Monday, March 1, 2010

Facilitate ... with Olympic medals!

I am definitely in Olympic withdrawal! Not only because of the amazing performances and grace of our Canadian athletes and the truly fantastic job that the City of Vancouver and Vanoc did but because the Olympics provided exceptional fun and focus for facilitation.
For the past three weeks, I have used the Olympic medals as symbols of success in organizations, communities, and individuals. I bought Hershey chocolate candies wrapped in gold, silver, and bronze shiny paper. At various sessions, workshops, and meetings, I spread the candies on the table and told participants that they were gold, silver, and bronze medals. I asked participants to select a candy and describe the success it represented in their community, group, initiative or organization. What fun and focus! People related extremely well because most of us are closely tied to the Olympics. The success focus came through quickly and profoundly. Participants would laugh and then seriously think about successes. We had many gold medals yet also silver and bronze as participants explained what efforts they still wanted to do to enhance a success.
From community building workshops to sport advisory groups to provincial planning retreats to team development sessions, I enjoyed this Olympic analogy with wonderful Albertans and Canadians. Go Canada Go into the future! We all have our gold, silver, and bronze medals of success!


  1. Hang tough, the Paralympics are coming!

  2. Such brilliant and creative ideas Barb! You have more creativity in your little finger... I learn so much for you!

  3. Thanks Heather! I had more fun with the Olympic theme at a three day retreat I just facilitated. Everyone was buzzing with Olympic stories so I used them as the get acquainted activity. For physical activities throughout the sessions, we "bobsledded", we "high-fived", we "snowboarded". When we made a great decision, we celebrated like Jon Montgomery jumping on the podium. And most importantly, we talked about the theme of Believe and how the passion and commitment of Olympic athletes relates to the passion and commitment of the participants for their organization. Truly, the Olympics inspired a nation.