Leadership Inspirations Activities

Liars Auction

Be as persuasive as possible using creative thinking and problem solving skills

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Random assortment of items

 

SUMMARY

Convince the people around you that everything is not as it may seem. Use your creative thinking to get your point across.

 

SET UP

  • Gather an assortment of random items to use in the liars auction.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Line all participants up at the front of the room or area where the activity is happening.
  • Place any item in front of the participants and tell them what the item is (even if that isn’t actually the item in front of them). For example, place a piece of paper in front of the participants and tell them that the piece of paper is a chair.
  • It is now the task of each of the participants to convince the group that the piece of paper is, in fact a chair, and that they desperately want to “buy” the chair.
  • You can choose to give participants time to prepare a pitch or use this as an improv activity.
  • Each participant gets a turn talking about the item in front of them. If the participants get stuck and have nothing else to say, it is okay to change the item to make sure the activity progresses.

VARIATIONS

  • You can choose to give the entire group one item to auction off or give each participant their own item.
  • Instead of having the participants convince the facilitator that the item is what they are told it is, you can have each person talk about the multiple uses if the items. For example, if a water bottle is placed in front of participants, they must tell you that the water bottle is actually a vase to hold a beautiful bouquet, or a watering can for gardening.
  • Before showing the item to participants, assign everyone an occupation. Once you show the item, each person must convince you why that item is useful to their given occupation.

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?

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?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
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?