Using drawing exercises to spark team building and creativity

When new teams come together or when managers facilitate meetings of all sorts, they often use icebreakers to create a safe comfort zone among participants and lower the barriers to share ideas. Sometimes these sessions occur with a diverse group of people, who have never worked together, and often have not even met each other before. The challenge is always to create a sense of team, to get people comfortable working together, and to minimize any impediment to sharing ideas freely.
Over the course of several years, spanning multiple teams in a variety of settings, I have experimented something different than the traditional icebreaker to really get peoples’ creative juices flowing and render the experience more interesting and memorable. I found that CREATIVE DRAWING is a terrific way to really jump start peoples’ brains and usually share some laughs, which both promotes creativity and lowers peoples’ defenses and fear of judgment. This is particularly important in sessions that require actual brainstorming for things like prototype design, but applies as well to any team-building setting.
This session presents a set of exercises that bring together many ideas from all the icebreaker/creative drawing experiments conducted over the years, in a simple format. The act of drawing engages the right side of the brain, and it mixes visual, verbal, and kinesthetic experiences, so it works for various types of learning styles. The drawing process can be unnerving, and will undoubtedly push many beyond their comfort zone. This process in itself creates a bond amongst the participants, as they all confront a common challenge. Once the drawing is complete, a great deal of the psychological pressure has passed. Presenting the drawing is then relatively easy because the drawing is already complete and cannot be changed. It is therefore easier to listen fully to others. The final step is to post all the drawings on the wall so that they remain visible throughout the session and people can remember what another team member drew and why.
These exercises can be used for teams of any size, are easy to setup, and deliver positive energy since their first use. Enjoy your Spark creativity!

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

This is an interactive workshop where participants experience first-hand how to use drawing to spark team-building and creativity.

The participants should be divided into teams of 4-6 people, around a table. They will do the exercise by drawing and then sharing with the rest of their team. I'll open the session with a brief intro, and close with an explanation of why this works.

The exercises are based on a book I recently published: "The Spark Engine", and I'll make a few copies available in the class to use.

 

 

Learning Outcome

Learn how to use creative drawing to foster a culture of team-building and discovery.

Learn why traditional ice-breakers don't work

 

Target Audience

managers, coaches, trainers, executives, facilitators - anyone engaged in team building and ideation processes

Prerequisite

None

 

schedule Submitted 6 days ago

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