Team training tool: Affirmation cards


Even if you try to regularly thank your team for a job well done, people still enjoy a few minutes of solely hearing praise. In this exercise, you can learn more about how team members view themselves in contrast to how their fellow teammates view them. It's all positivity--no calling out weaknesses--making it fun for all involved.

Using the blank Affirmation Cards, write positive qualities, such as "loves to learn," "promoter," "analytical thinker," "reliable," "creative," "active listener," "great communicator," "sense of humor" and so on. Copy all of these cards so every team member has a stack of the same attributes. For example, if you have five employees, you'll have five identical stacks. Then make one additional stack for you, the dealer, to distribute. 


1. The dealer hands out note cards in random order to each team member-five in this example, to match the number of players. 

2. Write out each team member's name across a whiteboard.

3. Ask each team member to take their stack and divvy it up among the team, assigning one trait from their stack to each person, including themselves. Make sure the note cards are face-down.

4. Then give each team member their own complete stack of traits. 

5. Ask team members to pick out the traits they feel best describe themselves. They should pick out the same number of traits for themselves as others assigned to them. For example, if the player was given five trait cards by coworkers, she will pick five trait cards for herself. 

6. Reveal all of the note cards. Post the attribute cards picked by their coworkers under each team member's name. Then create a second column that shows the attributes team members picked for themselves. It's fun and rewarding to compare what teammates chose for each other versus what they chose for themselves. 

Not only is this a feel-good activity, it helps gain perspective on how others view you compared to how you view yourself.

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