LINKS IDEAS BRAINSTORMING
participant introduces themselves and then shows the group
an object they brought into the session (It could be from their
pocket, purse, briefcase, etc.) They must then tell the group
why that object is significant to who they are. Have them find
5 - 10 people that they have something in common with. Have
them use an object that they have on them that is like them
and why. Give them an object and have them describe how this
relates to the subject or their lives. If you give everyone
a different object, no one as the opportunity to prepare their
response and it levels the playing field for all participants.
everyone to go stand under/near four papers where names of animals
were written: fox, lion, turtle and bird based on how they react
to conflict. Discuss what the people have in common at each
animal station and how that's different from the other "animals".
Send out three simple questionnaires. On the first one, participants
pick from a long list of words the 10 that best describe their
personal value system. The second questionnaire features a
list of words -- creative, profitable, innovative, greedy,
manipulative -- that could be used to describe how an organization
operates; participants circle the 10 that best describe their
organization's culture. Finally, they choose from a third
list the 10 words that describe their dream organization.
Analyze the responses and plot them onto a graph. Then slice
the graph according Maslow's hierarchy of human motivation
- survival, relationship, self-esteem, transformation, organization,
community, and society. The results, when presented visually,
become instantly recognizable: It's impossible to miss how
an organization's actual behavior is the same or different
to ideal of the people who work there.
Truth & Lie
participants to partner up with someone they do not know and
to tell the other person a little about themselves. Each partner
will introduce the other to the group. While talking together
the partners should create 3 statements for their partner to
say about them to the group. Of the 3 statements 2 should be
true about the person and 1 false. The group must guess from
first impressions which is the false statement.
Blindfold them, put them in a space where they can't bump into
anything dangerous, tell them to line up in order of their
mother's birth dates SILENTLY. Sometimes the biggest hurdle
to learning for highly educated, very accomplished professionals
is admitting they NEED to learn something. This is a great,
and safe, way for them to experience "hindered communication",
similar to what might happen with people whose first language
is not English or people new to their workgroup or people
outside of their professional field. It can launch some good
discussions of communication paradigms, barriers to good communication,
Read this sentence: FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF
SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS. Now
count the F's is that sentence. Count them ONLY ONCE. Do not
go back and count them again. Then see below: ANSWER: There
are 6 F's in the sentence. One of average intelligence finds
3 of them. If you spotted 4, you're above average. If you
discovered 5, you can turn your nose at most anybody. If you
caught 6, you are a genius. There is no catch. Most people
forget the "OF"s. The human
brain tends to see them as Vs instead of F's. Is this a valid
way to determine how "smart" someone is? Why/why not?
vs Conscious Competence
Shut your eyes. Then try to touch the tip of your nose with your
index finger. At the same time, concentrate hard on what you
are doing and on where your arm is at all times. Do the exercise
slowly. Allow minimum 20 seconds for it. Now write a description
of what you did to find your nose.
If you are like the majority you probably did find your nose.
You managed to touch the tip of your nose even though you could
not see it. This is because you have tacit knowledge of where
the tip of your nose is and how you must move your arm to touch
it. In the exercise, moreover, you were consciously focusing
on your tacit knowledge. Normally we do not concentrate so deliberately
on the physical motions we make. If we did, we would never get
anything done, because our conscious minds are hopelessly inefficient
information processors compared to our unconscious minds.
The conscious mind is capable of processing somewhere between
16 and 40 million bits of information (ones and zeroes) per second,
whereas the unconscious can handle no fewer than 11 million bits
per second. We are aware of no more than a millionth of all the
information that our brains process! While you were deliberately
and laboriously focusing on the movement of your arm, your brain
was rapidly and efficiently dealing with an enormous amount of
other information to keep track of all your bodily functions.
Conscious thought is thus energy-intensive and inefficient. On
the other hand it is very flexible. It can be switched in a fraction
of a second to concentrate our attention on our heads or our toes,
on listening carefully or on reflective thinking.
It was much more difficult to write a detailed description of
how you did, than doing the exercise itself, wasn´t it? If you
really had to explain in writing how you did in detail, you would
have to spend days not seconds, and you still would not be able
to do it properly. This is because we are very good at doing things
tacitly, so good that we can express only a fraction of it in
words. A much better way is to show how you do. Information is
a very poor vehicle for transferring knowledge.
