Something that I have noticed in my extended family is our tendency to be very clique-ish.
I know, I know. We're all one big happy family, right!?! So how can we be clique-ish, you ask? Well every time we get together we sit in our immediate family groups. I sit with my parents, siblings and brother-in-law. My cousins do the same thing with their parents and siblings. I have to admit, it is much easier to keep conversation going when you already know what is going on in people's lives.
This year, I hosted Thanksgiving at my house. So I decided to use a little team building technique with my family. It was a little experiment, and I must admit it came out beautifully.
At each table (there were a total of 5 tables) I had two little cards. On the front side there was a nice clipart design that read Happy Thanksgiving. On the back was a question. A different question for each card.
The questions were ones like....
What did you do last weekend?
What movie would you recommend people not go see?
What organizations were you in during school?
What is the worst job you have ever had?
They were questions that any age could answer. At Thanksgiving our age range was 8 to 68.
As everyone was sitting down to dinner, I explained the idea to the whole group. I encouraged them to read their questions and everyone at the table take some time to share their answer. It was a fun way to learn about each other, spark new conversations and share in each other's lives.
I was pleasantly surprised when later in the day, people where moving around to other tables to read their questions and getting involved with whole new conversations.
And guess what, we broke out of our little groups and learned something new about our own family members.