Online Energizers

Conference calls should be interesting. Like any meeting, they become boring when they are always the same—and there’s nothing unusual or unexpected. So maybe you want to try spicing up your next conference call or video chat with games!

Touch Blue

The way to play is simple: the facilitator calls out something to touch, for example: “Touch blue!” Each person then has to move and touch something with that colour (a blue marker, a co-worker with a blue shirt, etc). The facilitator continues, “touch red… yellow… something fluffy…” This is great with video teleconferences as you see your colleagues stretching and moving around together—but the laughter is also rewarding.

For the advanced group, you can get more complex: “With your left foot, touch something on your desk… while doing that, with your right elbow, touch something yellow…”

This game has been used for decades, but we learned its online version from Sarah Gough, Play for Peace (playforpeace.org).

 

Appreciation Circle 

Ahead of a major distributed day of action, one 350 campaigner ended a call with an “appreciation circle” where each person took a turn giving good wishes for each other’s actions. It was a way to close the session with a positive energy. This can be adapted in a number of ways:

  • what’s something you’re proud of about how this group is moving forward;
  • (get the group in an online circle) share an appreciation to the person on your left, or someone else in the group;
  • what did you appreciate about your participation in the action.

(Read more about Closing Circles.)

 

Online Songs

Yes! It can be done online. Conference calls keep us sitting and staring at our computers or phones. You can integrate songs in online meetings—beyond just having people talk! (Read more about Songs.)

 

Check-In With a Go-Round

350 staff calls regularly include a chance to hear from each person as a check-in. The check-in is a chance to hear everyone’s voice – and on something that’s not a work topic. It can also be a chance to build the strength of the team, especially with a little bit of self-revealing and connection, while still being fun. As examples:

  • What’s a song that represents who you are (if available online, we share and create a 350 playlist)?
  • What’s an object that’s around you that says something about you?
  • What’s one thing you’re proud of from your last week?
  • What’s one risk you took this last week?
  • What’s something you haven’t shared with the 350 team?

Bonus: As an alternative to doing a “go-around”: someone does this check-in and then announces who will go next. Rather than going in a standard order or around a circle, this method means you never know if you might be the next person to go – and therefore it can increase people’s attention (which is always a challenge for conference calls).

(Read more about Go Rounds.)


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