Teambuilding Activity: Values in 1 Minute

After the summer vacation, I often visit various schools to foster a sense of unity within teams. One of the things I frequently do is the 'Values in 1 Minute' activity. It always sparks profound conversations and serves as a starting point to establish a shared value for the upcoming school year. However, this can also be done in a company at the beginning of a calendar year, a project, after a merger, and so on.

This activity promotes:
- Collaboration
- Communication
- Unity
- Openness and sharing
- And who knows what else

Below are the instructions:

Time: 1 minute, plus the ensuing conversation...
Participants: a team
Indoor and Outdoor
Not physically active

Materials needed:
A flipchart or whiteboard (something to stick notes on), post-it notes, or moderation cards.

Initial setup:
All participants are seated in a meeting arrangement (depending on the space), or if you're outdoors, simply standing across from you.

This activity can only be done after engaging in several activities with the team, creating a joyful and energetic atmosphere that fosters openness.

After a few activities to uplift the mood, give each person a round card and allow them 1 minute to come up with one word: a value. This word should encapsulate everything they consider important in their collaboration with colleagues for the upcoming year/project/xxx. I usually add a note saying that they cannot use the word "collaboration" itself, as the focus is on finding an all-encompassing word that they value within collaboration.

Why 1 minute?
Simply because it prompts quicker decision-making, and their subconscious will choose what they consider most important. Moreover, with less time available, there is less opportunity to focus on other team members or be influenced by them.

Once they have written down their word, they stick it on the flipchart with a buddy.

You can then categorize the cards and possibly create a top 3. Ask the group for explanations regarding the chosen words. Ideally, the person who wrote the word should respond. For example, "What do you mean by 'peace' or 'trust'?"

As mentioned earlier, the objective is to arrive at a top 3 of shared values.

What's next?
You may consider anchoring the values through the group-juggle activity.

Safety check:
Emotional safety is important. Nothing is deemed wrong; only ask for clarification and do not allow any room for criticism or debate. This activity is not intended for discussions.