Which hand was used? If you are right-handed, you probably used
the right one. Why did you not use your other hand? You never
gave it a thought, it was purely automatic. Right? Over the
years we build up innumerable patterns in our brains that serve
as unconscious rules of procedure to cope with every conceivable
situation. These rules save us a great deal of energy, enabling
us to act quickly and effectively without having to think about
what we are doing the whole time. These rules of procedure are
also an essential part of acquiring and improving skills. But
the rules of procedure are also a limitation. Since they are
always there, they affect new knowledge like a filter or a pair
of spectacles. In this way all new knowledge is always colored
by our previous knowledge - there exists no "objective" knowledge.
If you used your right hand in the exercise, you missed the
experience of trying it with your left hand. No great loss in
this case perhaps, but consider how you act in more complex
situations at home or at work. How much happens automatically?
How much of your ability to create new knowledge do you unconsciously
vs. two-way communication
the participants to pair up with someone else. If you would like
the added benefit of using this as an ice breaker or a networking
opportunity make sure they are pairing up with someone they
do not know. Ask them to decide which one of the pair is A and
which is B. Ask the A's to leave the room. Give the B's these
"When the A's come back into the room they will be blind folded.
Your job is to take them by the arm (like if you were leading
a blind person) on a little field trip. You may give them instructions;
such as, "walk forward five feet". Explain that their job is
to get their A safely back to his or her seat. (This takes
a little advance planning. You must decide on the route ahead
of time.) To the group of A's give these instructions, "You
will be blind folded and your B partner will lead you on a
little field trip. They may give you instructions and lead
you by the arm but you are not to ask questions or give them
any feedback whatsoever. Their goal is to get you safely back
to your seat." After, the
first half of the exercise is accomplished, the roles should
be reversed and a different route established. Only this time
the there should be two way communication. This will go much
faster and easier with less stumbling by the blindfolded participant.
Based on the children's Hot/Cold game. Have a volunteer leave
the room, pick an object that's somewhere in the room, explain
to the group that they will only be allowed to tell the volunteer
when he/she is moving away from the object (cold) and they
are to make very negative statements like 'Hey, stupid - wrong
Time how long it takes to find the object (hint: prepare the
volunteer thoroughly for this type of negative communication).
Next use another volunteer, have them leave the room and this
time use only positive communication as they get nearer the
great, you're wonderful, keep going". Time it. Next have
a 3rd volunteer and allow the group to use negative and positive
communication. They should find the object very quickly vs the
other 2 methods. Both types of communication can be useful to
help guide someone on the correct path to obtaining their goals.
This is also a good time to open up a discussion about phrasing
negative communication into constructive communication.
Have an ambiguous photo or picture. Take a volunteer aside to
show the picture. The group doesn't get to see it. They note
(he/she can write it down) 10 things (or # time permits) about
the picture. When the volunteer rejoins the group, tell the
group and volunteer that the volunteer is going to whisper
information about the picture to the person on their right.
The person listening can only take in the information without
questions and without writing. The information is repeated
in this way until all people have heard. The last person receiving
the information tells the group what they heard. Then the
facilitator can read the initial 10 things the volunteer wrote
and show the picture.
Pick an ordinary object like a pen or pencil or crayon.
Have them try to "sell" each other/facilitator. Find out who
asks their partner what they "want" it to be.
Give each member of the group an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, the
facilitator needs one too. Have them close their eyes. The
facilitator issues the instructions and follows them as well.
No questions are allowed. Instructions: Fold the paper in
half. Rip off a corner Fold the paper in half Rip off a corner
Fold the paper in half Rip off a corner The group can now
open their eyes and find that there are many different shapes
of paper. The debrief covers the need for two way communication
and that the different perceptions of the people caused the
many different designs. If time permits the group can be put
in pairs. Have the pairs sit back to back and repeat the exercise
using two way communications and find that the patterns come
Before presenting it, the instructor draws a figure on a flip
chart or overhead and conceals it. The figure be something simple
like a stick drawing of a house or person.
