Building Stronger Relationships and Collaboration with Moving Motivators
Meeting new people and teams is always an adventure for me. I’m a curious person and this is always exciting.
When I start coaching a new team I always look for engaging activities that help have everyone onboard for the adventure of “forming a team”.
I found in Management 3.0 many inspiring activities that help me to design a bunch of useful templates that I use in my digital facilitations.
In this article I’ll explain Moving Motivators, how I used them, and my learning from the experience.
I also share the Mural template I designed to facilitate a Retrospective meeting that includes this useful exercise, for anyone who wants to put it into practice with their teams.
Motivated Champ Frogs
Moving Motivators is an exercise that invites every participant to think and reflect about their motivations — intrinsic and extrinsic —, and optionally share their findings and insights with other team members.
Jurgen Appelo, the founder of Management 3.0, invented the CHAMPFROGS cards that represent the 10 motivations of this exercise: Curiosity, Honor, Acceptance, Mastery, Power, Freedom, Relatedness, Order, Goal, and Status.
Why Moving Motivators
As Scrum Master and Digital Facilitator, I support people, teams, and organizations in their agile adoption and I strongly believe that building solid relationships among team members is the starting point of this journey.
I’ve experimented for many years with different approaches and I found in Moving Motivators one of the most honest, transparent, and people-oriented exercises to start on the right foot.
I usually facilitate this practice as part of the first — or second—team’s retrospective meeting to foster collaboration, humanity, and transparency among us.
How to Use Moving Motivators in a Retrospective Meeting
Retrospective meetings are crucial when we start working with a team on their agile adoption with Scrum.
This is a powerful event not only to answer the 3 questions “What worked well?”, “ What didn’t work well?”, and “What are we going to try to do differently?”, but also to work on Team’s interactions and relationships.
Let’s remember what the Agile Manifesto states in its first value
“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”
I also design retrospective meetings following the 5 phases suggested in the book “Agile Retrospectives“ which helps me to make them more interactive, participative, and effective: Set the stage, gather data, generate insights, decide what to do, and close the retrospective.
Let’s dig into each phase!
1. Set the stage
The first activity invites the participants to connect with how they feel at the beginning of the session. Also to share their mood with others by placing a colored dot over the “emotion meter”.
Right after that, the facilitator presents the goal for that session, in my case I chose “Find new ways to create stronger relationships and increase collaboration”.
2. Gather data
At this point, the facilitator should explain what Moving Motivators are, give a short introduction on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and also present CHAMPFROGS cards.
Next, each team member would be able to set up their working area by choosing one of the six, included in the template, by typing their name at the top of it.
The participants take a minute to reflect individually and place their CHAMPFROG cards on the dotted line — the one in the middle — from left (least important) to right (most important).
Once the 10 motivation cards are laid in order of importance the facilitator invites the people to assess the degree of satisfaction for each card by moving it upwards (highest satisfaction) or downwards (lowest satisfaction).
3. Generate insights
Now is the time to open up to the team and share the insights that each person had.
The facilitator should create 2-people breakout rooms to create a more intimate space that would make it more comfortable to share. I recommend having several rounds where everyone shares with as many of their teammates as they can.
4. Decide what to do
Now being aware of what other people’s motivations are and their degree of satisfaction, the facilitator will invite everybody to pin down some action points to collaborate among them.
There are two questions in the template that will guide you through this phase.
5. Close the retrospective
Last but not least, the facilitator invites the participants to share their feedback on the session with a Retro Dart activity.
Each person places a sticky note over each target to show their level of satisfaction — 0 to 100% — for each statement:
- We talked about what’s important to me
- I spoke openly
- I’m confident we’ll improve the next iteration
Here is the Mural template — with the instructions for each step — ready to facilitate a Retrospective with your teams!
My learnings as a facilitator
Every time I facilitate this retrospective I find things that might be improved or I might do differently in the future.
The last time I used this template was a team of 4 people. That was their first iteration working together and we only had a timeboxed slot of 1 hour.
From that experience, these were my takeaways:
- After the icebreaker, check if the team is in the mood for this exercise — you might want to have a plan b just in case.
- Be short and precise introducing CHAMPFROGS — trust that they are pretty self-explanatory.
- Let participants ask questions to clarify their understanding of CHAMPFROGS cards.
- Be clear on the time they will be spending in the break-out rooms so they can split the time equitably.
- If running out of time, skip the question “What have you learned from your and others’ motivations?” in the “Decide what to do” phase — it was like diverging instead of converging. Go directly to “How can we collaborate…”.
I invite you to try it and see how Moving Motivators work for you.
I strongly recommend that you put it into practice several times so that it can be inspected and adapted.
Also, remember teams are different and this keeps us facilitators on our toes!
I would love to hear from you to keep improving this retro.
Good luck with your digital facilitations!