Here at TRIBUS, we’ve integrated improv exercises into bi-weekly workshops and our energy workshop last week went so well that I’d thought I’d share it. My approach when designing these workshops is to have a good mix of fun and then at the end bring it back to center and give it context to our daily tasks.
If done correctly, the exercises in the workshop should get everyone out of their comfort zone, because that’s where change and improvements happen. I like to start each of them off with what I call “release the tension.” If something or someone, whether it be a client or coworker, is bothering you now is the time to vent! Getting things off our chest makes the learning part of the exercise much more efficient.
Once we’ve released whatever tension we’ve been holding for the past week or so, I like to introduce an inspirational quote that relates to the focus. For energy, I pulled a quote from our client care manager. Each day the whole company meets for a few minutes to let everyone know what they are working on, whats holding them up and if they are ready to take on another project/task. She wanted it to be clear that each of these meetings should be purposeful, give energy and be motivating.
After sharing the quote I introduce the exercise. I love the look on everyone’s faces when I do this. It’s a clear “wait, were gonna do what!?”
Energy Building Exercise
This time the exercise was pass the energy. It’s a simple exercise that does so much. I love watching the team bonding that takes place during and after it. Everyone gathers in a circle and one person starts by turning to the individual to his or her right, looking him or her in the eyes and saying a word or making a sound that starts off at a pretty neutral volume and tone. That person accepts the energy, matches it and adds a little more as the circle continues. Pretty soon everyone is yelling a funny word and the energy in the room is high.
When it gets to that point where everyone feels like it’s the highest it can go, the group claps to celebrate the build of that energy and takes a second to come back down. Start again with a different person and repeat a couple times.
It’s best done in groups of three to eight people. Much bigger and the bonding element isn’t as strong. I ended this by saying: “When we all meet each day, let’s have the first person who speaks set the tone for the energy level starting point. Then each person after will match and add a little more. By the time we are done’ the energy will be high and you’ll go back to your desk ready to take on the rest of your day.”
How do you build energy and increase motivation?