The Five Colored Cards exercise encourages open dialogue and sharing among Board and leadership team members
specific to their intrinsic motivators.
By openly sharing intrinsic drivers at the outset of a performance period or the initiation of a team/group serving an organization, Board members are able to gain deeper understanding of what compels others to serve.
This simple yet meaningful interaction offers invaluable insight to peers that helps all team members get aligned with roles and tasks that feed their passion.
As fellow Board/leadership team members support each other in this alignment, the possibility of sustained, impassioned service increases for individuals, while enhancing team performance.
- The Five Colored Cards exercise is ideally facilitated by a professional skilled in encouraging open dialogue, yet can be a self-led activity if the participants are committed to fully investing in the exercise and its desired outcomes.
- The exercise is ideally executed by using index cards of five different colors, as are often found in a set: blue, yellow, green, pink and purple cards.
- Each participant is provided five cards, one of each color, and a writing tool.
- The five questions contained in this guide are then shared with each of the Board/team members participating in the exercise. Time is provided for each participant to write their honest response to the question on the respective colored card, as guided.
- Participants are able to take as much time as needed to respond, yet are encouraged to write responses based upon their initial thoughts (in other words, don’t overthink the responses).
- Blue Card – Hold card
“Why are you here? More specifically, why have you chosen to serve in a leadership capacity for this organization? Please share your intrinsic motivator(s).”
Focus: “altruism and selfishness”
- Yellow Card – Hold card
“What strength, skill, talent, experience or “gift” do you bring that you feel will make the greatest contribution to the organization’s progress and goal attainment for xxxx?”
Focus: “getting aligned with our gifts and passions – the sweet spot”
- Green Card – Toss card in the center, to be randomly selected by another team member
“What is the one thing that could happen, or maybe has happened in the past, that has the potential to “demotivate” you in your leadership role?
What is the one thing that has deflated your passion, causing you to be a little less enthusiastic about your chosen service role?”
Focus: “demotivators – a leader’s role is not to motivate, but to avoid demotivating others—don’t be a passion killer”
- Pink Card – Pass card one person to the left
“What one area would you like to have the opportunity to further develop during your time in your leadership role?”
Focus: “the importance of growing/developing while serving”
- Purple Card – Toss card in the center, to be randomly selected by another team member
“What one strength, skill, talent, experience or “gift” do you feel you possess that has yet to be leveraged by the organization so far?”
Focus: “hidden gifts, that may not always be similar to one’s professional experiences”
- After reading the five questions above, responses are completed, and the appropriate “dealing” of colored cards, the debrief of the exercise begins.
- The debrief allows each participant to voluntarily share their own responses to the first two of the five questions in the order in which they appear in this guide. For the latter three, follow the specific guidance so that others are reading responses completed by their peers.
- Part of the insight is derived from the “reveal” of sharing ownership of the responses after they are read. Some teams have even found value initially guessing attribution of read responses prior to team members claiming “ownership” of a response.
- Rich conversation is encouraged as the open sharing unfolds, with the exercise evolving into a meaningful team interaction that imparts intrinsic motivation from all Board/team members.
To have this exercise brought to your Board of Directors or leadership team for your organization, contact HeadHeartHandsEngagement@gmail.com to explore options. HHHE is honored to serve your Board Engagement needs!
guiding leaders of volunteers to feed the passion of those who choose to serve