I wanted to share with you my favourite energiser, intro, icebreaker for teams with low morale or high conflict. This is one I am sure has been written about before and am by no means trying to take credit for this.
I like to call it gifted appreciation. First you will need to go and buy some chocolates or sweets, I think its really important to have different options within the pack and for the sweets to be individually wrapped for it to work well. It keeps it fun and allows the person giving to customise there gift. These are my favourites, they only cost £2!
After setting the scene with a prime directive or similar statement to establish security, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas etc” then introduce gifted appreciation.
It’s pretty simple, ask the team to one by one take a chocolate from the box and give it to someone on the team whilst verbalising an appreciation for something that team member has done. Once everyone has had a turn offer them to the group again asking does anybody want to give another chocolate to anyone else. This can go on for some time I have had teams almost empty the box in appreciation for each other. This helps set a really positive tone for the retro.
Then move into a gathering data exercise. Why not try the Empathy Survey also good for teams who are falling out or have a low morale.
Update: Further details: http://www.funretrospectives.com/token-of-appreciation/