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Creative Training Techniques

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101MOREGAMESFOR TRAINERS:ACollection oftheBestActivitiesfrom CreativeTraining TechniquesNewsletter Bob Pike Christopher Busse HRDPress 101 MORE GAMES FOR TRAINERS A Collection of the Best Activities from Creative Training Techniques Newsletter by Bob Pike with Christopher Busse Copyright © 1995, 2004 by Bob Pike and Lakewood Publications All rights reserved. Any reproduction in any media of the materials that appear in this book without written permission from HRD Press is a violation of copyright law. Published by: HRD Press, Inc. 22 Amherst Road Amherst, MA 01002 1-800-822-2801 (U.S. and Canada) 413-253-3488 413-253-3490 (fax) www.hrdpress.com ISBN 0-943210-44-5 Contents Game Opener = O Team-building = T-B Categories: Energizer = E Review = R Communication = C Topical = T GAME Page Foreword.......................................................................................... vii Introduction..................................................................................... ix 1 O E C T-B R T Alphabet Review ............................................ 1 2 Autobiographical Scavenger Hunt .................. O E C T-B R T 2 3 The Winning Equation .................................... O E C T-B R T 3 4 O E C T-B R T Fact or Fiction................................................. 4 5 Group Goals ................................................... O E C T-B R T 5 6 Learn by Doing ............................................... O E C T-B R T 6 7 O E C T-B R T What’s a Metaphor For?................................. 7 8 A Matter of Taste............................................ O E C T-B R T 8 9 The Name Game............................................ O E C T-B R T 9 10 O E C T-B R T Old Dogs, New Tricks..................................... 10 11 How Much Is One Customer Worth?.............. O E C T-B R T 11 12 Practice Makes Perfect................................... O E C T-B R T 12 13 The Perils of Preconditioning.......................... O E C T-B R T 13 14 The Rope Game............................................. O E C T-B R T 14 15 Sneaky Slogans ............................................. O E C T-B R T 15 16 O E C T-B R T Success in Team-building .............................. 16 17 Role Reversal................................................. O E C T-B R T 17 18 True Confession Toothpicks........................... O E C T-B R T 18 19 Personal Introductions.................................... O E C T-B R T 19 20 Baby Pictures ................................................. O E C T-B R T 20 21 Play Ball ........................................................ O E C T-B R T 21 22 Body Parts...................................................... O E C T-B R T 22 23 Group Shuffle ................................................. O E C T-B R T 23 24 O E C T-B R T Tag Team Role Plays..................................... 24 25 Word Games .................................................. O E C T-B R T 25 26 Sea If Ewe Can Find the Errers...................... O E C T-B R T 26 27 O E C T-B R T Connect the Dots............................................ 27 28 Experience Levels .......................................... O E C T-B R T 28 29 Pennies Puzzler ............................................. O E C T-B R T 29 30 O E C T-B R T Killing Closed-Ended Questions ..................... 30 31 Name that Part ............................................... O E C T-B R T 31 32 Playing the Numbers ...................................... O E C T-B R T 32 33 O E C T-B R T On the Other Hand ......................................... 33 34 Point of View .................................................. O E C T-B R T 34 35 Question of the Week..................................... O E C T-B R T 35 36 Opening Scavenger Hunt ............................... O E C T-B R T 36 101 More Games for Trainers iii Game Opener = O Team-building = TB Categories: Energizer = E Review = R Communication = C Topical = T GAME Page 37 Shake Hands.................................................. O E C T-B R T 37 38 30 Seconds .................................................... O E C T-B R T 38 39 O E C T-B R T Elevator Speech ............................................. 39 40 The Envelope, Please .................................... O E C T-B R T 40 41 Gone in a Flash.............................................. O E C T-B R T 41 42 O E C T-B R T A Cup of Group Cheer.................................... 42 43 Pass the Hat................................................... O E C T-B R T 43 44 Just-in-Time Review....................................... O E C T-B R T 44 45 O E C T-B R T Optical Illusions .............................................. 45 46 You Bet Your Life ........................................... O E C T-B R T 46 47 The Marker and Water Trick........................... O E C T-B R T 47 48 O E C T-B R T The Beauty of a Milk Carton........................... 48 49 The World Wide Web Review......................... O E C T-B R T 49 50 Interviews ....................................................... O E C T-B R T 50 51 Admission Tickets........................................... O E C T-B R T 51 52 Putting Things in Perspective......................... O E C T-B R T 52 53 Pushing Back ................................................. O E C T-B R T 53 54 O E C T-B R T Murphy’s Law ................................................. 