Cross The Line

Cross The Line

Cross The Line Exercise

Cross The Line is a simple group initiative to explore complex behaviors, develop critical thinking, and foster social awareness.

To start, lay a long rope (5-10 meters) on the ground in the middle of your playing space.

Divide your group into two, roughly-equal teams with each half standing on one side of the rope facing the other team. That is, Team A stands on one side of the rope facing Team B on the other side of the rope.

The boundary line situated between the two teams is fixed and cannot be moved.

Announce that you will only state the goal of this exercise once, and no questions may be asked. Before the big reveal, alert your group to the fact that it is critical both teams respect a safe ‘working’ environment at all times during the exercise.

That is to say, each person agrees to behave in a manner that respects everyone’s physical, mental and emotional safety.

Finally, state the goal of the exercise.

The goal for the team on the left side of the rope is to get as many people who are standing opposite them to stand on their side of the rope. And, the goal for the team on the right side of the rope is to get as many people who are standing opposite them onto their side of the rope.

Importantly, this mutual objective should be accomplished as quickly as possible.

Allow for 5 to 10 minutes for the two teams to work on solving the problem, sometimes longer. Critically, and for purposes of reflecting back on significant processes, it is important to allow enough time for group members to act and react to the various behaviours each team exhibits to reach their goals.

See also  Guess the Story

Allow time at the conclusion of the exercise to reflect on the group’s experience.

Moment of Reflection

Usually, you will hear some interesting discussion about – winning at all costs – for someone to win, someone has to lose – I’m sticking with my team – I couldn’t trust the ideas and suggestions of others in my group or from the other group. Interestingly, you rarely ever hear, at first, conversation that confirms or acknowledges an understanding that both teams were one large group which shared a mutual goal.

As a clearly mutual goal, collaborative and cooperative behaviours would have served them much better.

  • What was your team’s thinking process?
  • Based on what you heard as the goal and rules for the activity, what, if any, were your preconceived notions?
  • What assumptions did you make based on what you heard?
  • What behaviours did you observe within your own team, and between the two teams?
  • How many possible solutions did your team(s) explore? What were the reactions to some of these solutions?
  • Did trust or a lack thereof influence your behaviour?
  • Why do you think the more competitive behaviours surfaced so quickly?
  • What might this exercise teach us about working together?

The topics of this publication: reflectioncritical thinkinginteractionsintegration, empathy, teamwork, collaborationcooperation, foster relationshipsstrategy, competencies

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