Resource for Team Leaders

Summary of Major Points

You may want to reflect on your team’s experience and the discussion that took place.

Here are a few of the ideas that may have come up during your team’s experience:


Teams Should Create Space for Ideas


By temporarily shifting your focus from ‘work’ to ‘a shared norm’, you found new common ground and enjoyed each other’s company. These are the building blocks for teams that treat each other with respect and build off of each others’ ideas. The biggest ‘learning’ from the 30 minutes may have simply been recognizing the importance of deliberately creating more space for a time like this to explore ideas with each other.


Teams Should to Feel Safe Together


Your team members each shared the work they created during your experience. The exercise of ‘sharing’ what you built was designed to get people feeling comfortable with sharing more ideas at work — and recognizing that the team IS a safe space. Research shows the highest-performing teams are those where members feel safest speaking openly.


Your Team Has Depth in Diversity of Perspective and Creativity

As each teammate shared ‘what’ they created, you likely saw both a diversity of ways to represent the same object along with more creative expression than the team may exhibit on a typical day. This is simply a reminder of the creative and perspective potential resident on the team.

An Exercise For Your Next Staff Meeting

You may want to lead off a future meeting with an ‘exercise’ or ‘game’ to extend the learnings from your experience. Here is an exercise we developed for your team. 

Perp excercise

Create A “Checking In” Routine For Team Meetings

The key is to get creative with the way you ask each team member to report how they are doing. Here is one idea to follow your painting experience.

Paste images of 5-6 famous paintings (see list below for ideas) and number each painting. Ask your team, “If you were a painting right now, which painting would you be? And, more importantly, WHY are you feeling that way?



  • Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vini, 1503-19
  • The Starry Night, Vincent van Gough, 1889
  • Composition With Red, Blue, and Yellow. Piet Mondrian, 1930
  • Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912
  • Frida Kahlo self portrait 
An Email to Share with Your Team

You may want to send an email to your team to expand on the experience. Here’s a draft email that you can personalize to fit your style as a leader:


Perp excercise
Principles Behind the Experience

Teamraderie experiences are designed to reinforce principles that create cohesive, collaborative, connected teams.

Promote Release of Oxytocin Among Team Members

A Baylor University 2019 study showed painting promotes the release of hormones that induce feelings of calm and connection. The impact on both genders is significant – but painting releases 2.5X more oxytocin in males than females.

“Team Task” to Promote “Team Cohesion”

An Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) 2013 study showed the importance of periodic “shared team tasks” to promote team cohesion, particularly amidst teams whose members have non-overlapping (“silo”) responsibilities. 

Psychological Safety

A Harvard University 1999 study (subsequently re-proven at Google through Project Aristotle) points to the importance of ‘psychological safety’ (sharing ideas without fear of rejection) as the central characteristic of high-performance teams. Showing personal work (art) in a supportive team environment is an exercise in practicing a ‘safe’ context.

Additional Expert Resources for the Experience

Interested in learning more about these topics?


Teamraderie recommends the documents and publications below for additional perspective:

Author: Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Highlight: “The first step towards building empathy is acknowledging that it’s not an inherent trait but something that can be built. When people believe that empathy is something you either have or don’t have, it may seem out of reach.”

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who are embracing new forms of leadership.