow teams to work together to reach the Finish Line.  They will have to pass the two extra mats between teams in order to be successful.  If you took two mats away from one team, they will need to permanently borrow one of the extra mats.  This will allow only one mat to be passed between teams, which will slow them all down.  However, it’s a good lesson on ‘we are only as strong as our weakest link.’  Without the extra mat, that team will get left behind.  After they have all crossed the Finish Line, you might want to award a prize to everyone for their teamwork or offer a prize to the team that won the first race.  Have participants regroup into their teams to discuss the following debriefing questions.)


Debriefing Questions

o  How did you resolve the issue of scarce resources?

o  Why is it important for us to share resources?

o  How can we do this better in our own groups/organization?

o  Read Acts 2:42-47.  How did the early Church handle resources?

o  What was the impact of this approach?

o  What other lessons can you take away from this activity?

 

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Filed under Apostles, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, sharing, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Balls in the Air (TEAM BUILDING)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This team building activity helps teams learn how to work together through changes and difficult circumstances.

Scriptures

N/A

Materials

  • 5 tennis balls per team
  • Flipchart and a marker (optional)

Preparation

None

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

(Divide the participants into groups of six, and give each group 5 tennis balls.)

(Have each team select a “feeder” (the person who throws the balls into the group).)

(Have remaining team members number off 1 to 5.)

(Then ask all number 2s to step into the hallway, so that they don’t hear the instructions.)

(Share the following directions with the feeder, and Members 1, 3, 4, and 5 from each group.)

o  “The purpose of this activity is to work as a team and learn to work together even without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “The goal of the activity is to get as many tennis balls in the air at one time as possible.”

o  “Ultimately, the goal is to have all five tennis balls in the air at one time and to include Member 2 as a valuable team member without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “Team members 1, 3, 4 and 5, please stand in a circle, and leave a space for Member 2.”

o  “The feeder will stand outside the circle and toss the tennis balls into the circle.”

o  “You will toss balls in the following sequence:

o   The feeder will toss a tennis ball to Member 1.

o   Member 1 will toss the ball to member 4.

o   Member 4 will toss the ball to member 2.

o   Member 2 will toss the ball to member 5.

o   Member 5 will toss the ball to member 3.

o   Member 3 will toss the ball to member 1.”

o  “This will create a star pattern.”

o  “When you get comfortable tossing one ball, the feeder should add the other tennis balls in, one-by-one, until the group can handle all five tennis balls at once.”

o  “We will try this several times, and each time, you will have three minutes to pass the balls.”

o  “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)

o  “Remember, you can’t say anything to Member 2 when he/she comes back in the room.”

o  “I’m going to invite the 2’s back in.”  (Invite the 2’s back, and have them join the circles that their teams have made.)

o  “Okay, feeders, begin.”  (Have the feeders pass their first ball into the circles.  After three minutes, call a time out, and ask these questions:

o  “How many balls did you get in the air?”  (Ask each team; you can record their responses on a flip chart if you wish.)

o  “What obstacles are making it difficult for you to achieve your goal?”

o  “What is the impact on your team’s ability to reach its goal if one member is not clear about his/her responsibility, or if one member is unaware of the team’s purpose or goals?”

o  “Let’s do it again, but before we start, I’ll give you a few minutes to talk about how you can improve.”

o  “You can now share information with your #2’s.”  (Allow 3 minutes for strategy planning.)

o  “Okay, let’s try again.”  (Allow two minutes for the beginning of another round. After two minutes, stop the exercise and say the following. NOTE: If you are running this activity with teens or children, you may want to stop before this next part or make up different reasons for adding these new challenges.)

o  “Your organization has experienced some turnover; number 3s, please move on to the team nearest you.”  (After the groups have traded their number 3s allow 1 minute for them to continue the exercise.  After the minute, say the following.)

o  “Your organization has decided to decentralize and open a satellite office in another country; number 4s, please take 10 steps backward and continue to be part of the work process helping your team to meet its goals.”  (Allow the groups to continue the exercise for two minutes.  Then, say the following.)

o  “In order to reduce overhead at corporate office, your organization needs to downsize.  Number 1s, you have all been laid off.  Please move over into the unemployment line (left side of the room).” (Allow the groups three minutes to continue the exercise. Then, stop the activity, and have all participants return to their seats.  Debrief the activity using the following questions.)

