Leadership Inspirations Activities

Anything Goes

Try to win your argument about anything

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

None

 

SUMMARY

 
In this activity, participants must try to win an argument about a truly random topic. Use this activity to explore the difference between debate and dialogue, and agree on effective processes to resolve disagreements or conflicts.

 

SET UP

  • Break your group up into pairs.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • This activity will begin a little like “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, but participants will chant together, “Nothing, Something, Anything” 
  • After “Anything”, each participant should say the name of any random object that comes to mind (turtle, envelope, water bottle etc.). 
    • Facilitator Note: Remind participants to be appropriate in their choices.  
  • Participants will try to win a debate about why their object would “win”. 
    • Example: Turtle vs. Water Bottle
  • Give them each a few minutes to make their cases.
  • Have them pause and lead a mini debrief with the group about their conversations so far with questions like these:
    • How is the debate going? 
    • Who is “winning” and why? 
    • What are you feeling at this point in the debate? 
    • What is the difference between a debate and dialogue? 
    • What would you need in this conversation to see the other person’s side?
  • Instruct your groups to continue this conversation, but now as a dialogue.  
  • After a few minutes, have your groups come back together for another debrief:
    • What differences did you notice between this conversation and the first?
    • What was easier or harder about this conversation?
    • In what situations are debates useful to our group? In what situations do we need dialogue? 
    • How do we want to use this understanding moving forward to work better together?

VARIATIONS

  • For a team version of this activity, try Early Bird vs. Second Mouse 
  • Use this activity as a warm up for brainstorming and ideation. Come back to these learning points as your group tries to reach consensus.

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?

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.?

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? 

Meeting Skills

  • What are some of our effective and ineffective meeting habits?
  • When are you most engaged in meetings? When are you least engaged?
  • What are the roles that people play in meetings? Why are these roles important?
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?