Agile Retrospective Appreciations Exercise to close your Retrospective
Hi guys, first of all I want to apologise for my silence…I have been extremely busy during last weeks and I did not have any time to devote to my blog :).
I´m trying to come back to my regular rhythm and write a blog every week.
This week I would like to bring another Agile Retrospective exercise. I learned this exercise last week in Amsterdam when I attended a Team Coaching training. It´s an exercise that you can use to close your Agile Retrospective.
What you can expect to get out of this exercise
The idea behind executing this exercise is very simple; the exercise will increase the positivity of a team.
The use of appreciations is something that is done by dozens of teams all over the world.
Studies proved us over and over that a positivity in teams leads to high performance, and of course creates a great environment inside of the team.
Therefore, if you are looking for an exercise that will increase positivity and team bounding, this is a possibility.
When you would use this exercise
I am a stronger believer that we do not need to have any specific reason to execute an exercise like this.
I believe in appreciations and that´s why I am trying to create an appreciation culture within a company where I currently work.
We will try to start or end every meeting with 5 minutes round of appreciations. I really believe this is something very easy to do and has an extreme impact!
How to do it?
Start creating a half circle with chairs. The other half of the circle will only contain one chair, that will face the whole group. This chair will be called the: “Central Chair”.
Make sure you communicate to everyone that you want to have an environment of respect, authenticity and profound listening. Afterwards, explain the exercise in the context of appreciative inquiry.
To start, ask one person to volunteer to be in the ‘Central Chair’. Other members of the circle volunteer and take turns (and their time), to say what they liked about the ‘Central Chair’ person’s contributions to the group or team using the sentence:
“You really served the group when.. and when..” ( keep it to a minimum of 2 appreciation statements) followed by “What I would like to see more of….”( keep it to 1 statement).
A few other members of the circle then volunteer their appreciative feedback. After a few people have volunteered, someone else volunteers for “Central Chair”. You gauge the length of time spent on the exercise, depending on the interest of the group, etc.
Ideally, everyone in the team should be able to provide and receive appreciations. As a good facilitator, you can ask if there is someone that was not seated in the chair that would like to try out.
And of course, you can ask, as well, if there is someone else that did not provide appreciations that would like to do it at that moment. It´s important to give an extra opportunity to people to provide and receive appreciation but not forcing anyone to do something they are not comfortable with.
I believe this is a great way to finish an Agile Retrospective session.
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