Constellation exercise

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From: Lyssa Adkins Documented by: Kris Blake

  1. Start with an open/cleared space. Have an object that you can put in the center of the room (like a Frisbee, a beanbag…) – this object will be the center of the team’s universe. Introduce the object to the team as their center, and have them all stand scattered around it.
  2. Explain to them that you are going to read some statements, and as you read the statement you want them to move closer to or farther from the item in the center, in relation to how true that statement is for them… the more true, the closer to that center. Once you have read the statement and everyone has moved, have them look around and se where there teammates are…once they’ve looked around, read the next statement.
  3. When you feel the team has a good feel for the exercise (about 10), have them sit down and write any statements that they would like to gather the teams feelings on—timebox them, 3 minutes was plenty.
  4. Gather their questions…and continue with the exercise.

Sample “Getting to know each other” questions

  • I feel more of an accomplishment working individually than as a team
  • I like getting results
  • I want others to lead
  • I do not like uncomfortable silence and work to fill it in
  • I am open to change
  • I like chatting about life outside of work from day to day
  • I feel comfortable in providing direct feedback
  • I like discussing alternatives
  • I like to work alone
  • During the finishing stage, I don’t like to go back to discussing alternatives
  • I am competitive
  • I don’t mind bending the rules to get things done
  • I value work/life balance
  • When under stress , I like to be told what to do
  • My happiest times are in nature
  • I’m comfortable in front of a group
  • I like public recognition
  • I’m nervous about providing real time feedback
  • I’m frustrated when there is not order
  • I enjoy alone time
  • I feel a sense of accomplishment when I know I’ve done a complete and thorough job
  • I feel a sense of accomplishment when others recognize me
  • I need to feel a sense of accomplishment to stay motivated
  • I thrive on being around people
  • I like to make things with my hands
  • I like to make my own way
  • I like surprises
  • I like to take charge and make decisions
  • When things are chaotic, I like to create order

Team member-generated questions

From previous constellations (some of these are zingers!):

  • Encouragement helps me focus and produce better results
  • I am always right
  • I like to work in groups and help them reach consensus
  • I enjoy teamwork
  • I am accepting of others’ differences
  • I like working in teams
  • I am a perfectionist
  • I like the feeling/excitement of crunch time for a deadline
  • It is important to me to be proud of my work
  • I think Scrum is going to work for us
  • Trust within a team is high value to me
  • I am comfortable with following the Scrum process even if it lessens my personal influence or control
  • I like having my own designated workspace
  • I am confident that management will support a different approach to our project (ie Agile)
  • I thrive in a micromanaged environment
  • I feel lost without a team sometimes
  • I need time to think about something before I work on it
  • I am comfortable with disagreements
  • I like to facilitate meetings
  • I am comfortable admitting I made a mistake.
  • I am a workaholic
  • I enjoy complex solutions
  • I am comfortable self-organizing
  • I want others to grow and develop into leaders
  • I am comfortable with conflict and with resolving it
  • I like lots of documentation and forms
  • I must prefer to know the project will be successful before I start
  • I would like managers to admit when they are wrong
  • I am comfortable taking orders from others
  • I like to stick with a project until the end to see something I envisioned come to life
  • I can rock the boat
AuthorLyssa Adkins +
Goalfind out where everybody stands +
ThemeTeam +