54 55 Check, Please ............................................... O E C T-B R T 55 56 Real-World Examples..................................... O E C T-B R T 56 57 Total Recall .................................................... O E C T-B R T 58 58 Brilliant Brainstorming..................................... O E C T-B R T 59 59 Shoe Box........................................................ O E C T-B R T 60 60 Listen with Your Eyes..................................... O E C T-B R T 61 61 Story Time...................................................... O E C T-B R T 62 62 O E C T-B R T Stupid Questions ............................................ 63 63 Three-Way Role Play ..................................... O E C T-B R T 64 64 What’s in a Name? ......................................... O E C T-B R T 65 65 O E C T-B R T Coins and Catch Phrases............................... 66 66 Alphabet Soup................................................ O E C T-B R T 67 67 Attitude Is Everything...................................... O E C T-B R T 68 68 O E C T-B R T Going Behind Their Backs.............................. 69 69 Baseball Review............................................. O E C T-B R T 70 70 The Danger of Assumptions........................... O E C T-B R T 71 71 O E C T-B R T Silent Birthdays .............................................. 72 72 Past Experiences ........................................... O E C T-B R T 73 73 Dealing with Differences................................. O E C T-B R T 74 74 Team Drawings .............................................. O E C T-B R T 75 75 New Employee Egg Hunt ............................... O E C T-B R T 76 76 Magnificent Flying Machines .......................... O E C T-B R T 77 77 Brick Wall ....................................................... O E C T-B R T 78 78 Flash Cube Illusion......................................... O E C T-B R T 79 79 O E C T-B R T The Cookie Review ........................................ 80 iv 101 More Games for Trainers Game Opener = O Team-building = TB Categories: Energizer = E Review = R Communication = C Topical = T GAME Page 80 ‘I Do Not Like Them, Sam I Am’ .................... O E C T-B R T 81 81 O E C T-B R T A Letter from the President............................ 82 82 Funny Pages ................................................. O E C T-B R T 83 83 What Will the Future Hold?............................ O E C T-B R T 84 84 O E C T-B R T Road Map...................................................... 85 85 Sound and Motion ......................................... O E C T-B R T 86 86 Group Juggle................................................. O E C T-B R T 87 87 O E C T-B R T Tied Up in Knots............................................ 88 88 A Chance to Win Millions............................... O E C T-B R T 89 89 Get the Monkey Off Your Back...................... O E C T-B R T 90 90 O E C T-B R T Post Office..................................................... 91 91 Understanding Roles..................................... O E C T-B R T 92 92 A Day at the Races........................................ O E C T-B R T 94 93 Silent Brainstorming ...................................... O E C T-B R T 95 94 Snowball Fight............................................... O E C T-B R T 96 95 Up on Your Soapbox ..................................... O E C T-B R T 97 96 Teddy Bears and Computers?....................... O E C T-B R T 98 97 Thermometer................................................. O E C T-B R T 99 98 O E C T-B R T What’s Wrong with this Picture?.................... 100 99 Win, Lose, or Draw........................................ O E C T-B R T 101 100 Pig Personality Profile ................................... O E C T-B R T 102 101 O E C T-B R T Deadly Jelly Beans........................................ 104 About the Author............................................................................. 105 101 More Games for Trainers v This page intentionally left blank Foreword his book, 101 Games for Trainers, is one in a series drawn from the Tbe st content of Creative Training Techniques Newsletter. The newsletter was conceived in 1988 by editor and internationally known trainer Bob Pike to be a one-stop resource of practical “how-tos” for trainers. The idea was (and still is) to provide timely tips, techniques, and strategies that help trainers with the special tasks they perform daily. When the newsletter began, it was largely fueled by Bob’s 20 years of experience in the field and by the best ideas shared by the trainers (more than 50,000 in all) who had attended his Creative Training Techniques seminars. As the newsletter grew in popularity, it also began to draw on ideas submitted by its readers. Today, the newsletter continues to search out creative approaches from the more than 200 seminars Bob and the other Creative Training Techniques trainers conduct every year, and from the more than 10,000 newsletter readers. But no matter where the insights originate, the goal of the newsletter remains the same: To provide trainers a cafeteria of ideas they can quickly absorb, choosing those that best suit their special needs. As stated earlier, this series of books