A fun power mingling-exercise that works well at the beginning of a course or a conference
Approx. 7-15 minutes
Best suited for group size 8-1000
Ask people stand together in pairs, with a person they do not know.
Tell them that they have one minute to find as many things as possible as they have in common.
When the minute is up, you can ask how many things they found. If this turns into a contest about which group found the most things in common, so much the better.
Ask people to find a new partner. Give them a minute again to find things they have in common.
Repeat if necessary a few times.
Encourage participants to find things that are not too trivial, such as. "We're both men." It's more fun if they find things like "We've both been married three times" or "We both have a red couch."
If you would like, make the groups larger and larger. For example, start with groups of two and two, then four and four, eight and eight. Continue until all are gathered in a group or to no more energy is left in the exercise.
Instead of giving people a minute you can tell them that they must move to a new partner every time they find 5 things that they have in common. Fewer than 5 things in common may mean that participants do not get beyond the most elemental things.
A sense of security is crucial in learning and creative contexts. If we are insecure, we try to maintain control rather than throwing us selves into the deep end where we can learn and get new ideas. Just think of the first day at a new job: this is not where you want to make a fool of yourself.
One of the best ways to create peace of mind is when we know each other "behind the facade." Power mingling-exercises are small and fun exercises, which ensures that we connect in a quickly and entertaining way. It's not about hanging oneself out to dry, but to accelerate the process so that we do not have to wait for Christmas lunch, before we talk to someone else rather than the ones we always talk to.
Bo Krüger, Moving Minds, bo@movingmi...