This method can be applied both digitally using an online whiteboard, e.g. Miro, and presential using a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard.

1. Draw wide rays of sunlight on a piece of paper/whiteboard according to the number of participants.

2. Each person is now assigned a sunray and collects at least ten characteristics (e.g. competencies, resources, skills, interests) about themselves. These points are written down on a sticky note and stuck on the corresponding sunray.

3. The first person now begins to present his or her characteristics. If characteristics are mentioned that also apply to another person, that person shares that directly. Questions can be asked at any time.

4. Collect the qualities that you all have in common in the center of the sun. All other traits are placed in that person's sun ray. The characteristics that only some people share are noted with their names or with colored dots.

5. Finally, find a common group name for the competencies you have gathered (e.g. the travelers or the networked). In addition, you have the possibility to creatively design the competence sun according to your group name. You now have a good overview of the existing competencies in the group.

More about the tool

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • The Competence Sun is a very simple method that does not require a lot of time for its preparation or execution
  • The Competence Sun provides an overview of the team by addressing a wide range of competencies and characteristics
  • The tool leaves a lot of room for customization
  • The tool provides a good overview of where individual competencies complement each other


  • It is possible that some people participate significantly more in the conversation than others. Here, consideration and the establishment of communication rules is helpful.
  • The tool is only suitable for an initial overview of the individual fields of competence. A deepening usually develops later in the conversation.

Application into practice

Especially when it comes to creativity, innovation and solving complex problems, working in a transdisciplinary team is indispensable. High diversity in teams or a new team composition in which the team members do not know each other can lead to the participants not being aware of each other's competencies and therefore tasks and responsibilities are not optimally distributed, and all resources are exhausted. The Competence Sun allows this to happen in a creative way. Due to the physical distance of the students, this group met in a video conference and used the online whiteboard, Miro (p. 270), to create a competence sun together. To begin, all four participants came up with ten characteristics, competencies, traits, etc. about themselves. They presented these one after the other and the other group members had time to comment on them. While for the first characteristics the responses were only a short "yes" or "no", the conversation loosened up over time. With each competency mentioned, participants shared more, soon coming to a common theme - "experience with a home care setting." "We have more competencies that can be used as synergies than we thought." The qualities presented were initially quite general and superficial. The tool helped to develop a casual conversation and find commonalities and synergies, as well as differences and complements in individual competencies, beyond the previously collected traits. This created a common ground that held the team together, in addition to the different competencies in the rays of the sun. On the other hand, areas could be identified in which the team members complement each other and can support each other.

Hints from practice

  • Write down very different competencies and characteristics in order to have a wide range of topics available. This makes it easier to find commonalities and gives many different impressions about yourself.
  • Explain each competency with a few sentences or a few examples. This approach should serve to make the competencies more transparent to everyone.
  • Be open to the attributes of others. Similarities and differences need to be communicated openly, even if they are not written down on the sticky notes.


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