Look under your thumb and share your reaction to whatever prompt lies beneath it. Thumball™ is a soft 6" stuffed ball with loads of applications!
The Team Dynamics Thumball looks like a cool soccer ball and has 32 panels pre-printed with cogent phrases suited for adults and teens.
Teams are everywhere – at work, at home, at school, on and off playing fields. From board rooms to church basements, we're thrown together with people we may or may not know well, and are challenged to achieve great results. Is your team performing to the max? How do you support each other? How do you develop consensus and manage disagreements? Team Dynamics Thumball is a playful way to raise these critical questions so that your teams can reach their full potential.
Use Team Dynamics Thumball to stimulate conversation, promote team spirit, and boost flagging energy.
TEAM DYNAMICS THUMBALL PROMPTS
Through a series of conversation prompts, explore how your group is working as a team. For example, discuss...
- Benefits and drawbacks of teaming
- Ways to make others feel heard, show respect, and draw in multiple perspectives
- Systems to improve productivity and minimize duplication of efforts
- Approaches to identify goals, work to completion and celebrate success
- Management of disagreements, problems, and mistakes
- Methods to develop consensus, show support, and motivate each other.
©Trainers Warehouse – Trainers Warehouse holds the copyright for this set of questions. Reproductions cannot be made without express approval.
** TIPS **
EXPLAIN HOW IT WORKS: Someone throws the ball, another catches it and responds to the prompt under their thumb.
FACILITATION TIP 1: SET EXPECTATIONS AND EXPLAIN CLEARLY
In order to achieve greatness, sometimes teams need to take a step back and reflect on their relationships, communication, and their process of working together.
Tailor your Thumball game to meet your needs:
- Option 1: Have each player respond only to the prompt under their thumb, then toss the ball to another.
- Option 2: After the first player has responded to their prompt, invite others to share their perspective or discuss ways they could work together more effectively.
FACILITATION TIP 2: SET GROUND RULES
Explain that conversations about team dynamics can become emotionally charged. The goal of the Team Dynamics Thumball activity is to raise important issues and have necessary conversations in a positive environment. So that everyone can feel safe, have the group set up their own Ground Rules.
Here are some that you might want on the list:
- Only one person speaks at a time
- Speak only for yourself; Use “I” statements
- No personal attacks – critique ideas, not people
- Agree to disagree; disagree without being disagreeable
- Listen - make sure everyone feels heard and validated
- Be positive and non-judgmental; open to new ideas
FACILITATION TIP 3: BE PREPARED IF CONVERSATIONS GET STICKY
- Expert facilitators suggest these techniques to ease difficult or emotional situations:
- Pause the conversation so you can review the ground rules with the group.
- Redirect negative comments; ask “what can we do differently?”
- Focus on changes that can positively affect the team.
- If two parties disagree, suggest that they switch roles and make the counter argument.
- Keep a flip chart of difficult topics that can be addressed later.
- Be ready to share some of your own experiences.
- Take a break. Stop for awhile and regroup.
- Thank participants for sharing their personal stories.