Exercise: Sign Your Name

One of my primary speaking sessions lately is centered around helping people start learning through experiencing and not being told.  I’ve enjoyed this session and the results so much that I’m going to do a series of posts that highlight an exercise and how you might leverage it.  Plus, this will force me to retire this session by the end of 2018 (always challenging myself too!).

This third exercise I’m labeling ‘Sign Your Name’. I got this idea from Kelly Thoma, when I was doing a training at her company.

Facilitator Exercise Instructions (note: obviously feel free to put this into your own words):

  • Provide attendees initial instruction.
    “Sign your name then fold your arms”
  • Typically, this will be completed in less than a minute with almost no noise.
  • Provide attendees next instruction.
    “With your non-dominate hand, sign your name. Then fold your arms the opposite way than you usually do”
  • Typically, this will be completed in a few minutes with lots of verbal and non-verbal noise happening.
  • What was the second round like?”
    Common responses will include:  Took longer, Frustrating, Quality Reduced, Embarrassing, Laugher, Self-Talk Mocking, etc
  • Provide attendees next instruction.
    “How does this relate to our work (team)?”

Key point that can be leveraged from this exercise:

The most common key point I make here is that to be in a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) is challenging. That a simple exercise can trigger several reactions that might impact our willingness to go out of our comfort zone and learn.

The amazing part of doing this exercise with a discussion afterwards rarely leads me to making the key point.  They do!  In fact, frequently, I’ve had one key point to make and yet so many other wonderful learnings came from the discussion…impacts to the team, experiments they could do, etc.

What key point would you leverage from this simple exercise?

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