Erica Marx

Whoosh, Bang, Zap

by for .  

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



group experiences joy of supporting teammates

introduces failure bow (external and internal)

focus group on group performance, soft focus


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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