Exercises to try #1 – Groups
We really enjoy running our exercises with our clients. They bring energy, intrigue and hopefully an element of change.
Over the coming weeks we will be sharing some of our exercises for you to try out at home! (Sorry…you don’t have to try them at home, just try them at work 😊)
You can download a step by step guide to this first exercise here. We’re hoping that they will help you and your team free up your thinking, create some rapport, cement some relationships and who knows, help to build a better working environment.
This exercise encourages you to learn a little bit more about each other in a nice gentle, non-offensive, non-pressurised way.
We call this light-hearted exercise ‘GROUPS’. Most of us love a group in one way or another…either a boy band, a rock group, a tennis club! Even if you consider yourself a loner, you will at some point have been part of a group. (Ok, we know we’re not great at naming our exercises but it does what it says on the tin!)
You can run this exercise with any number of people, it’ll take around 15 minutes to set up and play.
1. Aim of exercise
We’ve mentioned before in our former posts that the whole ‘tell me something about you that nobody else knows’ is an odd question. As Danielle says, ‘if I haven’t told anyone, the chances are I really don’t want them to know’.
So, here is a nice warm exercise that will help you to simply learn things about each other without the fear and shame part thrown in. By the way, even if you think you know your team well, this is still a good exercise. And it works for mixed teams of experience whether new or well established.
2. How to set up the exercise
Everyone should be standing and the facilitator will need to be able to move around from one group to another for each ‘round’ you do.
3. Running the exercise
The leader starts by saying ‘I’m going to give you several categories to choose from and you go and stand in the group/category relevant to you’. ‘When you get there just tell one or two others the story behind why you chose this group’. Ask them to work out the groupings themselves but if the group needs direction, tell them where you want the different groups to stand in the room. But mainly it’s more fun if you just ask the question and say ‘Go!’
- Years worked in company/organisation (less than 1, up to 5, 10, 20 more than 20)
- Broken bones, stitches, both, neither
- Certificate, medal, trophy
- Brothers, sisters, both, neither
- Homes you’ve lived in (0-4, 4-8, 8-12, 12+)
After each set of groups have formed and people have had the chance to speak to each other the leader can go around pulling out stories from each group. Asking people to share or nominate someone with a good story to share.
Each time, the facilitator should go and ask an individual for a few more details from each group. Encourage people to tell stories, not just a series of facts. For example:
- Broken bones: where were you? how old were you?
- Medals, Trophies, Certificates: Who heard a great story?
- Siblings: Where are you placed – e.g. Youngest etc. Hey yonugests, tell the oldests what it’s like…..
- Years of service – Do you remember your first day? Who was nice to you then?What are the biggest changes you’ve seen?
- Homes – Did you choose each move? How did it feel? Did you move far?
Some of our favourite examples here of great storytelling are:
The woman who had a medal as a national netball champion and hadn’t told her colleagues.
The man that had been with the same company for 43 years
The man on his rollerskates who ran over his own fingers after being pulled by his brother on his bike, water skiing style (ok that was actually Robin but it’s true)
This exercise provides a good opportunity for the group to get to know each other, share stories, physically move about and get energized. It is also useful as a way of getting everyone speaking and feeling the session is collaborative and that their voice is valued.
And you know what, it’s just a lovely way to start a session.
Download a pdf workshop sheet of our GROUPS exercise.
While you're here...
Looking for a business exercise about trust you can run at an event or a meeting?