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Creating together

Student Life

MBA students use Lego Serious Play to develop as a team

Exploring the Johari Window through Lego Serious Play

MBA Students at Newcastle University were given the opportunity to explore the Johari Window, through Lego Serious Play.

Lego Serious Play helps to improve creative thinking and communication.

The rules are simple:

  • Make things as quickly as possible.
  • Look at the Lego model you have built and explain the model without any eye contact with your teammates (harder than it looks).

We explored our own thoughts and teamwork through creativity and free play, using the academic model the Johari Window.

We were put into teams, and as we are working on a big project for our People & Organisations Module, these were the teams that we played Lego with.

We have been learning about Insights Colour Psychology in class, which is a theory in which each personality type comes with a colour: red, blue, green, or yellow. It was amusing to my group that three of our team had the Insights colour yellow, whilst one was Insights colour green. One member of our team couldn’t make it – who was Insights colour blue. I am curious to know how our team projects might have been different if that person had attended due to the differences in our personalities.

In the workshop, students were given the chance to build their house students were given the chance to build their house. In this image you will see my house with a pool (the blue block to the right) and nature sanctuary to the left (green block) containing animals and plants.

We were given the chance to build with 6 bricks and then explain a random theme we were given such as society, diversity, conflict, or synergy. This was so fun but working quickly can be tricky and I dropped some of my bricks so could only build using 4 bricks. My theme to describe was ‘diversity’ and interestingly I had chosen the colours of the Transgender Pride Flag designed in 1999 by Johnathan Andrew, so I mentioned this along with explaining Diversity.

Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_flags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other colleagues had to explain words like synergy, and it was so interesting to hear their examples – especially because they couldn’t look at you and you couldn’t look at their bricks.

As groups we had to build a free-standing tower which was fun, but my group forgot the foundations, so of course it snapped which brought some disappointment but mainly lots of laughter! This makes sense as the team was mostly the yellow Insights Colour who enjoy a lot of fun and mischief!

We were asked to build something to showcase two hidden strengths, I realised through creating this that I’m my approach to life is 1) to go, go, go and 2) a delight in developing people.

The two key qualities I identified that I can provide are brave and caring.

As a team we dedicated the key qualities for our unique teams – my team chose communication, understanding differences, listening, and fun – again the yellow Insights Colour.

A highlight of the day for me, was when my colleagues and myself had to build models of each other showcasing each other’s strengths.

 

Strengths which came up in my group:

  • Strength
  • Enthusiasm
  • Smile and happy
  • Good learning
  • Care about other people

 

Strengths of Mildred (as written by Nana)

  • Driving team forward
  • Great vision and direction control
  • Good decision making
  • Open minded

 

Strengths of Ash (as written by Mildred)

  • Motivated
  • Caring
  • Diverse skills
  • Reliable

 

Strengths of Pound (as written by Ash)

  • Thoughtful – meaningful with his contributions
  • Supportive to a team, a good stabiliser
  • Protective
  • Helpful (hands in Lego model) at picking things up and helping them)

 

This experience was transformative for us as a team, as it brought us closer together in a powerful way, and cemented our bonds, preparing us to work together better, later in the semester.

As a wider cohort, we were able to see the strengths in different teams who had different team dynamics to ourselves.

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