T4T - Start with a Buzz
Corporate Buzzwords and Tools to Use them with.
Love them or hate them, corporate buzzwords are here to stay. Anyone working in corporate America will tell you there are certain phrases that tend to get used (and overused) on a daily basis. Having a working knowledge of those phrases is critical if you want to fit in and understand your coworkers, because smiling and nodding only gets you so far...
Today I am highlighting an activity called the Buzz Ring. It is a fabulous tool to bring out the 'buzzwords'. The Buzz Ring can be implemented in many different ways. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start and end the training with the Buzz Ring.
Sequencing the Buzz Ring at the beginning of a program can set the tone for what you want to accomplish with the group. Giving them a task that is difficult to achieve, allows them to think metaphorically, creates some performance anxiety, and has the potential to push them outside their comfort zone is a wonderful first step when talking about the hard topic of conflict. Dealing with conflict is critical to successful teams and people and often takes a step-by-step approach to resolve. Being successful at the Buzz Ring activity is also a step-by-step sequence. Oftentimes we are not 100% successful at our attempts. The sequence of starting the program with the Buzz Ring allows the group to have the initial experience with the ring itself.
Ending the program with the Buzz Ring allows the group to have other experiences during the day of working together, effective communication, and more conversation about how to deal with conflict and each other. The more practice we have at resolving conflict and working together, the better we will be at it. Experience has shown that groups that end the program with the Buzz Ring have a higher success rate at completing the task with little to no errors. You will be amazed at how well groups do with this.
2. Use the Buzz Ring as a stand-alone activity.
The Buzz Ring activity works well as a stand-alone activity for many reasons. Because the buzz ring is such a unique tool participants often buy-in quickly due to the 'coolness factor' of what it physically does. Multiple learning styles are utilized-auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-so right away you have engaged a large percentage of your audience.
3. Debrief the Day: Pass the Buzz
Using the Buzz Ring as a wrap-up at the end of a training or workshop can be an effective way to encourage participants to 'Pass the Buzz' about what they learned.
At the end of the training, invite participants to form a circle.
Present the buzz ring and start it buzzing. Then ask: "How do we keep the buzz going from this workshop?"
While keeping the buzz ring in motion, model a response by saying, "I learned more about the conflict styles of my co-workers. I'm going to use this knowledge to approach individuals differently if I have conflict with them (or whatever else may be appropriate from the workshop content)." Then pass the buzz ring to the next person in the circle.
When the next person gets the ring, he/she states what he/she will take from the workshop and passes the buzz ring to the next person. This pattern continues around the circle until the ring gets back to the facilitator.
If the ring stops buzzing as it goes around the circle, the person has to restart the buzz and mentions what might be an obstacle that could stop the buzz. After sharing this, they proceed with the initial question.
The fascination with the buzz ring combined with the reflection helps participants leave with a smile and an action plan.
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