Leadership Inspirations Activities

Four On A Couch

To get the correct group members sitting on the “couch” together

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Four Handkerchiefs Or Markers, Team Markers For Each Player (Stickers, Hats, Bandanas, Etc.)

 

SUMMARY

This activity challenges group members problem solving abilities as they try to strategically move members of their team into four specific “couch” seats.

SET UP

  • Create a circle of chairs. There must be enough chairs in the circle for every participant to have a seat plus one empty chair.
  • Place the four “couch” markers on four adjacent chairs to form the “couch”.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Begin by splitting the group into two equal teams (if there is an odd number have a facilitator partner play) and give them their team markers. Have all of the players sit in a chair so that the teams alternate and no one is sitting immediately next to a member of their team
    • Tip: An easy way to get this entire step done is have everyone sit in a chair before assigning teams and then assign each player a team by alternating teams (i.e. counting off between 1 and 2).
  • Next, have everyone write their name on a scrap of paper and place it in a hat. Then, go around and have every player pull a new name from the box. It is okay if it is their own name, but they cannot show anyone the name that they have or tell anyone what their name is.
  • Instruct the participants that in this activity, the goal is to have four members of your team fill the four seats on the “couch” by strategically moving people around the circle.
  • The person to the left of the empty seat in the circle is allowed to call someone’s name that is sitting in the circle. The person who has drawn that name from the hat is the one that moves to the empty seat.
  • Now the person to the left of the newly emptied seat can call another name. This will go on until a team has filled the “couch” seats with four of their members. For groups to be successful they will have to try to remember everyone’s “new” names, plan their moves carefully, and adapt to changes in the activity.
  • The rules are that you cannot call the same name immediately after it was already called and you cannot help the person who is calling names by pointing, shouting, gesturing etc.

VARIATIONS

  • You cannot call a name that was already called until at least 2 (or more) different names are called.
  • Add more seats to the “couch” to make the activity more challenging.
  • For larger groups, you may want three teams.

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?

Accountability

  • Who are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

Alignment

  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Project Planning

  • What has worked in other projects you have done? How have you dealt with setbacks?
  • How do you connect with the process of planning? Do you like it/not like it? How does this impact you/your group?
  • How do we manage our time? How does that affect our ability to complete our projects?
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?