Here is a variation of a rank order vote – a method to vote a long, brainstormed list into a shorter, prioritized list. This activity can be used with any team size. Time required is 10 minutes and you will need to have on hand a brainstormed list written on easel paper and three different-colored removable dots for each team member.
Begin in a space large enough for team members to see each other and the easel. After brainstorming a list on easel paper, ensure that the team members understand what each item means. Combine like items if necessary.
Then give each team member three removable dots, each a different color. For example, give each team member a blue, green and red dot. Explain to the team members that they can vote on the top three items off the brainstorm list. Give the priority of each dot: “Blue is your first choice, green is your second choice, and red is your third choice.” Encourage them to write #1, #2 and #3 on the dots, just to make sure they don’t get confused.
Ask the team members to silently note how they will vote. Then demonstrate how they should vote by placing the dots in a line next to the brainstormed item.
Ask the team members to come up to the chart and place their dots on the items.
Debrief and Summarize
After all have voted, you now have a brilliant display – typically the “top vote-getter” will pop right out. If there appears to be a tie, the team can easily see how many voted that particular item as #1, #2, or #3 – or – a weighted vote can be tallied. (Note: When counting a weighted vote, the #1 item gets three votes, the #2 item gets 2 votes, and the #3 item gets 1 vote.)
Compare the number of people who voted for the item (the number of dots) versus the weighted vote (the importance each team member placed on that item).
If you like this activity, check out my book, Team Energizers, for 49 other team activities!
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.