In January I wrote about icebreakers and their value in setting the scene for an event. Today, to follow on from this, I will focus on the importance of raising energy in a meeting and how to do it.
These are exercises, or some form of activity that can be inserted into a workshop or meeting to raise the energy of the group. Coffee can of course serve that purpose, and it works for me in a morning! However, the use of group energisers increases the energy level of the whole group and can inject a sense of fun into any meeting.
When to use energisers?
Energisers can be used at the beginning of an activity, or during it when energy is dropping in the room. After lunch is a great time for an energiser.
At the beginning of an event an energiser can also work as an icebreaker to create a good environment for the work ahead. For example, if it is a training event encouraging creative thinking, the use an energiser to open up the group and start to develop a creative climate for the event.
Mid-way through a project an energiser can be used to re-invigorate the thinking and energy in the group. This can rekindle the enthusiasm and motivation of the group.
Longer term projects or programs may warrant more time spent on energizers. This can be at the beginning to create a working climate, and throughout the project when energy is starting to flag. For a lengthy program a longer time can be justified in setting the scene. Here, energisers may be of a different nature. Outdoor exercises, dance workshops, cookery classes have been examples of energisers I have noted.
Energisers raise energy when it is most needed.
Use them to develop a group climate for the success of the event/program.
Insert them anywhere into a program or event to reinvigorate it.
They may only need a short time to work.
Energising virtual groups
I have offered a couple of examples of energisers here. However we are currently living in a time when group meetings are not encouraged. Therefore it is important to consider how to energise groups who are meeting virtually.
Many people will be struggling with a loss of energy during these times. Using platforms such as Zoom are good for virtual meetings however, there is a tendancy to sit rather passively when we are facing a screen. Raising energy at the start of such meetings can make a difference to the climate of the meeting and ensure it is more productive.
So how do you do this?
I hope that these simple guidelines may help.
To raise energy people need to be physically active. This is more difficult sitting in front of a screen but not impossible. Ask participants to stretch, to stand, do some gentle exercise before the meeting gets underway properly.
To enable everyone to participate, ensure that each person gets a chance to contribute early on. Prepare in advance and ask them to send in or have something ready to share.
For example, ask each person to send in a photo of themselves as a baby – put these up anonymously and ask participants to decide which one belongs to which participant. You could also use first car, a first pet or favourite song etc.
You could ask each person in turn to state two truths and a lie and ask everyone else to decide which is the lie.
Use your imagination here , prepare ahead, and then limit discussion to two minutes per person.
Create an atmosphere of fun if the meeting warrants it. For training, or creative/innovation working groups then it would. However, for other more serious meetings then use an exercise which is a little more serious. Remember the aim is to encourage sharing and for everyone to raise their energy early on in the meeting.
What have you used to energise a virtual meeting?
Barbara is an executive coach, leadership and creativity facilitator. She has coached people in a variety of corporate settings, and developed a unique approach to using creative techniques in her coaching and workshops to enable change at a group or individual level. She has recently published a book on creativity for leaders with Dr. Tracy Stanley, entitled Creativity Cycling .