Pleasure and Gain is great for talking about all work-related things and how they affect each participant (in relation to being pleasant or not), and how much gain they bring to the team.

Running the activity:

  1. Draw the pleasure and gain graph.
  2. Instruct participants to add notes to the graph: “Of the things you do at work, please answer the following questions:
    * Do you have pleasure or feel pain for doing such things?
    * How much gain or loss do you get by doing such things?”
  3. Explain to participants about the magic quadrant, the pleasure and gain quadrant, and the Big Pain intersection.
  4. Hold a conversation about 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. This activity fosters very important conversations that can change a team.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.


TVERSKY, Amos. KAHNEMAN, Daniel. Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference Dependent Model. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1991.