Student Engagement

Take Me.. Please

Material Needed: 3 blank index cards per person, Team Role Descriptions Sheet (pg. 188)
Time Required: 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the group
Group Size: 5-40
Purpose: Increase emotional intelligence, conflict and negotiation, dealing with difficult people, leadership skills, reducing negativity, personality inventory, team building, values
Note: This activity works best with team members who know each other fairly well.

Suggested Introduction:
"Recall a meeting from hell where you might not have been well, your best. Perhaps you were a bit impatient with a slow talker. Perhaps you were the slow talker. Maybe you waited till the meeting was almost over to bring up a critical issue. Maybe you yelled at someone who really, really deserved it. But what your colleagues don't understand about you is that your intentions are pure. You wanted to help the meeting. If only your colleagues could appreciate your noble qualities."

  1. Distribute the index cards and Team Role Description sheets to learners.

  2. Ask the learners to read over the Team Role Descriptions sheet and circle the three roles that best describe them. Instruct them to place a star next to the role that is closest to how they see themselves acting in a group.

  3. Ask the learners to write their selected qualities on the index cards. (One quality per card).

  4. Collect all the cards, giving each learner three new cards.

  5. Ask the learners to read their new cards. Their task is to get back to their original three roles (not necessarily their original cards), or end up with three cards they can live with. Learners do this by trading cards. In order to get ride of role, a learner will approach someone else and propose a trade. It is in the learners best interest to show the positive attributes of this role and how it fits the other person's typical behavior. Learners do not necessarily have to trade a card for a card. A learner could presumably have no cards at a given moment in the activity, or could be holding five or six. The key however is to "sell" the role you do not want and seek the roles you do want.

  6. Give the group 10 minutes for trading. Call time and ask the learners to sit in a circle.

  7. Ask the learners to retrieve their Team Role Descriptions sheets.

  8. Ask who got all three roles back? Who got most of their roles? Who gave up on their roles and just kept whatever they ended up with?

Optional Activity: 
[Note: if you are working with people who do not know each other well, you may want to skip this portion of the activity]. Tell the learners that they are now going to enter into the psychic portion of the activity. Go around the circle and ask the group to guess which role each person chose as the one that best resembles them. Allow 1-2 minutes of guessing time before asking the learner to reveal their chosen role.

Debrief/ Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you generally see the roles you chose as strengths or weaknesses? Could these roles provided be both a personal strength and a limitation? Under what circumstances do these change?

  2. There is a truism that suggests that we judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions. How does this truism relate to this game and how we behave at meetings?

  3. What do you wish people understood about your intentions at meetings?

  4. What do you wish you understood about other's intentions at meetings?

  5. How successful were you at finding people who would accept the cards you held? How accurate were you? What did you do or say to persuade someone who might have been hesitant?

  6. What was it like to reframe a role you might actually find annoying in a positive way in order to sell it?

  7. How might your attitudes toward your colleagues change if you could maintain this refrained perspective? How might your behavior change? How might your meetings and teamwork improve?

  8. Was anyone surprised at how others perceived him or her? Why might others see you differently from the way you see yourself? Based on the feedback you received, is there anything you would like to change about your behavior?

  9. What insights about team roles did this game suggest to you? How will these insights change your appreciation of others.

Tamblyn, D., Weiss, S. (2000). The Big Book of Humorous Training Games. New York: McGraw Hill. P 184-188.

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