Purpose: Tell me about your childhood is a very powerful team building exercise. It increases understanding, openness and trust on a team, which are all important to team effectiveness. Without them team members will be less likely to admit mistakes, ask for help, disagree etc…
When: Can be used for both new and existing teams. Use when teams are not very open, there is little discussion in team meetings and there seems to be a lack of trust among team members.
Materials: Pencil/pen and paper for each team member
1) Ask each team member to answer the following questions by writing them down on paper (you might consider handing out the questions so team members can work through them at their own pace).
- Where did you grow up?
- How many children in your family and where do you fall in the order?
- What was your most difficult challenge growing up?
- What was the one thing that scared you the most as a child?
- Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
2) Once everyone is done, go around the room and share one question at a time. The team leader should go first and should be very open. This will set the tone for the exercise and help others feel like they can be open.
Outcome: This activity should bring the team closer together and increase trust among team members.
Things to note: Don’t be surprised to see team members become very emotional during this activity. If that is the case let it happen, it is a good thing and will go a long ways in helping bring the team closer to one another.