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Personal Map: A Tool To Strengthen The Team

Actualizado: 6 dic 2020

ncor Seguros Paraguay is an Insurance company that develops its operations in Paraguay. The IT team is made up of four people:

  • Technical Support: Pedro

  • Systems Analyst: Edhelira

  • Process Analyst: Mónica

  • Infrastructure and Telecommunications Analyst: Erasmo

Its main function is to provide all IT services to the business.

Much of the day we work with other people but we don’t know each other. Learning a little about the life history of our colleagues can be of great help to generate greater empathy. The question is how do we do it? In the IT team of Sancor Seguros Paraguay we use this practice with the purpose of strengthening team cohesion and interpersonal relationships.

A personal map is a technique that helps people find common topics for conversation effortlessly and easily, achieving, among other things, improving communication and relationships.

What Is A Personal Map

A personal map is a mental map of a person. It’s a Management 3.0 technique and is designed to make it easier for you and your team to get to know your colleagues better. Knowing more about yourself will help you trust each other and form a stronger team.

Because knowing your colleagues is not just about having someone to talk to about the weather in your coffee break. It’s about the fact that people can also talk about their personal lives, therefore it is easier for them to empathize together. Even a brief conversation about something that is near and dear to their heart can give a sense of security in the other person.

As a result, we will be less hesitant if, for example, we want to ask for help with work-related things. Likewise, it will be easier for everyone in the team, not just a few noisy individuals, to express their views and respect each other whilst doing so. And this is the main thing that makes the team successful and moves it forward.

The advantage of creating personal maps is that you integrate each team member equally. You will make the interaction easier for introverts and people who may find it more difficult to start a conversation. You can also easily and quickly integrate a new member into the team. If you have a team that does not spend enough time together in person, the personal map can help to bring them together, at least imaginarily.

How To Build Personal Maps

If you want to introduce your team to personal maps, it’s good to start with an example of your own. Divide it into eight basic categories:

  • work,

  • education,

  • friends,

  • family,

  • hobbies,

  • goals,

  • values,

  • and home.

Slowly fill out each one. But don’t be afraid to add or edit categories along with what they find interesting. Engage colleagues in the creation process and ask them how you can fill in your map. You will see how much they know about you :).

How Did We Use It?

In the IT team of Sancor Seguros Paraguay, we used this technique as a game to understand how deeply each member of the team knew their partner.

1. First, each team member made their own personal map.

2. Then each team member made the personal map of their partner, who was sitting in front of the table where we did this dynamic.

3. Then each collaborator presented the personal map of the person who had touched them in front of everyone

4. Next, the person who had been described presented their own personal map to “validate” in some way what the colleague had commented.

My Learnings As Facilitator

The game was a lot of fun as you can see in the video, the team members got to know each other in greater depth. Although when each collaborator had to talk about himself, this generated some exposure and shame in some cases, as progress was made, greater confidence in the team and ease was generated. The climate that was generated during and after the practice was beautiful, a climate of psychological safety where each member can talk about what they feel, need and want in relation to teamwork. Communication flowed in a different way, positively for the team. Improving communication and trust can help teams improve in many ways:

  • Behavior

  • Knowledge

  • Collaboration

  • Self-management

  • Self-organization

  • Performance

More Learning:

  • As a facilitator I was able to realize who is more empathetic and who is not, as each one discussed their personal map, I was able to see who paid more attention to others and who did not.

  • Staff maps should be posted so that the team can review them after the session as we sometimes tend to forget the information of our colleagues.

  • Designing a colleague's personal map creates a connection with the person, as we will need to better understand some personal details of our colleague.

  • I would use it again for the incorporation of a new member to the team and for the formation of a new area or project team. When the equipment is new and they do not know each other much, it serves as a radiant of information about the personality of each one, since we will find how person will carry out the activity with different behaviors. We will see that some are more reserved than others, some resistant to this type of activity, some will be creative enjoying the activity, helping us to find the early adopters of the team.

  • As facilitators, it is important to create a climate of psychological safety that allows participants to express themselves freely. I suggest starting with a check-in activity to energize the participants and gain confidence.

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Link Web Page Management 3.0 Personal Maps

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