Culture Shock Activity
Culture shock is not only a entertaining game, but it can also form the catalyst of a very powerful learning experience for your group. This is fascinating cativity to develop trust and empathy skills.
First, form three teams of about the same number of people. Ask them to assemble some distance apart, because you need to equip them with further information that no other team should know.
Announce that each team will soon be invited to interact with all other teams for two minutes.
In secret, tell each team to interact in one of three very specific ways. For example, one team never looks into the eyes of those they are speaking with, another team always whispers when talking and the third team must keep at least 2 metres away from those they are speaking with.
When ready, announce that you would like everyone to mix and interact with one another for the sole purpose of engaging in as many conversations with others as possible. And, importantly, it is critical that every person honours the information that was shared with just their group.
Allow these interactions to occur over the course of 1 or 2 minutes and then regather your group.
In conclusion, invite your group to reflect on what they observed and experienced, eg draw valuable lessons about cultural diversity and communication. The point of this exercise is that for many people, these awkward interactions are very real and not fiction.
Moment of Reflection
- One group at a time, what did you observe from the people you were aiming to interact with?
- What else did you observe about the behaviours of others?
- What did you make all of these social cues mean?
- Were your interpretations true or did you make an assumption?
- Outside of this experience, can you describe another example of when you read a situation poorly?
- What is the possible impact when we make assumptions?
- How can we embrace diversity and include everyone rather than exclude them?