IAF Methods


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1 - 10 11 - 50

This process identifies what people have in common, and where they have differences in an appreciative way.  It is used to get participants to know one another a little better, and feel more comfortable with each other.

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This process celebrates the differences, and yet shows people what they have in common, and therefore leads to a group that is more comfortable, and has interacted with one another.


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Setting: The room needs to be big enough for all participants to move around freely and to gather up in little groups.

Number of participants: 11-50, The group should be large, in order to be able to form little subgroups

Types of participants: Any type of participants can be involved in this process.

Time needed: Depending on the amount of participants and categories the optimal amount of time needed is about 10 minutes.

Ideal conditions: There are no special conditions needed.

Pre-Work Required: Identify the categories you will use for the particular group.

Facilitator personality fit: The facilitator does not need any particular characteristics, as he/she only needs to supervise the group.


1. The facilitator should ask the participants to walk around freely, explaining that he/she will now announce categories (for possible categories - see below). The participants are then asked to arrange themselves into smaller subgroups. Either the facilitator has indicated beforehand where each category should gather, or the participants are asked to organize themselves.

2. As soon as everyone is organized into smaller groups, the facilitator can ask each group to identify themselves and possibly make a short statement.
Participants should be given the opportunity to say hello and chat a little bit, in order to get to know the others.

3. After some time, the facilitator asks the participants to freely walk around again, and then announces another category. Step 2 then is repeated. Depending on the time available, and the group, purpose and topics, it needs about 5 topics so that participants are warmed up.

4. A list of possible categories

Two categories

1. When you clasp your hands together and fold the thumbs across the top, is your right or left thumb on top?
2. Fold your arms across your chest. Is your right or left arm on top?
3. Which leg do you put into your pants first?
4. Which eye do you prefer to wink with?
5. Which side of the bed (left or right) do you get out of in the morning?
6. Are you a folder or scruncher (toilet paper)
7. Can you roll your tongue? (yes/no)

Three categories

1. When licking an ice cream cone...do you:
a. Twirl the cone clockwise
b. Twirl the cone counterclockwise
c. Lick up and down?

Many categories

1. What is your favourite season?
2. How many siblings do you have?
3. What colour are your eyes?
4. What's your shoe size?
5. What type of shoes are your wearing?
6. What's your favourite colour
7. What's your star sign?


Follow-Up Required: There is no follow-up required.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: The intangible outcome should be a group which members have bonded with each other to some extent.

Potential pitfalls: If the categories are too broad, everyone might end up in the same group, and the exercise fails. Therefore the facilitator should pick specific categories.

How success is evaluated: The Process is successful when the participants are now more comfortable with each other.


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