I love opportunities to get people out of their comfort zone. I hate going into a training or meeting and knowing that I will be sitting down the whole time. When I have the opportunity to facilitate, I make sure the experience I create doesn’t involve the things I hate as a participant. I always try to set a goal of making sure that everyone that attends leaves with something that they can apply back into their job. It is also has to be fun. No one learns or is engaged when they are bored and sitting.
One of my favorite activities to start a meeting or training is called “Partner Up!”. This gets everyone out of their seat, and moving around. It is also involves music. If you have been reading my posts on this site, you will know that music makes everything more fun.
To facilitate “Partner Up”, you will need to get everyone together and go over the rules. Start by letting the group know that you will be playing music and they must be moving around the room or dancing. You must stop the music and the group needs to freeze and listen. Then you call out an action, and they must find a partner, and do this action. For example, you will call out “Find a high-five partner, GO!”. The group will then get partners and high-five. Before starting the music again, explain to the group that they must find their high five partner, then do the next action with a different partner when the music stops. For example, “Find High Five Partner, and then find a partner to do a fun handshake with”. As the game continues, the participants will have to keep track of their partners and remember what action they do with each partner. I usually do about 5-6 actions when leading the game!
This activity is awesome for older age groups. I have used this at meetings, trainings, and even group interviews for camp counselors. This is a great activity to do with youth groups, clubs, and even PE classes. Most people stay in their comfort zone and near their friend, and this game forces you to talk to new people. It is fun to embrace awkward. One of my favorite quotes I share with staff is, “The more you think about what people think about you, the more opportunities to have fun will slip away.” Life is too short, have fun! Have a great week!