Leadership Inspirations Activities

Silent Opera

Use different communication techniques to accomplish the specific tasks as a team

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Blindfold, A Bunch Of Random Objects (Balls, Toys, Rope, Office Supplies)

 

SUMMARY

In this activity, groups must coordinate different communication techniques in order to accomplish specific tasks together. It will challenge groups to think about the different ways that we communicate, how to improve communication between members and how to deal with interference.

SET UP

  • Find an open space with no obstacles that group members could run into.
  • Spread out the many different objects you have around the space.
  • Determine the tasks that you would like the group to complete. This will depend on the supplies and materials that you have. For example: Put all the green yarn balls into the bucket, put all the pens writing end down in the cup, or put the rope in a circle, and then stand in it etc.
  • To play, you will arrange participants like the diagram.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Ask for 2 volunteers.
  • Separate the 2 volunteers from the group, and ask them who wants to be the Hands and who wants to be the Voice. The Hands will need to be comfortable being blindfolded.
  • HANDS
    • Pull the Hands aside and give them a blindfold.
    • Have them face the rest of the group.
    • Tell them they will receive instructions shortly.
  • VOICE
    • Bring the Voice in between the Hands and the rest of the group.
    • Face them toward the group.
    • Tell them they cannot move from this spot and they cannot turn around.
    • Tell them they will receive instructions shortly.
    • Tell them they CAN talk.
    • If you want, you can tell them that they communicate to the Hands.
  • EYES
    • Go to the rest of the group and tell them so the other two can’t hear that they are the Eyes.
    • It’s their job to communicate the goal of the activity to the Voice so that they communicate with the Hands.
    • You will give them all the instructions they need, and when you are finished they cannot speak, grunt, etc.
    • They cannot use any kind of written or verbal communication.
    • They cannot move from their spot.
    • Tell them the tasks that they will need to communicate.
    • They have no time for planning.
    • It’s up to you if you want to take a few questions before they can no longer talk.
    • When you’ve told them the goal of the activity, tell them they can begin, and how much time they have – give more time for more tasks.
  • Step back and watch!

VARIATIONS

  • If they are getting really frustrated, you can pause the game and give the Eyes time together to process and strategize.
  • You can also assist the Hands by bringing the objects they need closer to them, again, depending on what your group needs.
  • For large groups or to get more people actively involved in the activity break your group into smaller teams of Eyes, Voices, and Hands that are all trying to complete different tasks in the same playing field at the same time. This will add a level of difficulty because of different Voices all giving instructions at once.

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?

Feedback

  • Why is feedback important? What kind of feedback is important?
  • What does constructive/effective feedback look like?
  • How did positive/negative/or no feedback affect your success?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done?
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?

*Leadership Lesson*

If your group is going through the Adjourning stage, try some of these activities to help your group transition and adjust: