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Break the ice. Get to know each other. Reflect on individual and team professional goals and visions. Share inspiration.

Group Size


The organizer collects and brings in a wide variety of small, inexpensive objects. Examples are: a jewelry charm; rock, shell, twig, other item from nature; novelty pen; pin cushion; old photograph; blank postcard; child's drawing; playing card; piece of cloth; ruler; piece of candy . . . Table or other surface on which to display the items.

Set Up

Ask people to look over the items, thinking about how some of them can symbolize for them their goal(s) for the team/ personal goal(s) related to the team's project or some related idea. Give several minutes for this.


Everyone selects one item and places it in front of them. One at a time, they tell the group why they selected that item, how it gives them ideas or stands for something they want for the group . . . Each person can keep the item as a reminder.


At the next team meeting, the organizer can ask people to bring their item back and talk about whether/how it was helpful or inspiring, or different items they substituted or thought of that would be more appropriate.


Items can be put in a covered basket or bag, so that each person reaches in and picks one at random.

Each person can be asked ahead of time to bring one item from home that is meaningful to them and may have some symbolism, to show and talk about in the gathering. Examples from one group: a bike; a clip-on reading light; a pair of fancy dish-washing gloves.

Each person's item can be added to a basket to be picked at random by others, or the person can show and talk about their own item.

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