Since April 2020, I have been mainly working in home office and noticed that the contact to my team members has changed a lot. There are fewer informal conversations and, if they take place, then it is usually necessary to make these appointments in advance. Especially if you are new in a team, this can be a challenge and, thus, it is harder to get to know your colleagues. In my team we deliberately took time now to get to know each other better and to work together with more understanding for each other. One of the methods we used for this are Personal Maps from Management 3.0.
What is it all about?
The Personal Map is a practice from Management 3.0 that is designed to promote teamwork. This practice has a positive effect on trust within team and team loyalty. Personal Maps can be used, for example, as a teambuilding method during a retrospective. In addition, the method can be used to strengthen the sense of community when launching new teams or when changes are made in the existing team.
Sounds interesting?! – How can you start with your team?
Depending on the context you can use different approaches to create a personal map. In general, already filled maps proved to be a good source of inspiration for categories. Groups that have not been working together for a long time or are meeting for the first time naturally have very little knowledge about other group members. Therefore, it may make sense that everyone creates the personal map him/herself. Another possibility that has more of a networking character, and can take more time, is to create the personal map in teams. For example, the personal map for your colleague can be created in 1:1 conversation. Just like there are different options for the creation of a map, there are different ways how to look at the outcome together. Everyone can present his or her own personal map or it can be presented by another group member. No matter which option you choose, make sure that there is no misleading information passed on in the room. Give everyone the opportunity to correct aspects that do not apply to him or her.
For the teams that already know each other better, the team members can create their personal maps for each other. In this way they can reflect about their knowledge of each other. It is often very surprising what you know or don’t know about your direct colleagues. Here, too, the practice strengthens trust and a sense of unity. A helpful approach is to rotate while creating the map. This means that everyone takes five minutes per map and fills it with all the information they know about the person in question. Rotating brings together all the information from the team and creates a common picture. For the presentation you can use the above-mentioned formats. In established teams it is as essential to create the possibility of correcting wrong information as it is to leave room for individual additions to your own personal map. Are there other aspects about yourself that you would like to share with the team that are not listed on the map yet?
A mostly underestimated opportunity of this practice is that you can use it to reflect about yourself and your team on your own. Challenge yourself. What do you know about your team members? Where did they do their training? Where do they live? How long have they been with the company or in your team? Do they have special skills? What is especially important to them? What are their bigger goals? Do you have any blind spots? Goal-oriented reflection enables valuable conversations also shows you what information you have revealed about yourself. Is there anything else you would like to share with your team?