Mark Kilby, LinkedIn, Twitter, and

Sometimes I’ve struggled over the years to get some remote teams to truly invest in understanding each other to find better ways to work together.  You might know the type: just want to get stuff done and they don’t like “touchy feely” exercises.  When I’ve been introduced to these types of teams, I no longer worry about overcoming their resistance.  Instead, I introduce them to the Compass Activity.

I’ll introduce the activity as a way for us to map out potential conflict before it could happen.  This typically stirs their interest.  No one likes conflict and many try to avoid.  So if they have a “map of conflict”, they think this can help.  And it does.

Usually, I’ll set up the following diagram in a shared collaboration tool (Google Drawing, Miro, Mural, Excalidraw, etc.) and review the 4 quadrants of the compass.

Screenshot 2021-03-23 at 16.57.41.png

Then I’ll ask them to pick (or add) an avatar and drag it onto the compass describing how they most likely prefer to work. It will look something like the following diagram:

Screenshot 2021-03-23 at 16.57.48.png

In the simplest form, I’ll just ask the team to make observations about what they see on the compass and what it tells them about their team.  This can be done in 15-20 minutes.

If you would like guidance on how to do a deeper dive with the team into their insights for a retrospective (60-90 minutes) or how to use it for a team launch, refer to This site will give you templates, facilitators guides, team handouts and more. Enjoy!