Walk in the Park

Goal

Explore how listening and environmental cues impact how we feel and behave, allowing us to listen to our clients and users with all our senses.

Level of Difficulty:

Beginner

Participants:

3+ 

Instructions: 

Choose one person as the facilitator. Everyone, including the facilitator, starts walking around the room at your normal pace and gait. After a few moments, the facilitator announces “lead with your ___” where the blank may be shoulders, forehead, hips, feet, or any other body part. One way to think of leading with a body part is to imagine an invisible string tied to the shoulders, or mentioned body part, and to walk as though that string is tugging you forward.

Get comfortable leading with that body part. After a few moments, the facilitator asks everyone to return to their normal gait.

The facilitator suggests a different body part to be led by. See how leading with a different body part tells you something about your mindset. Listen to your body and what it feels. How does focusing on a physicality elevate that emotion or choice?

Playing for Everyone

Revision March 2020

This game is generally practiced with folks walking and navigating a space. I realize the accessibility concerns and want to add some additional notes to this exercise. This may also be helpful as many teams switch to remote-work.

The activity is called Walk in the Park but the focus is how we can be mindful of how our bodies impact our mental state. We can do this by walking, and also by sitting in our neutral position. Instead of moving around the room, think of seated suggestions:

“while sitting, imagine a large helium balloon tied to your shoulders lifting you up” and then return to the neutral position.

“imagine yourself on a roller coaster moving up the incline slowly… followed by the rush of the fall” and then return to the neutral position.

“imagine yourself in an underwater submarine, exploring the deep unknown from the safety of your vehicle” and then return to the neutral position.

Practical Application:

How can we use body language to build empathy with our stakeholders? Our teams? Our customers?


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