We have everyone standing in a semi-circle around a flip chart, and draw a wavy line representing a rollercoaster with steep sections and shallow sections, even loops if we feel like it.
We ask participants in turn to place themselves at different points on the rollercoaster and mark it on the flip chart, based on how they’re feeling right now in terms of their work and the progress they’re making.
They should then share that feeling with the group, explaining why they made the mark at that specific point.
We encourage others to ask each person why they placed themselves there and how it made them feel. We see how many people place themselves on an upslope, perhaps indicating they’re finding things challenging at the moment. We ask if anyone is surprised at where some people are placed.
This playful activity quickly creates a visual representation of the feelings in the group. By using the metaphor of a rollercoaster we can quickly relate to the ups and downs, difficulties and achievements experienced by different team members.