IAF Methods

Symbols warm-up

by for . Last edit was almost 2 years ago
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Use early in process, to enable participants to get to know each other and begin to focus on appreciation and listening skills. This also sets the tone for a workshop where we pay respectful attention to each other's aspirations and thinking.


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Setting: Symbol cards (eg St Luke's Innovative Resources) or other random postcards home-made or bought.

Ideal conditions: Room for pairs to sit in their own space to hear each other. Warmth and encouragement from the facilitator to set the scene.


Distribute plenty of 'symbols cards' or postcards etc around the room.

Invite everyone to pick three each that 'represent the working values you aspire to, or you at your very best at work.'

Ask participants to pair up with someone they don't know or know least well.

Spend 10 mins explaining your choices to each other in pairs.

Time permitting, each person chooses one of their symbols to talk about to the whole room.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: Expectations are set that:
People can move about in this workshop/session.
You don't have to stick with your 'best mates'
We can get to know someone else quickly.
People are encouraged to talk about quite profound matters.
The process of getting to know others and being open starts here.
People get used to talking early in the workshop process.

Potential pitfalls: Very little danger, as symbols can be interpreted at varying levels and can just be seen as 'a bit of fun'.

Examples of successes and failures: I have never seen this fail as long as one is careful never to put anyone on the spot, eg if you go round the room at the end the facilitator should accept each statement with lightness and interest, and make it clear that anyone can say 'pass'.


Source: Adapted from commonly known exercise

Recognizable components:  'symbols cards' or postcards e


Comments (1) ( 5.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • Usually fun, as it involves visuals, movements, and interpreting symbols in a creative way

    about 2 years ago