Debrief Questions

o  “How many tennis balls did you get in the air during the last challenge?”

o  “For those who got closer to the goal, what contributed to your ability to improve your results?”

o  “If passing on advice to new employees, what lessons that you learned from this activity would you share?”

o  “What lessons are there in this exercise that you might take back to your organization’s teams?”

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Filed under Challenges, Coping skills, Focus, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Draw the Pig Personality Test (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This fun icebreaker can be an energizing way to engage participants.  It’s a “personality assessment,” but it’s just for fun; there is no scientific value to the results.

Materials

  • Paper for each participant
  • Pens, pencils and colored markers for each participant
  • Printout of the “Pig Analysis” sheet (at the end of this lesson)

Preparation

None

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s start out our time together by getting to know each other.”
  • “We’ll do it in a funny way.”
  • “On the sheet of paper that each of you has, I would like you to each draw a pig.”
  • “Make it as detailed as you like.”  (Allow 5 minutes for drawing the pig.)
  • “Now that you’ve drawn your pig, I’m going to help you do some analysis to see what your drawing tells us about you.”  (Read each of the descriptions on the “Pig Analysis” sheet.  Keep it light and fun.)
  • “Take a few minutes, and share your Pig Analysis with your table.”
  • “Tell them if you think it is accurate or not.”
  • “So, what do you think?  Does your Pig Analysis match your personality?”
  • “Okay, this was not a scientific instrument, so any truth it contained was probably accidental….or was it?”  (You might want to have participants put their names on their pictures and post them around the room.)

Pig Analysis

If the pig is drawn:

 

Toward the top of the paper – You have a tendancy to be positive and optimistic.

 

Toward the middle – You have a tendency to be a realist.

 

Toward the bottom – You have a tendency to be pessimistic and may be
prone to behaving negatively.

 

Facing left – You have a tendency to believe in tradition and be friendly; you may also be prone to remembering dates well.

 

Facing Right – You have a tendency to be innovative and active, but may be prone to forgetting dates easily and may not have a strong sense of family.

 

Facing front – You have a tendency to be direct, and may enjoy playing the role of devil’s advocate; you also are prone to neither fearing nor avoiding confrontational discussions.

 

With many details – You have a tendency to be analytical, but may also be prone to being cautious to the point that you struggle with trust.

 

With few details – You have a tendency to be emotional and to focus on the larger picture rather than focusing on details. You also have a tendency to be
a great risk taker and may sometimes be prone to reckless and impulsive decisions.

 

With less than 4 legs showing – May indicate that you are living through a major period of change and as a result you may be prone to struggling with insecurities.

 

With 4 legs showing – You have a tendency to be secure and to stick to your ideals; however, others may describe you as stubborn.

 

With large ears – Indicates how good of a listener you are (the bigger, the better).

With a long tail – Indicates how intelligent you are (the longer, the better)

 

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High-Performing Numbers Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20 minutes
Description

This game is a “Gotcha” activity. (A “Gotcha” is a training activity that is designed to create a paradigm shift in the participants’ minds.  It is set up so that the participant will fail in order to create an awareness of their need for training on the topic, and it is usually done before the topic is introduced so as not to give away important information.)

 

This “Gotcha” is taken from Ken Blanchard’s and Sheldon Bowles’ book, High Five!: None of Us Is As Smart As All of Us (and slightly modified).  It is intended to help participants see the need of having a good system for working together and clear roles in their teams.  Teams don’t become high-performing teams simply because they have talented individuals; they need good process, communication, feedback, encouragement, goals and other elements.

 

Scriptures

o  Nehemiah 3:1-32

o  Ephesians 4:11-12,16

 

Materials

o  A set of number cards for each team (You will need three 0’s, 3 9’s and one each of the numbers 1-8.  It’s okay to give them more numbers than they need, though.  Feel free to give them a full set each of 0-9.  You can print out the numbers from the file “High-Performing Numbers Game – Number Cards.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  Or if you’ve got a big budget, just buy a pack of playing cards for each participant.  If you do this, you will need three sets of playing cards per team.)

o  Scissors or some other cutting tool (if you use the printed numbers)

o  Printed instructions for each normal team (This page is included at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the shorter one.)

