Leading Teams or Groups

Whether you are part of the group or its facilitator, using The JICT Images will enrich your conversations, build rapport between your participants, and generate more possibilities than you ever imagined.  By team or group we mean the leadership team of a corporation, the board of a non-profit, the students in a class, or your family around the Thanksgiving table.

Here are some powerful ways to get started using images:

Getting Started

How:  Spread out a set of random images and ask participants to choose an image to introduce themselves or kick off a meeting.   Ask participants to give the usual information and follow with a question such as:

  • How does your image reflect what you care about?
  • How does your image express what role you would like to play in our work together?
  • How does this image reflect the concerns or delights you have about starting our new project together?
  • What is one thing you would like us to know about you?
  • Which image reflects the mood you are bringing to our work together today?
  • What outcome would you like our team o achieve in our time together today?

You will learn much more about each participant and they will feel more connected from this opportunity to go beyond the usual introductions.  Use these questions to bring more energy and creativity to a team of participants who already know each other.


My name is Jane . . .  What I want you to know about me is that I am really curious about this project.  I am not quite ready to jump in and will need to listen for a while until I feel more comfortable in my role.





Problem Solving

How:  Consider using the cards at a time in your group process when you are stuck, have low energy, or need to lighten the mood!  Try these:

  • Pass out a random card to each participant and ask something like:  We seem to have come to a standstill in our thinking.  Take a moment to look at your image and see what message it can offer you.
  • Choose an image that reflects the current situation as the facilitator or leader.  Pass it around and ask others to share what they see in the image.  Shifting from the work to the metaphor if the image will bring new energy and possibilities to your problem.
  • Ask participants to select an image that illustrates the current reality of the problem.  Then ask each person to examine her image to find a new way forward.

None of our ideas are getting us where we want to go.  I feel just like this heavy black block and tackle so stuck to the shore . . . But, perhaps the block and tackle has kept the ship safe and afloat from the storms.  Perhaps we should look at what is positive about being where we are.





Bringing Closure

How:  To end a group experience, give each person a random image or spread out a number of images and ask participants to choose.   Try one of these questions:

  • As we bring our time together to a close, which image represents one new idea that you are leaving with today?
  • Which image captures your experience as a participant in our work together today?
  • Which image expresses the value of our work together to you?
  • Select an image that illustrates what you see as our next step in the project.

Many gatherings end without closure.  Taking the last few minutes of a shared experience together whether it is work or play gives participants the opportunity to sit back, reflect, and reveal something meaningful about themselves.  This critical part of a coming together strengthens bonds between people and sets the stage for more productive and meaningful times ahead.

Initially I was really skeptical about what we were charged to do together, but after today I am starting to see the possibilities like this flowering cactus in the middle of the desert. I am leaving hopeful and open.

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