Walk the Line

Goal

Often when we think of character we think of the characters on the stage, or the customers using our application. In order to build a show, or design a product, we need to understand who we are as individuals and how we can better relate to one another.

Level of Difficulty:

Beginner

Participants:

3+

Instructions: 

Clear a space in the room where everyone can gather. Indicate two sides of the room (left side / right side, Side A / Side B). One person acts as the facilitator and offers a prompt:

Everyone who prefers chocolate, go to Side A. Everyone who prefers vanilla got Side B. And place yourself somewhere in the middle based on your preferences.

The group should take a pause and reflect on who is where. Then, a new prompt may be offered:

Cat people to side A. Dog people to side B.

Again, reflect on where everyone is standing. At this time, it is important to note nobody will remember where you stood and if you are a chocolate or vanilla person. A dog or a cat person.

Now, start to introduce more complex questions. Be sure to keep them inclusive and avoid things like religion and politics. Suggestions are included below:

Intro Questions

  • Beach and Mountains
  • Summer and Winter
  • Baking and Cooking

Complex Questions

  • Structured meetings on one side and ad hoc discussion on the other
  • Flat hierarchy compared to strict organizational hierarchy
  • Split the bill evenly and pay for your share
  • Mathematical and artistic
  • Business driven and client driven
  • Startup and established company

Practical Application:

We all have different opinions. We all come with different backgrounds and perspectives. How can we use an exercise like this to understand our business goals? Our customer goals? To understand the approach we all bring to a similar goal?

A special thanks to Bright Invention for introducing me to Walk the Line at one of their training events.

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