The Team Celebration Map: a variation on Personal Maps

- Practices & Exercises

Today’s guest article comes from Britta Ullrich, a team leader for the XING User Insight Team in Hamburg. Britta had used the Management 3.0 Personal Maps exercise during two of her team workshops. On preparation of her last workshop she decided to mix up the exercise; moving the focus onto individual and collective successes of 2015. It was time for a team celebration!

Here’s how it worked…

At our Xing team event held at the end of November 2015 I wanted to focus on all the individual and collective things we had to celebrate.

As I teach adults basic drawing skills that can be applied at work, I decided to start by creating a visual template that I called the ’Team Celebration Map’. It included:

  • The title of our get-together: Deliciously User Insights Dinner – there’s lots to celebrate!
  • A sketch of each team member with their name and the option to add their birthday
Team Celebration Map from XING

How we used the Team Celebration Map

First I gave an empty map (A4) to each of my directs. I gave everybody 10 minutes to reflect on their own achievements and those of their colleagues, and write down what they felt each of their coworkers had to celebrate in 2015 – both on a personal and professional level.

Team Celebration Map blank to fill out
click to enlarge

Examples: completing a big (difficult) project, trialling a new method of working, implementing a new tool, getting married, finding a topic for a Bachelor thesis, finding a solution or compromise for a conflict, and anything else they wanted to share.

We then focused on reasons for collective celebrations i.e. reasons not focused on one person in particular, but as a whole team. The team were asked to add collective reasons at the top of their map.

Next we pooled our ideas, sharing what we had written down for each individual and the team as a whole.

Tip: To keep the group exchange brief, I recommend sharing ‘reasons to celebrate’ on a person-by-person basis, i.e. someone starts out with colleague ‘Anne’, and then everyone else (including Anne) can join in and add to her ‘reasons to celebrate’.

Mutual appreciation

In much the same way as Personal Maps reveal personal details about team members that we might not learn in the normal work environment, so the Team Celebration Map revealed personal achievements that team members were willing to share.

Focusing on personal and professional achievements created a real empathy amongst team members, generating a feeling of mutual appreciation for each other’s efforts. New team members in particular often think their input is yet to come, but after an exercise such as personal or celebration maps, they realise they are already making major contributions to the team.

Tip: Make sure that you try to address any problems the team is currently facing in an earlier session, so that the Team Celebration Map does not feel phoney and like some kind of attempt to whitewash the situation.


2 thoughts on "The Team Celebration Map: a variation on Personal Maps"

  • Patrick Verdonk says:

    3 learnings for me out of this post:
    – I need to get my peers on board to the Personal Maps Idea (first!), though we hardly even meet f2f once a year…
    – I really need to start working on my drawing skills…
    – What a great result!!!

  • Britta Ullrich says:

    Hi Patrick,
    thanks for your learnings – draw on! It’s about the idea not art skills!

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