How to use energizers? And when? How do recognize the need for an energizer and how do you choose the right one?
you can visit at my website www.leaneffi.eu. The blog associated with this presentation will be published on the 1st of february 2020.
KEEPING FOCUS AND
How to energizers and
warm-ups in coaching
HOW TO PREPARE AN ENERGIZER
The energizers can be versatile. The most common ones are getting to know
each better, getting the group energized and focused, getting ready from
brainstorm/analysis/decision making and team building. Preparing for an
energizer is important. If the energizer is not prepared well it may do more harm
than good. Usually the preparation for the energizer will touch on the same
things as the preparation for the meeting or project I’m general.
Know your group
Have questions ready that suit the needs of the group
Know how much time you want to spend on this
Know how you want to make subgroups (no groups should be bigger than 4)
Decide how you want people to share their experiences and insight afterwards
KNOW YOUR GROUP
This is not just about knowing the names of the teammembers, but
Knowing the purpose of the team
Knowing the make up of the team in tasks, responsibilities and
Knowing the interactions inside the team, like informal hiërarchies,
close ties and feelings of not being heard or taken seriously
Knowing how well the team knows each other, who is new, who is
Knowing the purpose of the meeting
Knowing what type of thinking and doing suits te team well and www.leaneffi.e
HAVE QUESTIONS THAT SUIT THE
NEEDS OF THE GROUP
There are many different types of questions from safe to less safe. You need
to choose that questions that will give a good mix of safety and stress
without the chance that the team will shut down.
1. Factual statements like ‘Who has been working in this team for more than
2. Safe personal questions ‘What are your hobby’s’ or ‘What are your (least)
3. Appreciative questions like ‘When are you at your best at your job’
4. Work related questions like ‘What was the thoughest or weirdest case you
have ever worked and why’
5. Stretch questions like ‘You are now the director of this company, what
would you change’ or ‘What bums you out the most at your job’
KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU WANT
Energizers should not take very long or the energy will start to drop
again. I always try to keep it within 15 minutes at the most.
This means that you will need to look at group sizes and types of
energizers to make it fit.
In order to make it work well please be sure to have clear instructions
ready for everyone and that the room is ready for the energizer. So
try to make space and move desks before you get to the energizer if
needed. Otherwise the energy will drain away again.
KNOW HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE
Some energizers do not need subgroups and can be done in any
Most will have a maximum and minimum number of participants. This
means you will need to think about dividing the bigger groups into
subgroups. You can let people do that by themselves, you can also do
it for them.
Usually people will sit next to the people they feel connected to. So if
you just give everyone a number (1,2 etc) and let the ones be their
own group and the twos have their own group, you will get people in a
group who would not usually sit together.
If you decide to design your own subgroups be sure to do so carefully
and based on information from different perspectives. It is also
important to keep the purpose of the meeting in mind. www.leaneffi.e
DECIDE HOW TO SHARE INSIGHT
This is especially important if you had to divide the group into
You can choose different types of feedback:
1. Appoint one presenter per group for short feedback to the larger
group and give them some directions to work with
2. Ask everyone to tell something about the person next to them in
the group (mostly for team building and getting to know each
3. Ask for a drawing or a poster with post it’s about the things that
are most important to the group
4. ….there are too many to mention them all
ENERGIZER: GETTING TO KNOW
1. Let people make a circle.
2. Have people step into the circle and name one thing they are good at.
3. When other people are good at this as well, they also step in the circle.
4. People acknowledge the others strenghts by applause or a thumbs up or
5. Everybody steps back and a new person steps in.
6. People can step into the circle multiple times.
7. The speed has to be high. One round should not be more than 5 minutes.
8. This is suitable for groups of 8-25 people. You can let people mention
their own strenghts, but/and you can also ask for specific strenghts as a
facilitator based on interviews in advance.
ENERGIZER: GET MOVING AND
This one needs small groups and is dependent on how much space
you have available. Each group should be no more than 5 people.
1. Everybody stands and holds hands. At least one hand should
always be touching another person. If this fails you need to start
2. Speaking is not allowed
3. You are going to ask people to form figures while adhering to the
rules. The groups which makes the figure the quickest gets a
point. You can ask for the following figures:
1. Triangles, squares, star, cube
2. Letters in the alphabet
3. Animals like dragon, snake, spider, elephant
CREATIVE THINKING AND FOCUS
The group size depends on the themes and size of the room you are working in.
You will need a couple of themes in advance, preferably no more than 6. These
themes will be written on a flip over or brown paper.
1. You will divide your groups in 5 subgroups of no more than 5 people. Try to
mix the normal groups up a bit.
2. Everybody has a marker to write with
3. Every team will think up ideas for their theme and write them on the flip over
4. After three minutes you give a signal and the groups move on the the
theme/flip over on their left. They build on the ideas already written down
and add their own.
5. Keep this up ontil each team is back with the theme they started with. They
get two minutes to read the ideas and pick one or two they really like.
6. Each team presents their top ideas to the group at large. These ideas are used
in the rest of the meeting.
You can also use this with one theme and use the six thinking hats for this one
HOW TO DEAL WITH RESISTANCE
It is important that you believe in the energizer yourself. It is also
important that the level of trust needed to perform the energizer fits
the level of trust the team has in itself and each other. When in doubt
switch back to a 'safer‘ energizer.
1. The purpose of the energizer needs to be clear to the group.
2. You need an energizer that fits the moment, energylevel and the
purpose of the meeting.
3. Give people context, how does this connect to their job?
4. If a large part of the group does not want to participate, try to
engage the group in a different way. You are there for a reason
how can you help
5. If just one or two people do not want to participate, ask them to
observe. Especially if the rest of the group is very enthusiastic www.leaneffi.e