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The 3-B Framework! (Belong, Believe, Behave)

Props/Prep: Yes

Time: 45 - 60 min
Audience: Any (teams)
Physical: No

Activity:  This activity is reflective and discussion based.  It is appropriate for any age group.  It is best done where there is a white board and room for small groups of participants to gather and talk.  A writing surface is optimal.    It is a conceptual shift activity and may cause some stress for participants initially. 

Time Requirements:  45-60 minutes 

Materials needed:  3 x 5 cards & masking tape OR 2 x 2 sticky notes, pens, whiteboard & markers

Procedure 1:  Hand out a pen and 3 – 3 x 5 cards OR 3 sticky notes to each participant.  Ask them to write one of their top goals (which demonstrate success) for their program on each card and then bring those cards to the front.  They should write a total of 3 goals, one on each card.  You collect the cards and categorize them on the board into 3 categories (do not write the categories on the board ahead of time – this will be done during your first debrief).  3 categories from left to right: Belong, Believe, Behave……

Debrief 1:  Once you have all the cards or sticky notes in one of 3 categories, write the words above the groupings of sticky notes.  You will note that the vast majority of sticky notes are under the last word, Behave… this is what most people use to measure the success of any program or organization.   Note this to the group of participants and question if this is really how one measures success…

Now give them this example (or any other relevant example).  Example: A baby is born into a family – they belong LONG before they have a clue as to the belief system of their family unit.  As they grow, they become familiar with what their family believes in, they incorporate these beliefs into their behaviors.  In the same way, in an organization or profession, we need to ensure our members KNOW they belong, then educate them in our beliefs…. Their professional or membership behavior will be a reflection of their beliefs and the value they place on belonging in the first place.  If we use behaviours to measure success, without embracing and socializing the members first, we may be creating puppets with no idea of why they are doing what they do….  You may be challenged in this line of thought.  Reinforce that motivation for success is best driven by belief, not external reward. 

Procedure 2:  Now put your participants in partners (by any sorting method), and challenge them to come up with several methods to ensure that program or organization members feel like they belong and understand what they believe.  This will most likely shift the focus of the program or organization from performance evaluation to participation, and instruction.   Once they have had about 10 minutes to brainstorm ‘belong’ and ‘believe’ strategies, call them back together as a group.  You may want to come up with several ‘belong’ and ‘believe’ strategies appropriate for their specific needs ahead of time if participants seem to be struggling. 

Debrief 2:    Call participants back together and have them call out their ideas.  Again, write these under the 3 headers.  You will find that many still cannot focus on anything besides ‘behavior’ measurement.  Reinforce the value of belonging and instilling beliefs.  Think of a personal application that demonstrates this and the length of commitment you were willing to go to because of your feelings of belonging and embracing a set of beliefs.  Now challenge participants to implement one or two ‘belong’ and ‘believe’ strategies within the next few weeks.    

Function in Class:  This is a great way to start a training session with a focus on overall program development.  This can be used to focus participants on what types of efforts will equal maximum results.  This will also shift people away from measuring success primarily on behaviors, and refocus them on increasing efforts on creating a sense of belonging, and what it is that students should believe in order to represent the program or organization well.  The ‘take away’ from this activity, is that behavior is often NOT the measure of success and should not be the entire focus in assessment and evaluation.  Building a strong community with core beliefs will result in desired behavior over time.       


 Source: Sharon Aka (Centre for Teaching & Learning 2009)