Polishing Teamwork Skills
Today's Snack: There's nothing more delicious than a well-polished
apple. Take a regular Delicious or Jonathan apple, or some other colorful
variety, and wash it under cold, running water for a few moments. Then take a
soft, clean cloth, and polish that apple for several minutes! When it's
polished to a high sheen, or sparkling brightness, then eat and enjoy!
Make teams of 4. Each team
Toothbrushes (to clean
Advertise to teachers and parents in
advance that you are going to have a free car wash in the school parking lot.
Any cars that are parked in that lot during the hour of your car wash will be
washed! Cars left unlocked will get cleaned and vacuumed inside as well. You
can leave a box marked "Donations" near the door and expect to receive more
money than you spend on materials!
Arrange in advance with one or more parents to
borrow or collect the buckets, detergent, sponges, towels, etc., and have them
on hand the day of the car wash. Also arrange with the school janitor to have
one or more garden hoses hooked up and available for your car wash. Meet as a
team and decide who is going to do what.
Are you ready to work as a team and make those cars
sparkle? Great! But first, let's talk about what makes a really good teammate. Go
over these as a group and talk about how it might feel to have someone who is
doing these things on your team - good or bad? Divide up the following traits
of a good teammate, and practice them while you are washing cars. It'll make it
so much more fun!
• Notice and encourage the good in ideas and ignore or
overlook the less-good, if possible.
• Give others praise, acceptance and understanding.
• Positive problem description:
we do?" "What could we use?"
"How can we
make it better?" "What if . . .?"
• Confirm ideas as good.
• Show appreciation for effort.
• Listen, and summarize to show you heard.
• State your feelings clearly but with sensitivity to
• Accept responsibility for good AND bad.
• Accurately define problems.
• Work toward solutions that all can agree upon.
• Use a gentle voice.
• Speak with kindness and look others in the eye.
Call ideas or people bad names.
Negative responses; implying something can't be
Refusing to look others in the eye.
Crossing your arms and hunching your
Turning sideways from others.
Sighing, groaning or expressing exasperation.
Complaining about others or their ideas.
Arguing, insulting others, blaming others.
Doing or saying things behind the backs of
Trying to solve it all by yourself, a put-down to
Denying responsibility for problems;
from the process.
Making excuses for problems.