“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
Peter F. Drucker
A group of blindfolded people attempt to form a perfect square (or other shape) form a perfect square (or other shape) using Toobeez.
Activity: 30 minutes
Debrief: 30 minutes (minimum)
Group Size: 10 – 30 participants
Space: 20 x 40 (minimum room size)
Open space – no chairs, tables, etc.
Count out the Toobeez needed for the shape you have chosen (see chart below). Keep them out of sight of the participants until the activity begins.
To begin, stand in a circle facing in. Now put a blindfold on so none of you will be able to see. When I ask you to begin, you will find something inside your circle. Keep your hands out in front of you and move slowly to avoid bumping into each other.
(Once everyone is blindfolded, quietly place the Toobeez inside the circle. Then continue with the instructions.)
Keeping your eyes closed and blindfolded at all times, find the objects in your midst. Make sure all of them are off the ground and in someone’s hand.
(Once they find all the Toobeez, continue.)
Now, use the objects in your hands to make a perfect square (or other shape). Here are some guidelines:
1. You may only make one perfect shape, and you must use all the pieces.
2. You may only use the objects inside the circle to form the square.
3. Everyone much be standing along an edge and touching the shape for you to be complete.
You will have 20 minutes to complete this activity.
Any questions on the material covered? (Answer any questions and get teams situated). Begin.
Once the activity begins, your role as facilitator is to observe and watch for safety. You may need to remind people to move slowly with their hands out to avoid collisions .
Listen and look for the following: How people manage the project, work together, support each other, and communicate. The questions below, based on the primary Learning Intentions, are provided to guide your observations.
This activity is a great opportunity for people to assume project management responsibilities. Everyone starts in the same position, and someone needs to take on the role of managing the process in order to have it work out. During the activity, observe.
In this activity, communication is key. People may be all speaking at once or not at all. They may be clearly articulating ideas or direction, or they may be speaking without any sense of how their team is hearing and comprehending what they’re saying. Regardless, observe how they exchange ideas with their team. Listen and notice:
Concluding the Activity
After 20 minutes, regardless of how complete the shape is, conclude the activity.
In Ending the Activity, let the team choose when to open their eyes. Tell them they can open their eyes when there is agreement that they have successfully formed the shape requested.
NOTE: Use the complete 20 minutes. Even if the shape is complete, let the team use that time; see what they do with it.
1. Highlighting: Strategic Thinking
In addition to the instructions above, videotape the exercise to use during the debrief.
The debrief should be an interactive discussion. Lead it by offering a series of questions and soliciting responses from the participants. To begin, ask questions about the activity itself and continue with specifics related to the skills you want to address or highlight. You may stick to one area of focus or choose to cover many topics. Suggested questions are offered below to guide you as you facilitate this debrief.
The debrief is organized with an Opening and Closing and then by Learning Intention, and it may be used in a variety of ways. You may use just the Opening and Closing for a basic debrief or add the Learning Intention-specific debriefs in between. To include the Learning Intention specifics in your debrief, either pick one or two questions from each area in order to touch on many topics or work in depth on one or more areas of learning and go through all of the questions for that topic(s). Look through the questions, TIPs, FCs, and Transitions prior to the training session in order to choos e which ones you will cover (see “How to Use this Book”).
The intention of this activity is to develop project management skills and enhance communication among participants. However, this activity offers many lessons, so let the participants share with you what they learned and their comments as to the purpose of the activity.
Project management inc ludes planning, organizing, implementing, and measuring the results. When working on project, determining the needs in each of these phases can be a great challenge. To succeed, you must communicate clearly and openly, define roles, support the contributions of the team, accept responsibility for the project’s outcome.
People are always engaged in many levels of communication.The following questions offer participants the opportunity become aware of their communication, the impact it has others, and the results it creates. Through this awareness people will then get to choose the alternatives that serve their goals.
Observing your own verbal and non-verbal communication is an opportunity to recognize communication pitfalls and create awareness of what works, what doesn’t, and how your communication is received. Use this awareness to identify role models and adapt your behavior, as well as to encourage an open, supportive communication style in others.
Successful project management means meeting stated objectives. However, even though the goal is clear, the means to achieve those goals usually is not. Determining project scope, gathering resources, planning, organizing, implementing and ultimately measuring and monitoring the project are all elements of project management. Use the following questions to generate a discussion about how people managed each other and the project of forming a perfect shape.
Being a member of a team means contributing as well as supporting your teammates and empowering them to make their contribution. To
continue to develop, you must not only accept feedback, but also be willing to provide it. You must challenge yourself and others to work outside your comfort zones. Using the following questions, generate a conversation to expand the participants’ abilities to develop themselves and others.
When using Variation #1