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Personal maps to find teams identity symbols

April 20, 2017

I gave two days training for a group of 24 people. The participants were coming from different departments of the company and they created 6 groups according to their departments. Therefore some of them were knowing each other, some were not.

I know that, from Jurgen Apello book “Managing for Happiness”, there is a an exercise that could apply the teams to understand each other. In order to have a productive and responsive team, you need to build trust and earn trust and the first thing to do decrease the mental distance of team members. In that way team understands their preferences and accepts also their differences.

This exercise name is “Personal Maps”. A personal map is basically a mind map to visualize relationship between concepts like people information home education, work, family, friends, hobbies, motivators, values, goals etc. as shown in the below image:


If we return back to our case. I explained everyone about the exercise and also for what reason we are using it. I also asked them to discuss the intersected parts of their maps within the team.

After this explanation, everyone individually filled out their own maps and listed the intersected areas. You can see some of the maps were filled out:



There was also a second part of that exercise. Yes now, people started to engage with each other but if we are talking to being a part of a team and  balance the needs of the group against her own needs, they should also feel a belonging to it. Therefore I explained them another exercise from “Managing for Happiness”book - “Identity Symbols”- .

Actually it is hard to create a belonging to a team or community when it has not a clear name or image but those should not be conflict the actions of the team. Therefore I asked teams to find a team symbol for each according to their intersected areas.

I also remind them the T-shirt test and said “When you are selecting your symbol, please think that the symbol get you feel proud and you want to wear it like a football club mascot or logo.”


And teams selected their symbols and presented them and explained what was the intersected values and how and why they selected it.





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