Tweaks for Personal Map sessions

TL;DR: I’ve found a few ways to gamify Personal Map sessions that has yielded engagement from participants. You can download a facilitation guide here.

A great way to build trust with a team is to run them through the Personal Maps exercise from Management 3.0. Here is Jurgen Appelo explaining how it works:

Over the years I’ve worked with teams who have come up with innovative ways to make the exercise more engaging and fun. Here they are…

Only answer questions about the map

With this one the participant shows their map to the rest of the team but instead of having the one who creating the map choosing what to talk about it’s up to the other participants to ask questions about the map. By doing this the others get to explore the person showing the map instead of the person owning the map deciding what is interesting.

Add a lie to the map

Inspired by 2 truths and 1 lie you can instruct the participants to add something that is false to the map. It’s then up the other participants to guess what on the map is incorrect. Having this element of gamification usually brings more engagement as it can turn into friendly competition while still thinking about what they think is true or false about the person.

Leaving out the name

Instruct the participants to leave the middle blank (where the name usually goes). In the session everyone folds up their map and puts them in the middle (or in a hat if you have one of those). Then, at random, you pull a map and have someone run through it. It’s then up to the participants to guess who the map is about. You can combine this one where you add a lie to take out something that is obvious about you.

Hope these small tweaks will help you create a more engaging experience for the participants. Good luck!

One thought on “Tweaks for Personal Map sessions

  1. This is a great post Martin. I like the 2 fact and a lie, and how you included it in the mind map. One can run 2 facts and a lie as an ice breaker to start a long day session, and later in the day when running this ask them to include the lie they mentioned earlier. Then followed by a debrief about how much we capture from what we hear, and not listen!

    Liked by 1 person

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