I experienced this exercise by Denise Jacobs in the Agile2017 closing keynote. She asked everyone to write down something that their inner self-critic is loud (these were not her exact words but what has stuck with me as the gist). Then she asked people to pass the note someone else (don’t even look at it – actually, I think she even had us fold the paper so you couldn’t see what was written). Then pass the note quickly again to someone else. Continue passing the notes around to random people for what felt like 30 seconds or so. At this point, you have no idea who has your note and whose note you have. She asked us to read the one you have today.
The reactions were very amazing to observe and learn about. Some were surprised by what they read. Some could have guessed what they were about to read. Some realized that they faced something others face too. Some realized that what they faced didn’t seem as challenging as what others face. Some realized that what they faced was challenging but maybe they should cut themselves some slack because of how challenging their item is.
Personally, the value I found from this exercise could be summarized down to…everyone has a inner self critic, everyone has something that causes them challenges, and everyone could find someone that could relate. My inner critic is quieted down is connecting to others and their abilities to push themselves out of their comfort zone…so this exercise spoke directly to me.
How would this exercise be valuable?