Blog > A few cool games/activities to add to your kit-bag

October 5, 2010

Here’s a few bits and pieces I picked up from this year’s Applied Improvisation Conference in Amsterdam.

1. Another way to do a sociometric map

Drop your keys or something that makes a noise/impact in the centre of the room and say that’s where we are now (in this case Amsterdam). Identify north, south, east and west then invite everyone to go and stand by the part of the ‘map’ where they were born. It’s okay, they’ll work it out.

2. You act like this!

This is my name for this activity that was used during a workshop exploring prejudice. In this case, people from one country were seated on the stage, while everyone else ‘acted out’ the behaviours of that culture. We did this for Dutch people, Americans and Japanese. I was desperate for the facilitators to choose me so as I could see how everyone else would act out Aussie culture, and so as I could experience the activity from that perspective, but alas, it was not to be. I can see myself using this to explore stereotypes around different functions in an organisation eg IT, HR etc.

3. What’s NOT wrong with your life.

A simple, but hugely impactful activity – only need a couple of minutes for this. Pair up. The instructions are that one person asks just one question, over and over, and the other answers: “What’s not wrong in your life?” The person asking is advised to respond enthusiastically. If the responder runs out of things to say they are allowed to throw both hands in  the air and shout, “Everything!’. Do for 40 seconds then swap roles. Try it and see what it does to your mood, and to the relationship you have with your partner.

4. Three-word Coach

This is an activity that proves that less is more. Pair up. One person is the coach and their instructions are to only ask three-word questions. Their partner is asked to start describing something they want. From time-to-time the coach asks a three-word question. Elegant and brilliant. (And as a bonus if you have done this activity during a workshop you can ask for three-word comments or report back after small group discussions.)

5. Facemasks

Have two people on the stage play a simple 30-second scene. Halt the action and give them a secret instruction. Replay the scene, exactly the same. Halt the action and then give them a different secret instruction, and replay the scene. Discuss the differences. What’s the secret instruction? Not telling! Can’t divulge ALL my secrets. This is a great activity for exploring how very small changes can have a huge impact. We can’t help but influence each other.

That’s enough goodness for one day. If you use any of these in your facilitation, let me know how it goes.

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