Sample Agenda- Building Relationships

Take a look at the Building Relationships Overview

Sample Agenda: Building Relationships

Time Needed: 80-90 minutes
Purpose: For participants to learn things about each other and to make connections beyond name and job title

Session Introduction (10 minutes)

Welcome to the session
Overview of agenda
Goals for the session

Select your opening prompt

Here are some prompts that have been successfully used for building relationships. Choose one:

  • Who am I and what do I bring to the team?
  • What motivates me?
  • What is unique about me?
  • Why am I here?

Starting the Conversation (17 minutes)

Ask participants to quickly go through the images to find pictures that speak to the opening prompt:

Who am I and what do I bring to the team? (or alternative selection)

There are no rules about how participants can go about this part of the process. They can select as few or as many photos as they wish, and assemble them any way they wish on the sheet of paper in front of them. The only limitation is time; they should finish selecting and arranging their images within 5-6 minutes.

Next, use the next ten minutes to have participants share a brief story of their images. Ask them to listen carefully to each person’s response and notice the similarities and differences between group members. The amount of time each participant has to share their story will vary with the size of the group and your time constraints.

As participants are sharing their stories, ask clarifying questions if they are needed. You can do this yourself, or explain the types of questions that participants are welcome to ask of each other and allow them to become active questioners. Some examples include:

  • Can you tell me more?
  • What would be another example?
  • Is this what you mean?

Deepening the Conversation (10 minutes)

Ask participants to begin to discuss what they have heard from each other. Some suggested questions:

  • What strengths do we have together?
  • What are we missing?
  • How can we use our strengths better?

Assessing the Conversation (6 minutes)

Now it’s time to find out what people’s thoughts are after having done the exercise. How did they experience it? Was it difficult to negotiate the process?

Ask the participants questions like these:

  • Do you have any different sense of what you can contribute to the team?
  • What implication does this have?

Applying the Conversation (12 minutes)

Ask participants to discuss how they might apply this information going forward.
Try questions such as:

  • How can we apply what we discovered to our workdays?
  • What might we do to leverage the strengths of the team?

Debriefing the Conversation (10 minutes)

The debriefing section is where you help the group pull together everything they have done. It is a critical step and worth every minute invested.
Ask questions such as:

  • What did you notice about the process?
  • What was it like to create your own image versus creating one with others?
  • What are you taking away?

Closing (5 minutes)

At the end of the session, provide guidance to the participants about how to carry the work forward after the session.


Building Great Teams is also available in a printed version.