A Physical Gesture

A Physical Gesture
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A physical gesture which reflects a theme

A Physical Gesture is an exercise very dynamic and and powerful team building which explores group consensus and goal setting.

Form three or four roughly even teams. Each small team will move to a separate space to discuss and agree on a common non-verbal, physical gesture which reflects a prescribed theme, eg community.

Resist the temptation to create more than five groups, otherwise, consensus may be very difficult to achieve with so many variables to accommodate.

After a few minutes, each team returns to the common space. When ready, each team performs their gestures simultaneously, for approx 5 to 10 seconds, while observing the gestures of all other groups.

This concludes the first round. Announce the ultimate goal is for all teams to achieve consensus in as few rounds as possible, whereby every team eventually performs an identical gesture.

No communication is permitted between teams at any time between or during the rounds.

To maintain the integrity of this exercise, you must ensure that the groups do not communicate among themselves between rounds. The only forms of communication should be limited to those moments when you invite the groups to share the latest version of their particular gestures.

Allow several minutes for discussion in small teams (in secluded areas) between rounds.

Conclude the activity when all teams have adopted the same gesture, or eight rounds have been played.

Ultimately, this exercise is not necessarily about achieving consensus. There is often more value in exploring how the groups managed their differences, and how they did or did not come to a conclusion.

See also  All Catch
Moment of Reflection
  • How did you feel about your gesture? Did this change over the course of the activity?
  • Was it easy to let go of something important to you, and change? Why?
  • Was consensus achieved? Why or why not?
  • How did the group demonstrate its ability to care for self and others?
  • Generally speaking, how did the group make decisions? How were all members involved?
  • Describe your group’s goal-setting process?
  • Why didn’t your group change?
  • Was adaptability a key component of the group’s success? How?
  • What did it take to change?
  • Are there parts of your life or work that are difficult to change, right now?
  • What would it take to influence your decision to let go?

The topics of this publication: collaborationteamwork, non-verbal communicationobservation skills, consensus, creativity, negotiation

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