Juan Daniel Sobrado

Who are you? The pirate ship exercise (dinámica del barco pirata)

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10 + Low

This an easy but powerful exercise to open a meeting or session and get participants to reflect on their attitudes or feelings about a topic, in the organization, team, or in the project.



- Reflect individually or/and as a group about our role and attitudes in an organization, a team, or in a project.




    - Show participants the image of the ship. If you are running an online meeting you can just share your screen and show the image.  

    - Invite each participant to reflect on which person in the picture best represents them in relation to the topic. 

    - Ask participants to share (for example in the chat) the number of the perso who represents them and explaining in a sentence why.

    - Debrief with the group.

    This exercise can be also used as an icebreaker to start conversations. For example, you could ask "Which character in the image best represents you in relation to online training? Why? Put your answer in the chat".


    I drew the picture of the ship again starting from this image I found on the Internet: https://thinkingforthechange.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/20130215-183845.jpg 

    Source: learninglegendario.com

    Comments (10) (4.5 avg / 2 ratings)

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    • My coworkers and I just loved this.

      about 2 months ago
    • Amazing exercise and I love the picture! Everyone can relate to it and it makes invisible feelings or thoughts visible. Thanks for sharing! Is there any way to get the image in a higher quality to be able to print it in large format for a workshop? Thank you so much for sharing this exercise!

      6 months ago
    • This is such a lovely exercise! I have used it on multiple occasions and would highly recommend it. Many thanks to you, Juan, for posting :)

      8 months ago
    • Five stars!!! This is a powerful activity when working with learners who don't really want to be part of a training or program. Sharing in pairs opens them up to really thinking about why they are there. Revisiting this same activity at the end allows them to adjust their thinking and perspective.

      9 months ago
    • I loved it!

      over 1 year ago
    • Brilliant! Thanks Juan, I will use this in a workshop tomorrow. My question will be "Which person best represents how you feel about your role in the youth sector in our region?"

      about 2 years ago
    • Which picture represents how you feel about starting a new school year? Love this activity and image.

      over 2 years ago
    • Hi Mike. You are right. Probably noone chooses 15,17,18 or 20 for themselves but they do to point others. You can also reflect as a group what behaviours do you see in others in relation with the work or project.

      almost 3 years ago
    • This is great! I can definitely see using this to begin a conversation with an intact team about alignment, particularly in the context of a 5 Behaviors workshop or the start of a project.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Would love to hear some of the ways others debrief this activity. I'm planning on using it for a senior leadership energizer, but can't imagine that anyone would choose some of these people in the picture (for example, 15, 17, 18, or 20). Is there additional information on what each person in the picture represents?

      almost 3 years ago