Quotes inspire us and questions challenge us.
About two years ago, I purchased a card deck called “Quotes to Inspire, Questions to Inquire.” They were written by Jan Efline, a trainer and coach who specializes in creativity and innovation. I use her cards in staff retreats and in working with teams as a way of bringing people together. The quotes and questions elicit sharing regarding sensitive issues that may lay just beneath the surface such as mistrust of others, fear of change, or lack of understanding among team members.
Here are just a few of her quotes and associated questions that are my favorites.
Quote: “To escape criticism – do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” (Elbert Hubbard)
- “How does fear of criticism effect your actions?”
- “How can you manage your sensitivity to criticism so that you can be yourself more of the time?”
Quote: “Nothing is more desirable than to be released from affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a CRUTCH.” (James Baldwin)
- “What crutch is a comfort to you?”
- “How will you let go of it?”
Quote: “You can’t step into THE same river twice.” (Heraclitus)
- “When do you hold on to your old models of the world, the water that is already far downstream?”
- “How can you open yourself to a new now?”
Building trust among team members has been a positive outcome of using this card deck. The cards invite team members to be vulnerable with each other. I’ve witnessed team members cry because a quote and the questions go deep into one’s personal issues. I’ve witnessed laughter because everyone can relate to the quote and share a mutual experience based on the questions. I have witnessed honest conversations that had not taken place before.
What quotes and related questions could help build trust with your team?