The many ways to use MindTime Cards™

This beautiful discovery game will open up a whole new world of understanding for you and everyone you share it with. There is never a time in life when knowing yourself better is not valuable. You will find the basic instructions in your MindTime deck of cards, or you can download a PDF here.

Ready to explore beyond the basic discovery game? Click on one of the boxes below to explore some of the ways you can use MindTime Cards to everyone’s advantage.

For individuals

Resistance Reflection

Go through the same steps as in the basic game (sort the cards into yes and no piles) but this time, use your NO pile and choose the top 12 words that you LEAST identify with.

These words will reveal what you most resist doing or thinking about. It is not what we are good at in life that trips us up. It is the things and ways of thinking and behaving that we resist. Learning about your resistances can free you from an emotional attachment to them.

This application of MindTime Cards will allow you to discover where your resistances come from and what they truly represent. They are neither good nor bad, they simply exist and can be more effectively dealt with when recognised. Of course, we don’t get to simply avoid all thinking and activity that requires us to apply what we in fact resist. Life is simply not like that. However, this insight does allow us to understand and navigate those times when we feel resistance more effectively. We can develop the self-discipline to halt our reactions and a shift from reaction to a strategy of understanding and negotiation.

This revealing game is amazing when played with a group of people who work closely together (or live closely together). It takes a bit of courage. However, it will dissolve so many misconceptions and misplaced expectations. Give it a try on yourself first!

Empathy Exercise

In this application, you’re going to get inside another person’s thinking and learn something about their point of view. Start out by reflecting on the person whom you want to understand better. Think about how they do things, how they behave, etc. Now follow the same steps as you would follow playing the basic game, however, this time play it from the point of view of the person whose head you’re trying to get into. It’s best if it is a person that you have a close personal or professional relationship with, in other words, you’ve witnessed their behaviours over a period of time. However, you can play with just about anyone in mind. The point is that you’re trying to empathise and understand them, so all reflection on who they are is going to send you down the right path.

Note: Obviously, you are not them. Please bear in mind that this is ONLY your take on them and not a better or worse take than the person has on themselves. Use it as a guide. Better still, open a conversation with them inviting them to do the same about you, and then each of you reveals what your own self-assessment revealed. How different are the two perspectives? This game can lead to lots of insights and a deepening of relationships.

Back to the game instructions. As you look at the revealed patterns, what insights do you get about this person and the role they play in your life? How might knowing this change the way you interact with this person? How can you use this insight to mutually good effect?

At a whole other level . . .
You can take this line of thinking to a much higher level by expanding what you are focused on understanding from being a person to an audience, or company culture. Or, you might be teaching a class. What can you learn when you play the cards holding those kinds of things in mind? Wherever there are people and whatever they are doing these same three priorities of mind are at work and you can use this approach to gain valuable insights.

For pairs

Relationship Revealing

Play the basic game with a loved one, optimally with two decks. You might look at each other’s choices as you play, maybe giving each other permission to ask about each other’s choices. Discuss your thoughts as you go through picking your top 12 cards. Listen and watch your co-player. This game tends to create quite a lot of lively conversation. It also leads to very poignant self-reflection and true seeing of another’s point of view.

A further step, in the relationship enhancer game, is for both players to turn their cards back over to word-side up, and swap chairs. Now you are each looking at the other person’s word choices. Are there words that they hold that clearly connect you to your partner in your day-to-day interactions? What about words that clearly create friction? And, what about the qualities reflected by words your partner chose that you absolutely love about them? Talk about those a lot!

We recommend also going through the “Resistance Reflection” exercise detailed above together. There are a lot of insights to be had in a relationship if we can just stop having misplaced expectations.

Be open and respectful in all multiplayer games. Done well, this practice can lead to a lot of life-changing insights, more than a few laughs and a deeper connection, and better communication between partners, friends, and colleagues.

For groups

Team Building Exercise

Convene a meeting with your team specifically to play the game. Make it a special learning event. Ideally, each person would have their own MindTime Cards deck. Lead the group through the instructions of playing the game, as they play it, one step at a time. Allow people enough time to complete each step. You’ll see that some archetypes need more time than others to make an accurate self-assessment.

Once everyone has revealed their cards (turned them over), have everyone identify their Archetype Card and read it and then lay it by their spread of cards. Now have everyone walk around and look at each other’s patterns. This is a natural time to ask each other questions and provide others with insight about yourself. There are often more than a few surprises about some people’s results. This is where there can be a whole lot of learning for the team. Track this information on a whiteboard or flipchart by making a note of each person’s thinking style on the team. You might like to read It’s All About Time, by John Furey. It’s packed with insights about how to make teams more self-aware and effective using MindTime. It spells out how to create extra-ordinary collaboration using the Wheel of Collaboration. You can order it here.

Give the first MindTime Cards team event a little time to sink in before you try the next team-building exercise that delves into resistances. Try to keep the ideas and insights gained front of mind for everyone. Many teams hang a copy of their results in full view (lunchrooms are great places as it is a time and place of conversations). Some people post their archetype card at their work station or desk. This is a great idea to keep the information and insights flowing.

Gather your team again and lead them through the Resistance Reflection exercise provided for you under the Individuals toggle above. Talk about how resistances influence the way we approach work (see the explanations provided in the resistance game text above), and what we can gain from knowing about each others’ resistances. As a team, you might discuss adjusting expectations you have of each other and how you can support one another by using each person’s natural strengths. Discuss how you might collectively approach common tasks and projects given this new level of insight. Many teams will immediately begin investigating how roles may shift to accommodate strengths and how communication and workflow could be improved for maximum efficiency and job satisfaction.

Team Balancing Exercise

As above, go through the MindTime cards basic game with all team members. As you discover each member’s perspective and archetype, take note of where there might be a missing perspective on the team. You might take this opportunity to discuss how this gap might be impacting productivity. There is much written about this in It’s All About Time. The author has spent many years putting MindTime to use in real-world team building and organisational development exercises. He shares his experience and insights in this well-illustrated book with simple practical examples and anecdotes. You can order it here.

If hiring to fill a position, make note of what perspective would balance out the team best, given the role you are hiring for. What thinking style might be lacking, or over-represented on the team?