A leader can implement this activity as a way of encouraging greater creativity from his or her team.
- To expand one’s personal ability to be creative “on the spot.”
- To share differing points of view.
- To encourage creativity in a group setting.
Depends on the number of participants and the number of people who will share their poems
- Poetry writing
- Group discussion
- Pencil and paper for each participant
Tables and chairs
Every good leader is able to make use of creativity to accomplish a goal, whether it be to solve a problem, find a solution, create a product, or motivate a group of people. Creativity is a central competency of all leaders. This brief exercise is a fun way to stretch the imagination of the participants. It can be used in a variety of team-building workshops.
Step by Step Instructions
- Introduce the subject of poetry writing by asking participants to volunteer a favorite poem or poet. Discuss reasons as to why people write or read poetry (ask those who do to share). Explain that many people find it a good way of expressing feelings and ideas more creatively. Depending on how much interest there is in the subject, note some common ways that new poets start. This can include rhyming couplets (e.g. Roses are red; violets are blue) or even descriptions of objects (where the whole focus is on a wonderfully vivid explanation of each sensory aspect of the object). Tell them that today’s focus is on writing a poem to describe an event by using 26 words in alphabetical order, starting with the letter “a” word.
Again, by way of example: All the people l met . . .
- The best way to base this exercise so that you can have a discussion that pulls in everybody is to suggest a topic, for example, Communication, Adventure, Facilitating—whatever topic you are focusing on for the day. Then let them begin writing.
- After about ten or fifteen minutes of private writing, ask for volunteers to read their poems.
- Debrief. If the discussion does not come naturally, ask such questions as:
What words or ideas came most naturally to you?
What was the most fun?
- Ask participants why they think some leaders use this exercise. Allow a few minutes for discussion.
Take some time shortly after conducting this activity to ponder on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Take down notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.