The Mask Team Building and Team Development with Personality Profiling to Create High Performing Teams

Behind the mask, Bring the mask, Exploring a new mask making art therapy for staff concept.

Each team member is given a blank mask and challenged to think about the personal strengths they bring to the team.
They are given 10 minutes to express a representation of their strengths on one section of the mask.
Team members then switch masks with each other and given 5 to 7 minutes to express themselves (either using the same design, or choosing a new design) on the next mask
This sequence rotates until the mask has been filled.
Mask Making Team Building Art Therapy to open Communication Channels
While painting, organic conversations spring up that allow team members to better get to know each other as they create a shared work of art.
At the conclusion of the session, participants are given the opportunity to further explore both product (the mask) and process (mask making).
The methodology has been successful with student-faculty teams.
We are planning to implement with care teams (clinicians, administrators, support staff, and allied professionals) later this year.

Identity formation is an iterative, contextual, and continual process. Elements of “expressed self” depend on who we are with, what we are doing, and how we might be perceived.

Language, ritual, and symbol shape the environment within which professional identity shapes and grows. Hierarchies and hidden curricula can lead to identity dissonance.

Individuals may “abandon” elements of self as sacrifice to their professional responsibilities. Integrating elements of personal and professional identity in a holistic and healthy way may lead to an increased sense of joy, teamwork, and professional satisfaction in the workplace.

Responses to the exercise included:

“I felt that the mask making process was helpful in providing space and time for genuine conversation with folks with whom I do not get to spend much time.”

“I felt that the conversation that occurred during the painting was as valuable as the painting process itself.”

“I felt very connected to the group since my mask was in a sense also their mask.”

“I thought it was a good way to encourage dialogue and conversation, and it was interesting to see how all of our designs coalesced.”

“Group mask making opened possibility of informal conversation about professional development.

1. Psychology Masks

Psychology Masks is a team building activity, where participants use art to explore the dichotomy of people’s inner and outer selves. First, order blank white masks for your team. Then, employees paint the outside of the masks with images that illustrate how the world sees them and the inside with images that depict how they see themselves.

The masks should reveal a lot about your colleagues, and start conversations where people feel comfortable speaking about themselves. After the masks are complete, you can also hang them up around the office as cool wall decor.

What are some benefits of team identity?

Some benefits of team identity are:

  • Heightened commitment to company goals
  • Increased trust and cooperation between team members
  • Seamless processes to get tasks done
  • Decreased conflicts among team members
  • Clear idea on team members’ working styles and conflict resolution methods
  • Elevated resilience to setbacks

Having a strong sense of team identity gives employees something concrete to buy into, resulting in a greater investment in achieving goals and the well-being of the team. Thus, having a team identity advances team performance and motivation.

What are some characteristics of highly effective teams?

Some characteristics of highly effective teams are:

  • Team members with fulfilled basic needs
  • Access to necessary resources
  • Workplace that provides psychological safety
  • Sense of community
  • Defined roles, goals, and processes
  • Ability to identity and overcome obstacles and conflict
  • Diversity of thought, personalities, and roles

Teams with these characteristics are more likely to succeed at accomplishing their goals without burning out. When building a team, keeping these characteristics in mind will help you create the ideal circumstances for happy and high performing teams.