Lift the Structure

Lift the Structure
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The Lift the Structure Exercise

Lift the Structure is a great activity for exploring communication, collaboration, creativity, motivation, and commitment. It challenges the decision-making processes of most groups. Often different ideas come from different people, the group must decide which idea to try, let go of, follow through and finally strive to reach their goal.

To start, place a bunch of wooden blocks in a pile within a cleared, open space. This exercise works best with small teams of 4 to 10 people, so distribute a specified number of blocks to each team if you have a large group.

Announce that each group’s goal is to lift as many blocks as possible, to the highest height possible. To play, describe the following three parameters:

  • All blocks must start on the floor (or ground) and be physically connected throughout the duration of the lift. In other words, blocks may not be lifted in separate sections then physically connected at a later time
  • The group may determine the shape, and this shape may exist in two geometric planes
  • Each person must have one or two fingers (maximum) connected to the structure at all times during the lift
  • If one or more blocks fall, the group may continue to lift or choose to start over.

As the group engages in the process, monitor their progress and motivation. Observe, there are times when, one or a few individuals are extremely committed, while the rest of the group is not.

Allow ample time for many attempts. Monitor the progress of each group and encourage as required.

See also  The Storyline Group

The level of engagement and commitment will likely determine the level of value you may glean during a recommended debrief or reflection time at the end.

Moment of Reflection
  • Would you agree that your progress improved over time? What allowed for that to happen?
  • What was your contribution? What role did you play?
  • What would you consider the benefits of this activity?
  • What might this experience have been like without the social support that was demonstrated?
  • What might that tell us about the importance of social support in helping to achieve a common goal?

The topics of this publication: interactions, strategy, energize, collaboration, teamwork, cooperation, lateral thinking, collaboration, integrationadaptability skillsfoster relationshipsplanningadaptation, motivation, disinhibition

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