Wellbeing North Star

Goal: Improve your situation to reach your desired end state.

When things don’t go according to plan, there are two ways we can change our outlook. One is to ignore what is wrong and solely focus on the positive . Although possibly leading to a better attitude when the circumstance surpasses your low expectations, this technique still leaves you with the negative aspects that are causing your cognitive dissonance. Changing your frame of mind is only helpful if the circumstance is impossible to improve, which is not usually the case. That being said, the most beneficial way to truly change the course of our lives is to alter the situation. Wellbeing North Star, created by Kimberly Wiefling, allows you to analyze all angles of your situation in order to reach your desired end state. By comparing what you like and dislike about different aspects of your product, meeting, work day, etc., you can identify where your efforts are needed most to ensure that you achieve your goal.

The Game

Before your meeting, draw a star in the middle of a large poster or whiteboard. In the center of the star, write the topic you are going to focus on (ex. Project X, Conference, Daily schedule, etc). Around the star, write different aspects of the topic you want to discuss with your team, such as advertisements, graphics, communication, functions). When your meeting begins, distribute plenty of pens and sticky notes (2 different colors) to your participants.

For 5 – 10 minutes, have your players to write what they like about the aspects you wrote around the star. Tell them only to write their ideas on one color of sticky note. Then, ask players to jot down what they dislike about each aspect for the next 5 – 10 minutes, only writing on the other color of sticky note. When everyone is done writing their ideas, have each participant present their notes and post them under the respective aspects on the chart. Cluster all of the “likes” and “dislikes” together to make the results easier to understand.

After all of the notes have been posted, collaborate to identify how the ideas can enhance your project. What can be changed? Could you improve your project by simply eliminating any of the “dislikes”? Encourage participants to come up with solutions for the problems they presented.

Why It Works

This game can be used for analyzing any situation, as you can play it with anybody related to your project. Whether asking your customers about your product or service, collaborating with your partners to determine if your relationship is going according to plan, or simply talking with your internal team to improve your daily meeting, this activity is adaptable to your needs and can be customized for any audience.

All opinions are valuable when it comes to determining what is and isn’t working. Rather than lowering your expectations and allowing for mediocre results, put in the energy now to enhance your present state. Play Wellbeing North Star to get back on the track that everyone agrees will lead to your goal.

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