How many times have you been in a meeting that starts with “OK, let’s go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves.” Every time I am in that situation, I just feel all of the air get sucked out of the room as people moan and groan. Worse yet, people don’t really listen much because they are too worried about their turn coming and what they are going to say.
Here’s a new way to accomplish the same thing but is a way that is more effective, hands-on and interesting. I’ve been using this activity in our team building programs for years.
Wrapped Around My Finger
- Have participants stand in a circle.
- One 15 ft. long piece of webbing or string
The title explains the activity. Begin with a segment of webbing. One person in the group begins wrapping the webbing around their index finger or hand, and while doing so, provides the group with some information about themselves (where they were born, family members, school experiences, childhood pets, dreams, goals, favorite foods, etc.). The goal is for this person to continue talking until the webbing is completely wrapped around their finger or hand. When they reach the end, they can allow the webbing to unwind and pass it along to the next person in the group or hand it to someone else randomly.
This particular technique allows a bit more time for folks to talk about themselves, and also provides a kinesthetic activity coupled with a vernal activity for exploring some of the multiple intelligence opportunities, and whole brain learning possibilities.
- Watch that participants don’t hurt their fingers by wrapping too tightly or getting stuck in the webbing.
- Participants must share information with the group for the entire length of time that it takes to wrap their finger with the webbing.
- Participants should not purposefully wrap the webbing extremely slowly or extremely quickly.
- There is also a popular theory that for folks that may be a bit shy about speaking to even a small group in public, the speech center becomes less inhibited, and more information is typically shared when you introduce the idea of wrapping and rapping at the same time.
Some facilitators ask specific questions that participants must answer during their “talking” time, like “What do you hope to get out of this day?” or “What is the one thing that you do in your job that is not in the job description but is critical to the job?