Action Steps™
photo banner for Action Steps™
pdf icon

Action Steps™ Overview

The purpose of Action Steps™ is to enable participants to fast forward through the typically slow process of effective forming. Forming is the most critical and typically overlooked stage in team development where relationships are solidified, trust established, and group norms are identified. Poor forming negatively affects a group's performance and causes lack of follow through, turf wars, poor handoffs and a lack of accountability. Synergy facilitators guide development of "action steps" through creating a foundation of trust, effective decision-making and communication, and team development tools to apply the learnings in the work environment. Experiential learning encompasses all learning styles and gives participants the ability to retain learnings more easily.

How The Action Steps™ Works

Programs begin with a brief group discussion of the critical factors for a high performing team. After the discussion the group moves outside to focus on these critical factors and to have an opportunity to practice skill building through a series of creative and engaging problem solving activities. The Experiential Learning model provides the framework for the activities.

  • Act: Experiential learning takes observable behavior-what someone said or did-as the basis of the lessons to be learned.
  • Reflect: People learn lessons that stick when they consciously explore the results of their actions as well as their reasons for doing what they did.
  • Reframe: Once people gain insight into their actions, they are able to change fundamental ways of thinking that keep them from achieving the results they want.
  • Apply: Learning is contextual; understanding when and how to apply new learning in the workplace is the crucial last step of the cycle.

We integrate applicable cognitive models (Tuckman's Group Development Model and William Bridges' and Jim Ewing's Change Model) and facilitated group discussion sessions where applicable into the program design. Each program ends with a group discussion on key learnings and an action planning session that helps to ensure that the learning's are applied.

Depending on your objectives, we mix and match options that echo your group's challenges and reinforce desired learning outcomes. We design a blend of physical and mental challenges to accommodate all capabilities and learning styles inclusively.

Sample Challenges – and we have many more –

  • Spider Web– Two to four (depending upon group size) large webs of string with various shapes and sizes of holes are set-up beside each other forming what is similar to a boxing ring. A group is divided into subgroups with one project leader per small group. The objective is for the groups to establish a goal for the maximum number of people they can pass through two webs in 6 minutes, and then, to implement their plan to achieve their goals. Inherent in this activity is the confusion of competition or cooperation between the groups.
  • Blind Squares – The group is divided into three teams, each one with the task of forming a perfect square from a piece of rope. Once squares are complete the teams must bring them together with other squares such that each one is overlapping by 25% with another square.
  • Sherpa Walk – Blindfolded team members are guided by two sighted people. Synergy facilitators map out the path for the guides using non-verbal signals, and the guides must successfully communicate with the rest of the team to enable them to safely and confidently negotiate different types of terrain. We guide the team through multiple rounds, with a process check and changing of the sighted guides between each round.
  • True Colors Assessment – Learn more about your thinking style and that of your teammates to enable more effective interactions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Raise awareness of intra-group dynamics
  • Create an opportunity to practice new skills
  • High performance behaviors under pressure
  • Apply targeted learnings back to the work place

Clients Say

"The Synergy team facilitated an Action Steps program for our senior leadership program. The exercises were dynamic, interesting, fun and sophisticated and, with Synergy's skillful and insightful facilitation, significantly helped my team forward in their teaming skills."

–Roy Stansbury, Senior VP, CapGemini

Resource Requirements

Outdoor activity, can be customized for indoor; materials and facilitation provided. This program can be customized to take between 3 and 5 hours.