Idea #71 Fables for the 21 century

Do it When your want to talk about desirable characteristics in your company.  Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Every fable has a story in which characters of the people are personified in animals. In addition, every fable has its morale and because of that fables are told to the children while they were building their value systems. I think that nowadays fables should be used in companies to build value system of the organizations.  Divide your participants in small groups and in each group tell them to find 3 characteristics that are totally unacceptable in your organization. After that, tell them to reverse those characteristics and find 3 positive. Now, for each characteristic they have to find one animal that will represent it. After that each group just has to make its unique fable. To make it more interesting each group will make a drawing about its fable. In the end, read them all and show the morale of each fable. While preparing the workshop for my group, 3 fables came to my mind. Here is the first one.
A Midnight rooster
Every morning a rooster was first to wake up in the farm announcing to all other animals that the new day had come. But the young hens had some new habits. They liked to sleep late in the morning. So they made a cunning plan. The young hens came to the rooster with a story that he had an extraordinary voice and that he should try to sing during the night for them. The rooster was flattered and he accepted to make them serenades during the nights. The poor rooster was caught in a trap to sing all night long, so he couldn’t wake up in the morning. The farmer noticed that there was something wrong with the rooster, so he killed and fried him.
Morale of the fable: Do your job properly no matter what “young chicks” will tell you to do.
cut-out-1901284_1280Now coaching questions for you:
1. Think about your life. Dedicate one animal to all 8 areas of your life. What animals will you choose? The areas are: Physical Environment, Career, Money, Health, Romance, Friends / Family, Personal Growth and Fun / Recreation.
2. Make stories for all 8 animals.
3. What would you suggest to each animal?
Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Idea #69 Life is a carousel

Today is my birthday and I want to thank all my friends on social networks who have made this day even more special to me. So, I want to give them something in return. This idea is dedicated to all of you. You can do it When your employees have to think about your company’s values.  A carousel or merry-go-round is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The “seats” are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down by gear work to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. The earliest known depiction of a carousel is in a Byzantine bas-relief dating to around 500 A.D., which depicts riders in baskets suspended from a central pole. Your employees will have to make a carousel from a candle, a wire and paper. The instruction is shown on the picture below, but the main task is to choose seats for the riders. Just imagine that your company is represented by carousel. What would be the presentations for seats? Horses are not allowed! What seats will you choose? If you divide employees into the groups, each group will make its own carousel (the presentation of your company) and will explain its work in the end.
karusel 2Now coaching questions for you:
1. Imagine that your life is a carousel and seats are stages of your life. How many seats will you have?
2. What will the presentation of each part of your life look like?
3. Now think about your life as a carousel and what changes will you make?
Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Idea #68 3 years to retirement

Do it When your employees have to think about themselves. From time to time it is necessary that we all make this exercise. You are going to get retired. Be relaxed, it will not happen this year, but in 3 years. So, you will have a lot of time to make some changes. Imagine that during that ceremony 3 persons will talk about you. The first one will be your boss. Write down what will be his/her 5 sentences about you. The second person will be your colleague, someone that is at the same level of hierarchy in the company with you. Write down what will be his/her 5 sentences about you. The third person will be your subordinate. If you have no one that is at lower level of hierarchy than you, imagine that you have someone that is just 3 months in your company. Write down what will be his/her 5 sentences about you. When all employees finish with this task, ask them to grade their satisfaction on the scale from 1 to 10 when the 10 is maximum. Ask them to write down one action for each from those 3 people that will move their level of satisfaction for one grade. Tell them to make a plan for implementing those actions.
!#68 pica

Now coaching questions for you:
1. In which areas of your life would you find useful to implement a similar game?
2. Who would be a more appropriate person to talk about you instead of your boss, your colleague and your subordinate?
3. Why is her/his opinion of you important to you?
Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Idea #66 Do your Best At All Times!

Do it When you have to discuss with employees why to do their best now. An old carpenter was getting ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. The employer contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He restored to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well. So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way; reacting rather than acting, willing to build less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently. Think about this while going through your everyday life. Don’t regret not giving your best later. Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today. Make good ones, and do your best at all times!
Now, questions for you:
1. How can you show your clients that you deliver service to them like you would deliver it to yourself?
2. What company slogan is appropriate to show mentioned dedication to work?
3. If this story has no positive results what are the other ideas that will be appropriate?

Idea #59 What are Characteristics of your Team?

Do it When you want to make a team building. Divide your team in the groups of three. Give them the same task. Imagine that your team is represented with an animal, but that animal has to be the combination of three animals with one characteristic from each one. For example, we are as brave as a tiger, with the speed of an antelope and we are strong like an elephant. Now each group should draw its animal as a group logo. All three members of the group should draw at the same time. At the end make presentations and discussions. Remind them of this quote: “What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.” – W. Edward Deming

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. Imagine that for solving your main company problem you should develop three characteristics. Name all 3 of them?
2. What does the solution to this problem mean to you?
3. How would you know that you have solved it?
4. Recall the time in your life  when you owing to that characteristic managed to achieve something very important to you.
5. By having that experience on your mind write down what you can do to develop each characteristic?
6. What could you do to make each characteristic sustainable once when you reach them?
7. Now having those characteristics stable write down an action plan for solving your main company problem.
8. Thank you for your time and tell us how satisfied you are with this session on a scale from 1 to 10?

