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"Wear a Mona Lisa smile," and other practical ways to build a stronger, more resilient work team

Friday, October 7, 2016 Menīs Health News J E 4
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1.

Volunteer together: Foster team civility and respect by having the group choose a project that everyone can take part in: volunteering at a soup kitchen, holding a fundraising event, sponsoring a child, etc. Once the event is completed, ask the team to share what they got out of the experience.

2.

Play "musical chairs": Help your team increase self-awareness of how they might react to change. Call a team meeting, and once everyone has taken their seats, ask team members to get up and change chairs. Don't give any explanations, but ensure that everyone actually moves. Once everyone is re-seated, explain the purpose of the exercise and ask for volunteers to share what they felt or experienced when being asked to "change" without adequate information about why.

3.

Wear a Mona Lisa smile: This activity reminds team members that reducing tension in the face and body can reduce the intensity of negative emotions and help lift your mood. It sounds too simple to be true, but it works!

Ask team members to make angry faces for one minute, while thinking about a situation that made them angry. Ask them to pay attention to their physical reactions. Then, ask them to physically relax their faces and body and turn their mouth into a gentle half smile, like the Mona Lisa. Once they have fully relaxed, ask them to think of the same situation and notice if there is any (even if slight) reduction in the intensity of their emotional reaction. Invite discussion and reflection.

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