He or she then tells the group that they will be given instructions
to perform a simple task and that questions are not permitted.(If
someone asks a question, I usually answer it by repeating word-for-word
what I just said). The instructor then repeats the following:
"Place your pencils on the blank space on your page. Draw two
parallel lines. At one end of the parallel lines, draw a line
at right angles to them. At the other end of the parallel lines,
draw an inverted 'V.' On one leg of the 'V,' draw two parallel
lines. At one end of the two parallel lines you just drew, draw
a horizontal line at right angles to them." After the pencils
are down, the instructor asks how many got it right, then reveals
the picture. Take the discussion to communication, to giving orders,
to all types of topics.
8 people, Hang "titles" around their neck and let them determine
who's the most important. Rock Star, CEO, Mother, Baby, Janitor,
Sports Star, Senator. Then have them come and state why they're
important. After they're done explain that they could have either
joined hands in a circle or stood in a line because NO ONE IS
MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYBODY ELSE
goals - This or That
activity is based on the concept that a team is not transformed
instantly into a high performing work group -- improvement is
gradual but continuous. Team development is a process of becoming
"more of THIS and less of THAT" The staff will (hopefully) identify
the THIS (the positive attributes the team needs to perform)
and the THAT (the negative attributes that we need to leave
To break the ice the activity will start with the staff identify
the THIS and THAT values and behaviors Create statements that
are appropriate to the environment and situation. Have them replace
"THIS" and "THAT" with statements that describe
To show respect for co-workers we must be more like THIS and less
To cooperate we must be more like THIS and less like THAT
To listen more effectively we must be more like THIS and less
You can then also use the responses to diagnosis training needs.
Session facilitator anonymously sits in the back of the room.
When introduced, facilitator stands up and announces " those
who purposely sat in the back of the room were now in the "front"
of the room.
Then, throw out wadded up "balls" of brightly colored paper and
tell the group if they caught one to throw it to someone else.
They were to keep throwing the "balls" around until told to d
stop. If they were caught with one of the "balls" at that point
they came to the "front" of the room. They then opened up the
"balls" to find words written on them in big letters. Next they
were given 3 minutes to arrange the words to form a sentence.
The correct answer was "If you do what you always did you'll get
what you always got."
a roll of TP to the first person closest to you and merely say
"Take as much as you think you need and pass the TP to the next
person". Don't offer any more information. Once the TP has gone
around the room. Say to the group, "For every square that you
tore off, tell the group something about yourself". Then watch
their faces, I get a charge out of who is proud that they
only picked one square, and the others that picked 20 squares!
This works at any level of people in the room.
a picture of who you are right now - lower left, Draw a picture
of who you will be in 2/5 years - upper right. Draw a path between
the two, draw obstacles and opportunities.
STRAW AND PAPERCLIP Give each group a box of straws not flexible
straws) and a box of paperclips. Check that the paperclips
can fit snuggly into the end of the straws. Give each group
a task (you can use the same one for each group if you want)
and let them go. Sample tasks: Build the structure as a group.
tallest strongest longest most creative most functional etc.
Debriefing included describing teamwork and situational leadership
skills used as well as how different models are needed to accomplish
out a bunch of labels and start writing down the names of well
known characters such as: Mickey Mouse, Caesar, Humphrey Bogart,
Julia Roberts, Roy Orbison, Michael Jackson and on and on...
As the group gathers together, you give them the instructions
that they need to figure out the name of the character that
is written on their label. To do that, they are allowed to ask
one question only of each person they talk to. Then you simply
walk around and place the labels on their backs. This forces
them to mingle and it is really a great icebreaker. When someone
successfully figures out the name, they get to move the label
to the front - then you put another label on their back -- no
one gets off too easily. The one with the most labels wins if
you even care about winning -- most people just enjoy talking
to each other by that time.
can try a set of cards with 15 (personality) values written on
and given to each person. Then, have them order by priority,
discard five, discard 5 more. Then, they can discuss in groups
of 5-7 what their remaining 5 are and how they relate to their
own views of project management. Each group can report to the
whole group. Share motivators, communication styles.
|| Give a flip chart
page to each participant and ask them to complete the following
statement 10 times: " I am the kind
of person who... without putting their name on the sheet. Number
sheets on the wall
groups where they know each other. Have them read the sheets
and indicate which number they think is each person.