o  A printed instruction sheet for your special team (This page is also located at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the longer one with more detailed instructions.)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print your number cards, and cut them out (if you are using the printed version).

o  Print your normal instructions (one copy for all but one of your teams) and your special instructions (one copy).

o  Read through the instructions on the special page so that you understand how the game works and why the team you choose to be the special team should be able to win most of the rounds of the game.  (Two members of the team will only have to choose between raising a 0 or a 9.  The third member will know a trick that makes it easier to know which number to raise, and he won’t have to wait to see what the others raise in order to know his number.)

o  Group the number cards and instructions into sets.  (Make sure you remember which instruction set is special so that you know which team you give it to.)

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s play a game about teamwork.”
  • “I’m giving each group a set of numbers (or playing cards) and an instruction sheet.” (Pass out these materials.  Make sure that other teams don’t notice that their instructions are different from the special instructions.)
  • “I’ll give you a few minutes to read through your instructions, and I’ll come by your table to answer any questions you might have.”  (Go table-to-table to make sure that they understand the instructions.  You don’t want to answer questions as a group, because it might come out that one team has different instructions than the others.  When everyone understands how the game is played, start the game by saying a number between 0-27 out loud (see a recommended sequence below).  The team that wins is the first team to get three numbers in the air that correctly add together to total the number you say out loud.  Award one point to that team.  Keep saying numbers until you’ve given them all.  Then, add up the team point totals and announce the winner.  TIPS: You may want to get someone to help you as a spotter to see which team is up first.  Also, it’s often easier to tell who was up first if the players have to stand and raise their number rather than just raise their number.  If you only have a few teams, put the players at the front of the room so that it’s easier to see who is up first.)
  • (After the game, you can debrief with the following:)
  • “I have a confession to make.”
  • “One team had different instructions than the rest of you.”
  • “This team (point out the special team) knew a trick for getting their numbers up faster.”  (Allow someone from the team to explain the trick.)
  • “I played a trick on you to make a few points that I would like you to remember.”

o   “Having a team with smart or talented individuals is good, but it’s not as good as having a team with a really good system or way or organizing the work.”

o   “There have been many professional sports teams that were full of superstar athletes but who were unable to win a championship.”

o   “That’s because a high-performing team is more than a collection of superstars – it’s a team, which means that the individuals work together.”

o   “The better a group of individuals work together, the more successful they can be.”

o   “And it’s possible…even probable…that a team of average players who work together in a high-performing way will out-perform a team of highly skilled individuals who don’t work together well.”

o   “So, now we need to do something very important.”

o   “I want everyone in the room to raise their right hand above their head.”  (Demonstrate and encourage them to follow your lead.)

o   “Now, point your hand out toward the front of the room.”  (Demonstrate.)

o   “And repeat after me…”

o   “In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior…”  (Wait for them to repeat after you.)

o   “We forgive you ______ (substitute your name).”  (Participants usually think this is funny, and it eases the tension some may be feeling because you tricked them into playing a game that they couldn’t win.)

Idea for Bible Teaching

You could use this activity along with Nehemiah 3 or Ephesians 4 (see Scriptures at the top of the lesson) to emphasize how important it is that everyone does their appointed role on a high-performing team or to emphasize how well things work when you have a good system in place for teamwork.

 

Suggested Number Sequence and Correct Number Cards for “Special” Team

Number You

Call Out

“A” Person “B” Person “C” Person
25 9 9 7
17 0 9 8
12 0 9 3
19 9 9 1
22 9 9 4
8 0 0 8
14 0 9 5
11 0 9 2
26 9 9 8
23 9 9 5
4 0 0 4
18 0 9 9
16 0 9 7
24 9 9 6
6 0 0 6
13 0 9 4
21 9 9 3
27 9 9 9

Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

 

 

 


Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

How to Be a High-Performing Team

o  Give each of your players a letter – A, B or C.

o   “A” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to eighteen, hold up zero.  If it’s nineteen or more, hold up a nine.

o   “B” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to nine, hold up zero.  If it’s ten or more, hold up a nine.

o   “C” person – If the Facilitator calls out nineteen, hold up a one.  If it’s a single-digit number, hold up that number.  If it’s a two-digit number, add the two numbers together and hold up the sum of those two numbers.

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