The Pleasure and Gain activity is great for talking about all work related things and how does if affects each participant (in relation to being pleasant or not), and how much gain it brings to the team.

Running the activity

1.Draw the pleasure and gain graph.


2.Instruct the participants to add notes to the graph

From the things you do at work, please answer the following questions:

  • Do you have pleasure or feel pain for doing such thing?
  • How much gain or loss do you have by doing such thing?

3.Explain the participants about the magic quadrant, the pleasure and gain quadrant, and about the Big Pain intersection.


4.Hold a conversation on what could be done so we move each item towards the magic quadrant.

This activity is based on the Psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s Loss Aversion Theory. The theory  findings indicate the pain of losing is psychologically almost two times as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. Tie the Loss Aversion Theory with Freud’s Pleasure Principle (a human’s innate tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain), and it’s not hard to see why this activity foster very important conversations that can change a team.