Values in the Teamwork

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This method initiates a deep and thorough discussion about the values employed in teamwork in teams and activist groups.


Awareness about the basic values of teamwork. Break down those values to experience in teamwork reality.


The session starts in the plenum, where the moderator speaks with the participants about the definition of values.

  • What are values?
  • Which examples of values can you name?
  • Why are the values (not) important?

Common list of values

Then the groups splits into 2 small groups via any random principle and the 2 groups are working separately in rooms with different facilitators.

The first task of the participants is to write down on the cards those values which are important for them in team / group work.

Then every participant presents her/his values and the facilitator is trying to do a common list of team values of the small group. In this stage the facilitator may ask clarifying questions as well as more deep “digging” questions when s/he perceives some values to be spoken about in a very declarative way. The participants may speak much about the others, like “my team member have to be responsible”, “they have to be punctual” etc., in such moments the facilitator should interfere and ask whether the participants themselves are 100% responsible and punctual. The facilitator may also ask them for examples when they were not responsible as well as for the reasons of that in order that the participants are more aware of their own mistakes and are more self-reflective.

Couples: Examples from own experience

After the group list of team values is ready the facilitator divides the participants into couples and each couple has to choose two values and to perform in a short theater performance some concrete examples where these values have have had a major impact. It is recommended that the participants take some real stories from their lives. After the performance of every group a short reflection follows, the questions depend on the group discussion. For example in our group we have discussed questions like what is punctuality, which could be the reasons of a team member appearing to be unpunctual or irresponsible, what is shared ownership and how can it help all the team member to be more involved.

Small groups: Creating chair installations

In the next round the group is divided into 3 small groups and this time the participants have to be in their project teams. In our case we have just made lists of three groups in order to make sure that all the groups are of the same size and that there are project teams as well as solo team in every group.

The project teams get the task to make a chairs statue which is reflecting their team constellation / relationships/responsibilities. The solo projects have to show the situation with their local teams back home. Every chair has to symbolize some concrete team member and its position has to reflect her/his position/role in the team.

The project teams are presenting their chair installations and are commenting on them.


Then the facilitators ask them to sit on their chairs in the installations and to answer some questions. Then the participants have to take the sit on the chair of some other team member and to answer from her/his perspective (this part should be longer and more intensive as the part where participants are speaking from themselves).

  • How do you feel in this position?
  • Does it reflect your weak and strong points?
  • Which are your strong points?
  • What do you think the participant X thinks about your team performance and why?
  • Do you feel informed enough about what participant X is doing?
  • Do you feel you are involved in the decision-making process?
  • What would make you feel more comfortable in this team?
  • Why have you joined the team, what was your main motivation?
  • What should happen for you to decide to leave this team and this project?


After this intensive talks follows a stage of the reflection. The facilitator asks the participants how do they feel and whether there is something they would like to share with the others. A short sharing round follows.


In the last round all the participants come together to the final common plenum. The facilitator ask them to name values of diversity and writes them down on the blackboard. Then the facilitator hangs the flipchart with the team values which were formulated in the 2nd step and asks the participants whether they see some conflicting or missing values in all the lists. A short discussion and reflection follows. In our case the lists were pretty simple, the only thing which were missing in the group lists were trust, and we have discussed with the group why trust in the team could be complicated but is still needed.

Alona Karavai

Co-founder of the NGO Insha Osvita, social enterprises Khata-Maysternya and the Agency for Educational and Cultural Events INSHI, and a social investor at Urban Space 500. Alona has about 15 years of experience in program, project and product management in the field of non-formal education and culture. She is the co-author of several publications and handbooks.