In this interactive, teams will come together to become a human version of the device listed on their index card. This activity is a means to build team dynamics and also a way to address any challenges a team might be working through as this activity is completely dependent on everyone coming together as a group and playing a part.
To build team communication skills.
To identify opportunities for everyone to play a role and why that's important to building strong teams.
Please note: for the sake of these instructions, a group of 25 participants is being used as the baseline. For this activity, you will want to have groups of at least 5 participants, going up to a maximum of 7 participants.
1. Have participants count off 1-5 and come together with their other members (all 1s, 2s, 3s, etc.) and move to different parts of the room, standing as they're able.
2. The facilitator will then explain to the participants that they will soon be given an index card with the name of an electronic device on it. Their mission is to come together as a team and act out that device. They will ultimately be acting out this device in front of the larger group for everyone to guess which device they are representing.
3. A couple of ground rules:
- Everyone in the group must play a role; there are no observers
- Group members cannot name or use any language that might give away the device they're acting out. So for example, if you are assigned "television" - someone cannot say "Oh, I'm going to turn on the television", etc.
- No outside props except chairs
4. Groups will have 10 minutes (can go up to 15 minutes, depending on if groups are having challenges or not) to figure out the roles and to act it out. After this time, we will return to the larger group for every group to act out their assigned device.
5. As the groups are working, the facilitator should walk around the space observing and taking note of the type of dynamics that are at play. Some things to pay attention to:
- Is everyone contributing to the initial brainstorming? Is anyone overtalking? Silent?
- How easily does the team build consensus for how they'll act out their device?
- Is anyone in the group visibly excited, frustrated, or disinterested?
6. As the groups work, the facilitator will track time, announcing how much time remains, such as 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute, etc.
7. Once the larger group reconvenes, explain that each group will now present out their machine, based on the assigned group number.
8. Before group 1 begins, there's one more rule: the group must be allowed to act out their machine before the larger group can guess, and then the larger group only gets 3 chances to guess the device.
Once all of the groups present, use the questions listed below to guide the processing of the activity
- What did we do?
- How did the group decide what you'd do to act out your device?
This is also an opportunity where you can share some of the observations you made while observing their preparation.
- What is it like working on this team?
- How did the group decide the roles?
- Was it easy/hard to guess the machine? Why?
- What would have helped make this easier?
10. The goal of the processing is to get the group to understand that each person has a role to play and that clear communication, understanding how the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and they're in it together will help them accomplish their goals.