For people who don't know each other. Have them read the sheets,
do some type of light ice breaker, allow them to read the sheets
again and indicate which number they think is each person. Hint:
It helps to have a preprinted list of peoples names for them
to indicate their guesses.
|| Each corner of the room is labeled:
Strongly agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly disagree. The facilitator
lists statements related to the content of the workshop on a
flip chart - one per page. These statements should be clear and
strong assertions that will likely provoke a range of opinion.
One at a time expose the group to these statements and ask participants
to go to the corner that represents their opinion. Once there
they find others who share that opinion and they are given five
minutes to discuss the statement and their views. The facilitator
then asks for a report from each group and relates their opinions
to the course content. The next statement is shown to the group
and participants again move to the corner of their choice and
repeat the process. Use 3 or 4 such statements (they might represent
common misperceptions about the topic) and by the end of the
exercise participants have engaged with most of the other group
members in a fun way. In addition they are more aware of some
of the key concepts they will be addressing during the session.
group is divided into teams of 4 or 5 and asked to prepare a
flip chart that lists individual differences - things that are
unique to that individual, and similarities: qualities, activities,
interests etc., that all team members share. Third they are asked
to list each team member's expectations for the session. How
this is arranged on the flip chart pages doesn't really matter.
When completed each team goes to the front and one at a time
members give their uniqueness, a similarity they share with others,
and their own individual expectation for the session.
Resolution, Team, Active Listening
|| This technique is an excellent way of ensuring that participants
listen to each other and can help move a group toward consensus
by reducing misunderstandings and clarifying the rationale of
various participants. The technique is especially useful when
opinions in a group are sharply divided. A participant on one
side of the debate states his case. A participant on the other
side of the debate then summarizes, in her own words, what the
first participant said. The first participant then comments on
the summary, correcting any errors, misunderstandings, or omissions.
Variations of the technique. One variation goes like this: For
5 minutes A talks, B listens (no discussion) For 2 minutes B summarizes,
A listens (no discussion) For 1 minute A corrects, B listens (no
What Do You Remember?
You don't actually have to take the quiz. Just read this straight
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their
fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are
forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life
are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or
the most awards. They are the ones that care.
Ask attendees to put "things" in the brown bag that they have
brought to the session. The objects could be keys, a license,
a pen, pictures, money...anything they have with them that doesn't
prove embarrassing to them. They exchange bags and then each attendee
empties the partner's bag and writes the impression he/she has
of that person based on the contents of the bag.
Pass the bag to the next person, who also writes something, and
so on and so on.
A classroom exercise toward consensus that can be highly challenging
is the following. Seat everyone in circles, with up to 14
people in each circle. Heads are bowed and no communication
other than the following may take place: one at time, going
clockwise around the circle, each person says one word to
express ...(e.g. the highlight of this training, the best
thing about our company, the prettiest place in the world,
or you make up something). After going around the circle one
time, there will undoubtedly be a variety of words. Now tell
them to continue the circling, each person saying one word,
until they have reached a consensus (i.e. everyone is saying
the same word). If you have some strong people, that may take
a dozen or more rounds. The folks who hold out the longest
are often the visionaries of the group (sometimes instigators
or rebels). It seems so simple but you may be surprised
have found it useful to put some energy into the room with icebreakers
like this is to give everyone a balloon to blow up and then ask
the group to stand in a circle and bat the group of balloons
in the air. After a short time grab any balloon and form a small
group with the people with the same color balloons as you and
then discuss a set of discovery questions or something relevant
to the topic
Useful in a variety of ways. 1) blowing up the balloon gets people
to breath which promotes the increase of energy and alertness.
2) batting the balloons gets the most staid group laughing 3)
which can lead to a degrease in tension 4) people are easily provided
opportunities to discuss things with others whom they do not normally
talk to .
The maker doesn't want it; the buyer doesn't use it; and the user
doesn't even see it. What is it?
2. A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were
both born in Boston, Massachusetts. The child is not a United
States citizen. How is this possible?
3. Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain
4. Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her birthday is
always in the summer. How is this possible?
5. Captain Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war
stories. Art Bragg offered one about how his grandfather led a
battalion against a German division during World War I. Through
brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and captured valuable territory.