Idea #57 Handprints after 3 years in Company

Do it When you want to establish company values. Establish a book where all employees, after 3 years in company will post their handprints. On the same page each one of them will write in one sentence his/her advice to someone who is entering company. Handprints are something very personal so everyone will be glad to leave his/her marks for someone that will come after them.
As the great Marcus Tullius Cicero said: “The life of the dead is set in the memory of the living.”

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. What will be the advice that you would like to write under your handprints?
2. According to that advice what would be the goal for this session?
3. What values are the most important for reaching that goal?
4. On a scale from 1 to 10 how important is to you to live under those values?
5. What would your colleagues benefit from your values?
6. How would you implement your goal?
7. What obstacles would you overcome?
8. Explain how you have overcome each obstacle in 5 sentences?
9. When was the first sight that you are on the right tracks?
10. When you have finished the goal what new idea has come to your mind?
Write down everything and share with us your success. Thank you!

Idea #46 Make your company commercial

Do it During Team Building when you want to establish company values. Divide participants in smaller teams. Tell them that they have to make company commercial. Each team will have to prepare scenario, do the acting and video tape commercial. If you have a time they can use different computer programs and prepare movie. In the evening you will have presentation of commercials.  After that you will have discussion. What was the message that we were sending from our company?

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. What is you key message that you want to send to the other people?
2. Why is that message so important to you?
3. How that message is influencing your everyday life?
4. Who else thinks that message is important?
5. How those people could be helpful in spreading that message?
6. How could you make that massage even more important?
7. What would be your action plan for making your message widely spread?
8. Now when you have made your plan, how do you feel?
Thank you and good luck.

Idea #42 Support hand made

Do it when you discuss company values with employees. Connecting company values with values of each employee is important for supporting their motivation. Nowadays everyone has laptop. And we all carry them in laptop bags. So ask participants how your company lap top bag will look like. Ask them to draw it on a flip chart. Then to make presentation and talk about values that are represented with drawing.
Now it is your time to surprise your employee. Make arrangement with local women group to make laptop bags from drawings. I did it with Marija Hand Made and now I have privilege to enjoy this beautiful laptop bag.

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. Imagine that your laptop bag is your company brochure. What it tells about you?
2. Why do you exist as company?
3. How do you serve your country?
4. Who else is gaining benefit from your company?
5. How will scale your service from 1 to 10?
6. What can you do to make your service even more beneficial?
7. How will you make a system that will guide you through servicing others?
8. Write your full action plan. What will be the time frame for reaching every stage of your process?
Thank you for your ideas and good luck!

Idea #33 Remember details like Napoleon

Do it when you have to develop participants’ management of details. Napoleon was genius of military tactics and strategy. One of his core values was his brilliant management of details. He never forgot a single point of advantage. He has remembered every soldier, river, stream, mountain, hill, valley, and ravine down in his mental note book. Let’s see why and how we are going to develop similar skill in our business. Each one in our group has to create a mental picture of one of our customer. Write down as much as possible data about him (name, address, company, age, gander …). Now we can go deeper in Master details. Explain his/her look, color of hair, eyes, any characteristics, what he/she likes, favorite product, his/her family, favorite places…). When you finish there is even deeper level. Subordinate Details which means detailed look of his/her office, accent, details in body language, characteristic words that are used, changing of skin brightness, changing in voice, changing in tempo…) Lets count how many you have counted in each column.

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. Imagine that your core value is brilliant management of details, like Napoleon’s. In which area of your business it will be the most valuable?
2. Who will you be with that value?
3. How important on a scale from 1 to 10 is it to you?
4. How will you know that you have it?
5. What other skills will be then within your reach?
6. When was the first time you have noticed that you possessed it?
7. Explain that moment in details in 4 sentences?
8. What would be beneficial action in developing that skill even further?
9. What will be other good moves?
10. What will be the elements of system that will be helpful to you whenever you have to recall that brilliant management of details?
11. Now, all you have to do is go through your list and say how satisfied you are with your plan?

Idea #29 You last day at office

Do it When you want to bust morale among employees.
Everyone has to imagine that this is his/her last day at office. But not that way, most people are afraid. A long time form now, they are going to retirement.  Each one will receive golden watch. On the back of the watch 3 words are engraved. Obviously those 3 words will be summary of his/her previous work in the company.  Invite all of them to write his/her 3 words and to put them in one sentence. Good beginning of that sentence will be: “I want to be remembered in this company as person who was: __________, __________ and ____________. “
Tell them that by Changing their values, they can change their lives!

Now, coaching questions for you:
1. Imagine that your child (children) are coming to visit your company 5 years from your last day in that company. They met on of your employees. What would he/she said about you?
2. Lets imagine he/she will have to scale all your skills from 1 to 10. What mark would you got?
3. Why you have deserved such high grade?
4. What would be the week point?
5. What would be the best way for changing that grade?
6. Now, your children will talk to your boss. What would he/she said about you?
7. Lets imagine he/she will have to scale all your skills from 1 to 10. What mark would you got?
8. Why you have deserved such high grade?
9. What would be the week point?
10. What would be the best way for changing that grade?
Now, all you have to do is to make your action list with time frame, and just do it.