Exercises to try #2 – ABC Exercise 

Following our promise to share some exercises for you to try with your teams, here is another to help you develop your own facilitator skills and more widely bring your teams together to create what we believe will be stronger, more open, honest working relationships.

Last week we gave you ‘GROUPS’ (best name ever!) 

This week we present The ABC exercise. Attitude, Behaviour, Choice.

We think this has an even catchier title than last week!

This exercise is reflective and it requires participants to listen and observe. It should still be fun though as we will unearth some stereotypical responses – which are always fun to look at

Of course, like so many of our exercises it’s in the unpacking afterwards where the really good lessons are learnt.



1. The set up

This exercise takes around 15 minutes.

You will need a board, flip chart with paper or a screen and projector at one end of the room.

The group divide into pairs, one person faces front so they can see the board, the other faces the back of the room so they cannot see the board.


2. Let’s Play

The facilitator writes or shows an attitude on the board/flip chart from our suggested list (you can also find this in the download- these are ones we have used in the past, but do feel free to add your own!)

Rushed, impatient, tired, stressed, over familiar, surly, distracted, hangry (?!), apathetic, enthusiastic, committed, pushy, bubbly, warm, kind, direct.

Then ask the person who can see the word to embody that attitude while talking to their partner about their journey into work.

The person with their back to the front of the room guesses what the attitude is. We suggest that at this point, the facilitator asks around what people thought the attitude was- this can often garner some interesting responses, but is important to hear what attitude was perceived by others versus what the individuals thought they were delivering.

How many different words did people use to describe the attitude? What did people notice about tone of voice? Body language, eye contact? How did it feel to be spoken to in that way? How did it feel to act that way? Aren’t we good at spotting the signs? – the bad news is we’re really good at spotting them in everyone including you.

    • We go again, this time with a different attitude displayed, then swap over in the pairs so the other person gets a couple of goes.


3. The Learning

How does this ATTITUDE affect our BEHAVIOUR? What are the results of letting your attitude dictate your behaviour? What can we do alter this? What CHOICES must we make?

How many people in the room have brought the wrong/not the best attitude with them to work? What causes this?

This is a great exercise for teams. It has an element of fun and can help build trust. It’s a good reflective exercise for people individually.

So, to close this exercise we recommend the facilitator asks everyone to take a few personal minutes to think or write down what different choices they might make in the future about their attitude. How they would like to show up? What they will do to commit to that attitude and behaviour?

What this exercise highlights is that the attitude we think and feel we may be exhibiting, sometimes may not be perceived that way by others around us. This can have a negative impact on the environment or the energy of a project, or typical working day. Having this opportunity to ‘play out’ and unpack your own attitudes, behaviours and choices helps to develop your own self-awareness.

We know better than anyone at Purple Monster that we are all still humans, and sometimes, life just happens- there will always be things that will impact on your attitude- not many of us park these things at the office door. But, for fear of stating the obvious, the more aware you are of how your attitude might be perceived by others, the more prepared you are to make a choice on how you change your attitude and behaviours. Remember, it is as easy as ABC.

Download a pdf workshop sheet of our ABC exercise.

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