Resource for Team Leaders

Summary of Major Points

During your Teamraderie experience, you discussed three characteristics of a thriving hybrid team – everyone is engaged, trust is pervasive, and inclusion is the norm


Empathy Leads to Engagement

The “gift-giving” game was a practice of empathy. The recipients of the gifts were generally ‘touched’ by the extent to which colleagues showed understanding of their interests and needs. You played a gift-giving game during your experience. This game required each team member to select an imaginary gift for another team member, engaging each of you to share the details with the group. When you selected a gift for someone else, you showed empathy by personalizing the gift to a specific team member and considering their preferences, needs, and abilities. When work-related decisions are made, consider how they might affect individual team members such as scheduling or how the group communicates during everyday operations.


Thriving Teams Build and Sustain Trust


During the “Port Key” exercise, many team members shared personal stories that showed vulnerability or unique creative expression as you had to consider the assigned “object” when selecting a personal story. Many of you may have shared experiences less rehearsed or filtered than you might otherwise. Studies show that when you share personal anecdotes with your team, you build trust and a sense of belonging for all team members–whether in-person or remote.


Thriving Teams are United as One


When teams are able to trust each other they are able to unite all members. Just as you experienced during the “Knife and Fork” game, often we need to encourage and support team members while they take risks, explore new innovations, or even experience failure. When your team ended the activity as one group, you showed yourselves and the team that each member is equally valuable and cliques or sub-groups have no place in high-level collaboration. “United as One” means you trust your team members to commit to the team and continue to bring their authentic selves. You respect individual strengths as they contribute to a greater whole.

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:

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Badges and Superpowers: An Exercise to Reflect and Connect


During our Teamraderie experience, we played the Port Key game, and each shared personal stories related to randomly chosen objects.


Reflect on your teammates’ stories. Identify an idea, theme, or skill within each story that you can connect directly to the work your team is doing. How might your team members’ stories show who they are on your team? 


You can simply share thoughts on the connections you make or try a more fun, creative option…


You can create “badges” or assign “superpowers” to each team member to show how you might connect their experience to your work.


For example, perhaps one team member shared a story about following through on a plan despite very limited resources. You could assign this team member the “Star Chef badge” for their ability to cook up something amazing even with limited ingredients.


Allow team members to choose an award recipient, with someone new selected each turn until all have awarded someone and have been awarded.

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:

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Principles Behind the Experience

Teamraderie experiences are designed in collaboration with management professors at Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Here are the principles incorporated into your experience:

Invite Team Members to Share Personal Stories

A Rotterdam School of Management (2021) study showed asking members of the team to express unique viewpoints and perspectives (showcasing diversity – but within an inclusive environment) led to higher creative expression on teams. This Teamraderie experience helps satisfy both “uniqueness” and “belonging” needs of teams.

Start Explicit Discussions About the Imperative to ‘Innovate’


A London Business School (2008) study found organizations that create explicit imperatives to ‘reinvent’ business processes show longitudinal improvement in flexibility and receptivity to new ideas. This Teamraderie experience steers team members toward unconventional or “out of the box” solutions by introducing unexpected limitations to challenging group activities.

Create Visual Cues of Working Together

A Stanford University (2014) study found employees primed to act collaboratively were willing to spend 60% more time on a task, reported higher engagement levels, showed lower fatigue levels, and had a higher success rate. What’s more, this impact persisted for several weeks. This Teamraderie experience seeks to help your team see themselves (and their colleagues) as collaborators around a shared goal.

Additional Expert Resources for the Experience

Interested in learning more about creativity for your team?


Teamraderie recommends the documents and publications below for additional perspective:

Author: Adam Grant, Wharton School of Business

Highlight: “Think Again” shows us how often our decisions are influenced by outdated and uncontested information simply because it is familiar or the “status quo”. “Think Again” is about rethinking old ideas for the sake of social progress, innovation, and scientific advancement.

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.”

Thank you for being a Teamraderie customer.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with modern managers
who are embracing new forms of leadership.