Reaching out because I purchased the We! Connect Cards and plan to use them at an event tomorrow. I’m the manager of a Civil Engineering Department where we have about 25 employees in the East Region and 15 in the West Region. We are getting together tomorrow for the 1st time. Many of the employees are very close to each other in their respective regions; however many have never met each other from the different regions. As engineers, its sometimes hard to get them to open up and want to make new connections/relationships, but I think that is imperative as I try to “blend” the two regions into one department.
I thought your cards would be very helpful getting conversations started. Any pro tips to make the event tomorrow successful?
4 Tips to Help Connect This Team—and your team using We! Connect Cards
1) Introduce people to the concept of “challenge by choice” …
…whereby THEY are the ones that get to choose how we respond to any given question. We all have multiple truths, so if a question cues something really intense, you get to choose how to respond. (I can share lots more about this if it’d be useful.)
2) Acknowledge the introverts and extroverts in the room
Call out the elephant in the room that some people tend to be extroverted and this will be easy. And for others, this will require energy output to engage. The good news is though, that these questions are designed specifically to create conversations that go beyond “small talk” which is REALLY the type of connection that drains introverts.
3) Invite people to “pair up with the people they know least in the room”
When you invite people to pair up with each other for a question swap, one simple phrase can help the groups merge/pair up with people they don’t know yet. It is: “as we are swapping, aim to pair up with the people you know least in the room.” This helps people notice and tune into new connections rather than cling to their comfortable ones.
4) Afterwards, ask the group, “what struck you about that experience?”
Lastly, debrief as a large group! This is so valuable to have people share their experience. My favorite question that is nearly all encompassing is: “What struck you about that experience?” And get responses from at least 5-10 people out of your group of 25.
Co-founder & Chief Experience Officer at We and Me, Inc.