After the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription
"To Captain Bragg for Bravery, Daring and Leadership. World War
One. From the Men of Battalion ." Captain Frank looked at Art
and said, "You really don't expect anyone to believe that yarn,
do you?" What's wrong with the story?
6. What is one thing that all wise men, regardless of their religion
or politics, agree is between heaven and earth?
7. In what year did Christmas and New Year's fall in the same
8. A woman from New York married ten different men from that city,
yet she did not break any laws. None of these men died and she
never divorced. How was this possible?
9. Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than 1989 American
10. How many times can you subtract the number 5 from 25?
11. A taxi driver was called to take a group of passengers to
the train station. The station is normally an hour away, but with
traffic being extra heavy, it took a full hour and a half. On
the return trip the traffic was still as heavy and yet it took
only 90 minutes. Why?
12. How could you rearrange the letters in the words "new door"
to make one word? Note: There is only one correct answer.
13. Even if they are starving, natives living in the Arctic will
never eat a penguin's egg. Why not?
14. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg *are* white"
or "The yolk of the egg *is* white"?
15. In Okmulgee, Oklahoma, you cannot take a picture of a man
with a wooden leg. Why not?
16. There were an electrician and a plumber waiting in line for
admission to the "International Home Show". One of them was the
father of the other's son. How could this be possible?
17. After the new Canon Law that took effect on November 27, 1983,
would a Roman Catholic man be allowed to marry his widow's sister?
ANSWERS: 1. A coffin 2. The child was born before 1776. 3. Mount
Everest; it just hadn't been discovered! 4. Clara lives in the
southern hemisphere. 5. World War I wasn't called "World War I"
until World War II. 6. The word "and." 7. They fall in the same
year every year, New Year's Day just arrives very early in the
year and Christmas arrives very late in the same year. 8. The
lady was a Justice of the Peace. 9. One 1,990 dollar bills are
worth $1 more than 1,989. 10. Only once, then you are subtracting
it from 20. 11. An hour and a half IS 90 minutes. 12. "new door"
= "one word" 13. Penguins live in the Antarctic. 14. Neither,
the yolk of the egg is yellow. 15. You have to take a picture
of a man with a camera, not with a wooden leg. 16. They were husband
and wife. 17. He can't because he's dead.
department has to solve 3 of the 4 problems in the next 15 minutes
or you'll all be fired. 1. Create 4 equilateral triangles with
the 6 toothpicks provided.
2. Every person on the team must be able to hold the ends of a
rope and, without letting go, tie a knot in the rope.
3. A farmer has a rabbit, a mountain lion, and some carrots. He
wants to take the animals and the carrots across a river. a. Only
one item at a time can be carried across the river. If the mountain
lion is left with the rabbit, he will eat it. If the rabbit is
left with the carrots, he will eat them. b. No cages, muzzles,
ropes or other restraints are available. 4. Three men went into
a diner and each had a single cup of coffee. Each put an odd number
of lumps of sugar into his coffee. In total, they put 12 lumps
into their cups. How many lumps did each add?
Toothpick - think 3D Rope:
Rope - Fold your arms before grabbing the rope
River 1.Take the rabbit and leave it. 2. Go back to the other
side 3. Take the carrots across and leave them but take the rabbit
with you back to the other side 4. Leave the rabbit and take the
lion 5. Go back and get the rabbit
Coffee 1,1, 10 - 10 lumps is a very odd number to put into coffee
the group into small groups of 4 or 5 and give them an introductory
exercise (could be on the content of the workshop, discovery questions,
or just an introductory ice-breaker - but make sure it's something
that involves interaction, easel or whiteboard work, etc.). Tell
them they have 7 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever.
Then, after they've gotten a good start on it (about half the
time used up - let them get thoroughly involved and invested in
the exercise),arbitrarily stop them and reassign the groups, mixing
up the participants to separate groups, making sure that a great
number of them have to get up and move to new tables (you might
make up some kind of lame reason why this is necessary, but don't
allow discussion of the reason) and have them immediately continue
with the new group in the time they have left - don't extend the
THEN, when you call time and ask the small groups to report, instead
of actually having the whole group process whatever activity they
had originally been assigned, you have them process how they FELT
when you introduced the change on their group and unsettled them.
Done well, this exercise can effectively introduce a lively discussion
of just what it feels like to have to endure an unsettling change
that disrupts the status quo (even if that status quo had only
been in existence for a few minutes!)
all the participants into a circle facing inward (or do it in
pairs). Have them look over the other participants to see how
they look now. Next have them turn outward and change 3 things
about themselves. They will have fun with this and you will
see some pretty cool changes!! Have them turn inwards and ask
if anyone notices the change. You will get some giggles, and
all will be having a pretty good time. Now, tell them to turn
outward again and make 5 additional changes! They will grouse
and complain, you can exhort them with phases like, my last
workshop had no problem doing this, come on use your creativity,--say
the kinds of things that managers would say in implementing
a change program. The mood of the group will change dramatically,
they will get angry with you, complain about how stupid this
is, etc. Once you have them make the 5 changes, turn inward
and have a discussion on how they felt this time versus the
last time...this is how it feels to undergo change too rapidly
and without commitment.
you ask the group to list the 12 things they value the most about
their jobs - anything from the work itself, to their colleagues,
to their office space - encourage them to be as broad in their
thinking as possible, but also to choose the most critically important
Once they're finished, ask them to prioritize the "job satisfiers"
into three groups - "Important" (which are things that are important,
but, if gone, wouldn't cause too much difficulty), "Very Important"
(one step up the scale) and "Critically Important" (things without
which the job would become horrific). The lists get written in
a concentric circle that you ask them to draw with the "Critically
Important" factors in the core circle.
You then create believable scenarios that strip away the two outer
levels (restructuring, a new senior management team, divestiture
- whatever is appropriate for your audience). As you play out
each scenario, ask the group to sit quietly and think about what
they're *feeling* - what it would actually *feel* like to come
into work every day if that list of satisfiers was taken away.
Finish with the innermost circle.
If people have really participated, they are going to feel pretty
awful. Your goal is to get them to *sit* with those feelings for
a while - even if some folks are feeling sick to their stomach
- before you move on. You debrief by asking people to describe
what they felt - listing the words on a flip chart as they call
them out - and then make the point that most everyone experiences
some or all of the feelings they experienced when major change
occurs - because change *always* means some kind of loss.
Close by encouraging the participants to be aware of their feelings,
as well as the feelings of the people who work for them....and
to plan for change with the impact of feelings in mind. This can
be a very powerful introduction to a change-planning session.
As I Say
everyone to pay attention and to do what you TELL then to do.
Then make a circle with the thumb and finger of your right hand,
leaving the other fingers extended ( the OK sign). SAY "Place
your right hand on your chin." and at the same time PUT the circle
part of your right hand against your cheek. As soon as people
respond, tell them to freeze and note where their hand is. In
my experience, more people will respond to the visual cue and
put their hand against their cheek. Those who follow the verbal
instructions will be allowed to gloat briefly. You can then briefly
discuss verbal dominance versus visual dominance. For a bonus
point, you can mention (while they still have their hands on their
faces) that if they really like the feel of their hand on their
face, that they are tactile learners.
During signup there are piles of 4 different objects (4 colors
of hats, 4 different toys - something that can be easily displayed)
- Everyone has to chose one of the four objects and I make sure
there's an equal distribution of the 4 different types. (I'll
use different colored hats as an example for the rest of the directions)
- I have prepared slips of paper that for the Blue hats may say
something like - Yellow Hats are Stupid - Red Hats are Wise -
Green Hats are Gossips - For Yellow Hats it would be - Blue Hats
are Powerful - Red Hats are Wise - Green Hats are Gossips
- The basic idea for the "Prejudice Lists" is that each person
doesn't know what their hat color indicates, each person receives
the same prejudice for each hat color (Red Hats are always Wise)
and "good" and "bad" prejudices are equal.
- Then we break into groups that have an equal mix of the 4 items/hat
colors and do some brainteaser exercises for about 15 minutes.
While the exercises are occurring each person must treat the other
people on their team according to the prejudice listed for that
item/hat color. Sometimes I have this discussion with each hat
color as they receive their "List" sometimes we prep for the overall
exercise with a group discussion of how do we treat someone who's
powerful, wise, gossipy, stupid.
Watch the teams as they go through the exercise and you'll probably
notice. 1. Certain people disassociating from the group - no participation,
chair pushed back from table. 2. People unable to sustain the
"prejudice" because the label doesn't match their perception of
that person. 3. Even people who have the "good" prejudice hats
will disassociate because "they aren't treating me the way I view
myself." 4. Other interesting reactions.
group exercise consisted of the facilitator having participants
list their top 10 priorities and then rank them 1-10. Then the
facilitator explains to the group that he or she will now take
on the role of a Supreme Being or Supreme Force and will be helping
you to examine your priorities. 1. First eliminate 2 priorities.
-- The facilitator would have each person tell the group their
ten priorities and what two they are eliminating. 2. The facilitator
tells the group that the goal is to find the top 5(this alleviates
some stress) 3. So when you get down to five, each person reads
their five top priorities. 4. Then you ask them to eliminate one
more, and so on until you end up with one. Note: This exercise
requires attentive facilitation as participants will experience
some stress and will try not to make a choice. Remind them it
is just role playing or just a game.
Quick Group Exercise: Have people list the top 8 priorities in
their lives, list top 8 things that occupy their time in a week,
top 8 things that they envy about other people and wish were in
their lives. You'll find discrepancies and will all find for many
people that what they feel they lack in their lives and envy in
others is their real priority list stripped of the "shoulds".
Get three different children's puzzles (preferably all have similar
colors and are odd shaped, i.e. no corners. Let's call them #1,
#2, and #3.
2. Take a few pieces from puzzle #1 and put them in #2. Take a
few pieces from #2 and put them in #1. Then divide #3 in half
and distribute the pieces between puzzles #1 & #2. Now you have
#1 in its box with a couple of pieces from #2 and half of #3.
Puzzle #2 is also in its box with a few pieces from #1 and half
of puzzle #3. Puzzle #3's box is set aside and not used.
3. Introduce the activity with the group all together. Ask question
like the following:"What is a puzzle?" (A problem, a game, something
you have to thing about, etc.) "What are some strategies you use
to assemble a puzzle?" (Identify the edge pieces, look at the
box to see what it is supposed to look like, group pieces that
look alike, etc.) Continue this introductory discussion as long
as needed. You'll easily be able to adapt this introduction to
your needs. At this point, avoid processing. This comes later.
4. Divide the group up into two groups and give each group a puzzle
(#1 or #2). Tell them the task is "to assemble their puzzles."
You can introduce an element of competition if you like by saying
there is a prize for the team that completes the "task" first.
Obviously, each box has pieces of the other puzzle so each group
bears some responsibility for the completion of the other group's
puzzle. Together, both groups must complete the third puzzle -
for which they do not have a picture/box to follow. Because these
are children's puzzles (48 pieces), putting them together is not
a difficult task.
5. After all three puzzles are completed, the group gathers in
a circle around the puzzles and processes the activity. Some topic
that will likely come out during the processing are: --The puzzles
didn't have easily identifiable, straight edges. --Each group
had pieces of the other groups puzzle. (How did they respond to
this? Did they hoard the pieces or exchange them freely?) --What
roles did members of the group take on? --How did the groups approach
the third "mystery" puzzle? Did they assume it was the other group's
responsibility? Did they work together or in a parallel way on
the third puzzle?
6. Obviously, the intent here is to use puzzles as a metaphor
for group interactions, team work & cooperation, and general problem
or 4 Year Old
following short quiz consists of 4 questions and tells whether
you are truly a "professional". Scroll down for the answers.
The questions are not difficult. Answer each question before
moving on to the next one.
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator ?
3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference, all the
animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend? OK, even
if you did not answer the first three questions, correctly, you
still have one more chance to show your abilities.
4. There is
a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How
do you manage it?
1.Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the
door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things
in an overly complicated way.
2. The Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the
elephant and close the refrigerator. Correct Answer: Open the
refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close
the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions
of your actions
3.Correct Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the
refrigerator. This tests your memory.
4. Correct Answer: You swim across. All the Crocodiles
are attending the Animal Meeting! This tests whether you learn
quickly from your mistakes.
According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the
professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers
got several correct answers. Andersen Consulting says this conclusively
disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of
a four year old.
participants you want to do a quick psychological profile to help
them learn more about themselves. They will grade their own papers
at the end and no one else will see the results. It's strictly
confidential. There will be four questions in all.
1. If you died and could come back as any animal you wanted,
what would that animal be? When you have decided what animal you
would like to be, write down 3 adjectives describing that animal.
2. What is your favorite color? Now write 3 adjectives
describing that color.
3. What is your favorite river? (You don't have to have
ever been there) Now write 3 adjectives that describe that river.
4. Close your eyes and try to imagine being in the situation
I will describe. You are surrounded by a brilliant whiteness.
Everywhere you turn, all you see is whiteness. Think about being
in this situation for a few seconds. Now open your eyes and write
3 adjectives that describe your feelings when you thought about
being in that situation. Now we will grade the papers.
Debriefing and Discussion Answers
1. The 3 adjectives you wrote are how you perceive yourself.
- We usually want to come back as an animal with characteristics
2. The 3 adjectives are how other people perceive you.
- We again usually like colors because they have characteristics
we identify with
3. The 3 adjectives are how you perceive sex. (or making
love) - Based on Freud
4. The 3 adjectives are how you perceive death. - Based
on stories of people dying and coming back to life and walking
towards a bright light or being bathed in a bright light.
||The following is a sample of the
narrative and questions to be answered
after you have read the following text twice to a group of "listeners."
"A business man had just turned off the lights in the
store when a man
appeared and demanded money. The owner opened the cash register.
contents of the cash register ere scooped up and a man sped
member of the police department was notified promptly.
1. A man appeared just after the owner turned off the store
2. The robber was a man.
3. The man that appeared did not demand money
4. The store owner scooped up the contents of the cash register
5. Someone opened the cash register.
6. While the cash register contained money, the story didn't
7. After the store lights were turned out, the man appeared.
8. The robbers did not take money with him.
This works well as part of a larger module on listening skills
THEN discuss topics such as:
* Why we don't listen
* Listening as an attitude not a skill
* Elements of listening (hearing, interpreting, evaluating,
* How to listen (active and reflective)
* Types of listening depending on context (discriminative,
comprehensive, appreciative, and therapeutic)
- MEETING GROUND RULES/GUIDELINES
from many sources)
ideas not people
made here stay here
belong to the group
person talks at a time
supportive of the other team members and their contributions
and absence is consensus
conversation at a time
backtracking for people who are late
killer phrases like "we already tried that" and "it will never
work" and "yes, but . . ."
rule (any one can call 5 min rule--to close out a discussion
going no where)
person speaks at a time
people to change
consistency with flexibility
assumptions before acting
ideas, not people
an open mind
communication lines open
open to the ideas of others
responsibility for your own learning
things specific, real, here.
have the right to pass
your time wisely
discussed in our group is confidential.
discount others' ideas.
supportive rather than judgmental.
feedback directly and openly;
are responsible for what we get from this team experience.
not accept the first idea - go for the second and even better
as open as possible but honor the right of privacy.
on our goals, avoiding sidetracking, personality conflicts and
permitted if scheduled in advance with the leader.
and end meeting on time.
and agree on agenda at start of meeting and then stick to it.
agenda and outcomes.
is expected to help facilitate the meeting.
is expected to participate and to respect and support the right
to be heard.
focus and attention while meeting.
check for understanding - summarize and/or paraphrase
or conflicts are handled positively.
and/or pagers on vibrate, instead of ring or beep
open to new concepts and to concepts presented in new ways.
person talks at a time.
titles are left at the door.
finger pointing - address the process not the individual.
towards understanding consensus
willing to forgive.
everyone in the discussion
for what you need
and end on time.
interrupt someone talking.
is responsible for the success of the meeting.
killer statements (don't shoot down ideas).
open to ideas
other points of view.
key point notes to participants.
focused on the task and the person of the moment.
only ideas, not people.
an open mind.
a question when you have one.
free to share an illustration.
an example if a point is not clear.
confidences and assume others will.
a team player.
a different opinion.
your discussion to the current topic.
freely of your experience.
everyone participates at least every hour.
an "Adventurer" not a "Prisoner".
alertly and take accurate notes.