Leadership Inspirations Activities

Dyads

To connect with partners using quick high and low risk questions

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Any Stage

Type Of Activity

Icebreaker, Mixer, Energizer

Materials

None

 

SUMMARY

A structured way for participants to connect with partners and group members using low and high risk get to know you questions.

 

SET UP

  • Prepare a list of low and high risk questions to use during this activity.
    • Low risk questions: Questions that are easy for anyone to answer; allows group member to provide a surface level answer. Examples:
      • If you could close your eyes and then open them and be anywhere else, where would you be?
      • If you had to rename your hometown, what would you call it?
      • Tell your life story in 60 seconds.
      • What’s one thing you like to do in your spare time?
    • High risk questions: Questions that require group members to provide an answer that is more personal. Examples:
      • If you could make someone you know live one moment from your life, who would you select and what moment?
      • If you could ‘unknow’ something that you know now, what would it be?
      • What is one of your greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses?

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Break group up into pairs (or groups of 3 if necessary)
    • You can do this any way you want, but you are trying to mix up your group – here are some examples:
      • Find a partner born in the same month as you
      • Find a partner who likes the same tv show as you
  • Give each person a ‘new name’. Avoid using ‘person A’ or ‘person B’ or ‘person 1’ or ‘person 2’ as you don’t want to suggest that one person is more important than another. Instead, choose a noun pair to designate people. For example: One person can be ‘peanut butter’ another person can be ‘jelly.’
  • Choose a person to start.
  • Begin by asking a low risk question to allow the pair to feel more comfortable with each other. Give the pair a time limit to answer the question asked.
  • After an appropriate amount of time, tell the pairs to switch and allow the other person to answer the same question.
  • Allow time for a few low-risk questions and if the group is ready, move on to the high-risk questions.
  • Also, make sure to have the pairs switch, so that they get to know different people. You can have the ‘peanut butters’ go find a new ‘jelly’ to talk to. Consider asking 2-3 questions per pair.
  • The questions above are just examples, be creative.

VARIATIONS

  • Concentric Circles: Have your group find a partner pair and get into concentric circles – with one partner on the inside facing out, and the other partner on the outside facing in. This variation of dyads gives you more control over who participants talk to. Once pairs have had a chance to talk through a few questions, have either the outside or inside circle move clockwise to meet a new partner pair. The other circle must stand still for this method to work. You can have people move one, two, or more people at a time.
  • Speed Dating: Arrange pairs in parallel lines – either standing or sitting at tables. Give each person a list of questions that they can choose from to ask. They will have 2-3 minutes to talk to each other before being asked to move. This works best when one line stays stationary and the other line moves each round.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?