Expressing Talents: Hypothetical Learning Scenarios
When you are a volunteer in interaction with other people you often get a lot of input. Try to really listen to others, be open minded and you will learn a lot from them. You will discover their talents and maybe get new ideas for your course or activity.
You will get a positive state of mind that helps you to improve and see the best in people.
When people feel heard they are more disposed to share their ideas and talents. This will make you and your organization grow.
A lot of the Dinamopeople are critical an dare to share their opinion or ideas. Our volunteers listen to them and try to implement it during their activities. It makes everyone involved and willing to make the best of it.
These two exercises can be used in groups, big or small – groups of volunteers, students, staff etc.
The exercises are simple and require only access to post-its, pen, and paper.
Christmas Tree: Everybody writes on a sticky note, complimenting the others on the team – everyone writes one for every person. To focus on talent, the note should express something that they think the receiver of the note is good at or has done well. When everybody’s done, the participants stick the notes on to the people they belong to – in the end, everyone is plastered in compliments – and it looks like lights on a Christmas tree. The Christmas trees can then look at their notes and keep them as motivation on days they need them.
Write-a-letter is built on the same principle as the Christmas Tree exercise – instead of sticky notes, you need one piece of paper per person. Everybody writes a compliment to the person on their right (something the person is good at) in the top of the paper, then they fold the paper, so no one can read it and pass it on to the person on their left, who also writes a compliment, passes it on etc. until the subject of the paper receives it and can read the compliments.
The exercises can boost morale and confidence.
When people feel that their actions and talents are appreciated and noted, they are likely to work more motivated, keep up the good work they do and maybe gain confidence do to even more.
In Studenterhus Aarhus we have often made use of both exercises. They can both boost morale in a busy period and give confidence to volunteers who maybe do not themselves realize the talents they have. The interactive Christmas Tree exercise works well to create a light, fun mood, while the write-a-letter exercise is good for more thorough compliments.