Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Voltaire (1694–1778)
French writer, historian and philosopher

This online team building exercise is simple, but perhaps not easy for everyone – to express as well as to accept appreciation: Each person takes a turn in expressing gratitude, good wishes for each other’s actions. You can also ask them what they are proud of about their group (if they know each other from work or before). This creates a positive atmosphere and can serve as a good starting point in the beginning. 

Objective of Appreciation Circle

Bonding and positivity.

The Appreciation Circle not so useful in a short interaction, especially if participants don’t know each other so well. Then, it be felt as too artificial. For the real impact the statements should be authentic and real.



2–3 min per participant.


Basically, there are two ways of conducting this.

  1. One participants is the object of appreciation. Either each member of a team or volunteering members of a team express their gratitude towards that person, praise, and share their reasons for liking him or her.
  2. One participant after the other is the presenter of his or her appreciation towards the whole group or one team member after the other.

Statements of appreciations should not include any conditions, but full-hearted and meaningful. So, no constraints like “if”, “but”, “however” are allowed to follow the appreciation.

The object of appreciation is only asked to thank. No further explanations, excuses, or restrictions on his or her side.


Anytime. For doing an Appreciation Circle in the beginning, participants need to be familiar with each other already. If they are new two each other, it should be more towards the last third of a workshop.

Perhaps you find the following one for your participants more suitable?

Once upon a time

You might be familiar with the offline storytelling game "Once upon a time": As facilitator you start a story and one participant after the other continues.

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Future Headlines

Share an online newspaper with the participants of your online workshop and let them come with suggestions for headlines in the future about the company / NGO / topic of the conference. This makes each participants’ goal and expectation visible and creates a positive, forward looking atmosphere.

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Virtual Coffee Machine

In the game coffee machine we simulate the hustle around the coffee machine of the conference venue in order to reach social binding among participants.

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