Interactive appreciation

Background: Make sure your teams are receptive to this type of retrospective and are open to communication. This might not work so well for a team full of shy and introverted people. Know your audience.

  1. Create a half circle with chairs facing 1 chair. Place the 1 chair facing the other half. The hot seat – “Central Chair”.
  2. Make sure you communicate to everyone that you want to have an environment of respect, authenticity and profound listening.
  3. Afterward, explain the exercise in the context of appreciative inquiry.

Ask one person to volunteer to be in the hot seat. Other members of the circle volunteer and take turns (and their time), to say what they liked about the person in the hot seat’s contributions to the team using the following sentence:

“You really helped the team out (when.. and when..)” ( keep it to a minimum of 2 appreciation statements)

followed by

“What I would like to see more of….”( keep it to 1 statement).

The rotate and swap it around going through the whole team. If you can. Take the notes of what ‘things they like to see more of’ of each member and provide it to them.

Ask them: “Which one they would are be going to try and improve on?”

Ideally, everyone in the team should be able to provide and receive appreciation. As a good facilitator, you can ask if there is someone that was not seated in the chair that would like to try out.

And of course, you can ask, as well, if there is someone else that did not provide appreciations that would like to do it at that moment. It´s important to give an extra opportunity to people to provide and receive appreciation but not forcing anyone to do something they are not comfortable with. Pay attention to the personality type before you do this exercise.