Teambuilding Activity: Connection

When I first did this exercise, it simply emerged on the spot! It happened on a day when I was leading a change session with Eelco Hers. We were facilitating a group of people who were brainstorming and sharing ideas to improve their processes. In the morning session, the 'positions were taken.' We had decided to have the discussions in the afternoon. So, some people had already expressed their opinions. We could expect some heated debates in the afternoon.

When I started the afternoon session (and they already knew we would begin in a surprising way), I asked everyone to stand up. The tables were arranged in a circle, so I asked them to move closer to each other. Then, I asked everyone to hold each other's hands.

I could see that this happened in just a few seconds.

Then I could make the remark, "Wow, look how quickly you have made 'contact' with each other!"

"Let's see what happens if I do this?" (and I made a wave motion with my right arm).

Then, the wave traveled through the entire room until it came back to me.

Afterward, I mentioned that during smoking cessation training, it takes me a few minutes to get a group of people to close their eyes and do a relaxation exercise, even if they are all technical people who are not really into it.

"Let's see if I can do it faster now?" And I closed my eyes. To this day, I assume that everyone closed their eyes.

"Let's see what happens if I..."

Then, I squeezed my right hand, and after about 10 seconds, I felt that squeeze in my left hand. It was amazing!

I did a few more things like this and then asked everyone to open their eyes again.

Promptly, everyone let go of each other's hands. So, I remarked, "Look how quickly you can lose contact!"

Then, I asked the group, "How can we ensure that this afternoon, even though 'positions were taken,' we can still stay in contact with each other?"

The group came up with some beautiful descriptions and agreements. The afternoon went extremely well. It was wonderful that this form of exercise spontaneously emerged!