Erica Marx Erica Marx Coaching

Whoosh, Bang, Zap

by for . Last edit was 9 months ago
any any

Whoosh, bangs, zaps etc. are passed around the circle. Great opportunity to introduce failure bow

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group experiences joy of supporting teammates

introduces failure bow (external and internal)

focus group on group performance, soft focus


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    Introduce each command, demo, practice, add another. Go fast. Mistakes and confusion are part of the fun.

    WHOOSH with both hands in the direction of the next player,
    BANG with your arms held up in an X, and
    POW while pointing and clapping across the circle.

    Groovalicious - Everyone repeats "Groovaliscious!" and dances in place (the person who gave command gives next command once everyone is in new places)

    Freak out! - Everyone changes places (the person who gave command gives next command once everyone is in new places)

    Ramp - Skips one person and "ramps" to the next

    Once you get good at the game, find ways to make it challenging again by adding restrictions or new rules.

    Failure Bow

    First introduce failure bow (circus bow) and embracing and owning whatever you did, no judgement. Demo. Everyone applauds. Failure bow is at the choice of the person who made the "mistake" to step into the circle and receive the support of the group. 

    Shift to internal failure bow - focus now on group process. 


    Large group Variation: If large group play in "islands" -- Freakout causes islands to dissolve and reform. Must go to new island location and reform.

    Try layering another game on top of it — like Exaggeration Circle, where each person passes the sound with the same character/emotion/energy as the person before them.

    You can create themed versions of the game, replacing WHOOSH BANG POW with all Star Wars-related sounds or all Lady Gaga-related sounds.

    Have everyone close their eyes and play the game blind.

    Round 1 - reveals default reactions
    whoosh, bang, zap
    introduce each action neutrally, not explaining how to do with connection
    include TA DA as explicit support from others

    notice how you've been playing on default
    What felt easy? What was challenging?

    connect to real life situations

    This game raised the stakes a bit. How does how you played this game relate to your default reactions / behaviors in situations that may be a bit higher stakes at work?

    Sample responses --blocking as not admitting mistakes, whoosh to not ask questions (connect to PS research), focus on everyone being included, feeling left out etc

    Paired share

    Round 2 - play opposite your default

    introduce play game with connection
    How did it feel? What thoughts did you have?

    How like work? How to apply?

    Round 3 - team co-creation
    internalize TA DA - - private moment to regroup
    What wants to happen?

    Letting go of what you want to do / don't want personally - focus on team co-creation

    how to apply in work environment

    Misc debrief questions

    How is this group playing with risk?
    How did it feel to do the external bow? What did you feel? 
    What was more joyful for you -- supporting others or being supported?
    What was your strategy? / your thoughts when X happened? How is that like how you show up in other areas of your life?


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