Supervisor Success Practice Vulnerability

Practice Vulnerability as a Team

Try these activities to approach vulnerability gently and with good humor. They are tied together under a childhood theme, encouraging participants to open up a window into where they came from and what helped shape them into the person they are today. Sharing this kind of information strengthens the bonds that build social capital and interpersonal connection. Building social capital takes time. Try these activities at the beginning or end of staff meetings over the course of several months.
  • Small Group Discussion:
    • Break into groups of 3-4 and ask each person to share something about their childhood with the group.
    • For example: Where did you grow up? How many people were in your family? What is one memorable experience you had as a child.
    • Objective: This provides an opportunity for people to share something about themselves from outside of work, allowing room to choose from major to minor significance, from positive to negative. It’s a chance to “be yourself.”
  • Activity: Happiest day of your childhood.
    • Ask participants to write down a description of their memory of the happiest day (or a happy day) in their childhood. Pass the description to the person next to you. That person must turn the description into a drawing, then fold the paper so that the written description is no longer visible. The paper is then passed to the next person who creates a new description based on the picture.
    • Objective: This activity changes the personal sharing into a game, which makes it less threatening. The interpretation of the drawings can lead to hilarity – a real social capital builder.
  • Small Group Discussion:
    • Break into groups of 3-4 and ask each person to share what they were like as a child.
    • For example: Describe your personality as a child. What did you like to do? What was important to you?
    • Objective: This activity is more in-depth than the first two. For some people this might feel overly personal. Emphasize the purpose of this activity isn’t to share your deepest darkest secrets. It’s an opportunity to get to know your colleagues in a way that they wouldn’t normally during the course of a typical workday. And a chance for each individual to share what makes them who they are.