represents the best ideas from Creative Training Techniques Newsletter’s seven years of publication. It is our hope that we’ve created a valuable resource you’ll come back to again and again to help address the unique challenges you face daily in your role as a trainer. Sincerely, The Editors 101 More Games for Trainers vii This page intentionally left blank Introduction ike it or not, the age of entertainment in which we live demands that Lc lassroom trainers must work hard to capture and hold the interest of participants. If we don’t, we run the risk of being passed by in favor of “sexier” learning methods, such as high-tech computer- or video-based training. Fortunately, trainers have long known that one of the best ways to entertain and engage adult learners is to encourage them to play games in the classroom. And one advantage we have over any of the high-tech mediums that are capturing the attention of “cyber-trainees” is that we’re able to adapt the courses and the games we offer to match precisely the needs of our audience. We can assess participants, decide what kind of exercise is appropriate (and when it’s appropriate), and use games that will ensure that trainees are entertained… and course material is retained. That’s where 101 More Games for Trainers comes in. Carefully selected and properly implemented, the exercises in this new volume (a companion to the earlier 101 Games for Trainers) can help you actively involve trainees in course openers, bring a weary group back to life, develop communication skills, promote teamwork, lead an audience through a spirited review session, or address the special concerns of certain topical courses. A brief description of its purpose is provided with each exercise, as well as a reference for the amount of time the exercise will take, the ideal group size for the exercise, and a checklist of the materials you’ll need to make the exercise happen. And because these represent the best of the ideas collected in Creative Training Techniques Newsletter, you know they’ve been successfully “field tested” all over the world by trainers just like you. 101 More Games for Trainers ix Defining the Categories The exercises in this book fall into one or more of these six categories. Just below the title of each exercise, you’ll find a listing of these six categories. The small checkmarks beside each of the categories serve as guides for where best to use the exercise. Please remember, however, that these are only suggestions. With the right amount of imagination, the exercises here can be adapted to suit almost any training need. Openers These exercises, commonly known as “ice breakers,” serve as vehicles for getting participants to introduce them- selves or for putting trainees into the right “frame of mind” for the coming session. These exercises might vary according to the type of training being conducted, how big the group is, and how well the group members know each other. Also keep in mind the Law of Primacy: People remember best what we do first, so choose your openers carefully. (To be honest, nearly all of the exercises here could be adapted as some form of opener.) Energizers Designed to involve a group actively, these mid-course exercises are best used during the infamous mid-afternoon slump or anytime you feel a group’s attention might be waning. Often, these games take the form of energetic review sessions or stimulating brainteasers, or even a physical activity that gets people up and moving. The secret here is that these exercises aren’t always planned. The best strategy in developing a course is to have a handful of relevant energizers ready to go at a moment’s notice and implement one when you see attention begin to slip. x 101 More Games for Trainers Communication Use these exercises to make a point to trainees about the importance of communication, or to show where certain communication skills need improvement. Exercises that help enhance listening skills also fall into this category. As with “Openers,” a great many of the activities in this book could easily be adapted to make a point about communication skills, depending on how you position them. Team-building The purpose of these exercises is to help improve the relationship of individuals within a group— either a specific “work group” or simply a small group formed during your training session. These exercises are extremely challenging for trainers because they call for participants to work independently in small groups (usually solving some sort of problem) for periods of time that exceed other types of exercises. Your challenge is to keep things moving and to monitor closely the progress of the groups. Review The last words any group of trainees wants to hear are, “Okay, let’s review.” To keep participants from completely tuning out, these exercises often help disguise a review session as a light, interactive competition. One word of caution: When the competi- tive juices of some attendees get flowing, things can easily get out of hand. Your challenge is to keep the competition light and—whenever possible—to promote cooperation rather than competition. 101 More Games for Trainers xi Topical One of the challenges trainers face is finding games and exer- cises that pertain to a certain kind of session (customer service or diversity training, for example). While many other exercises can be adapted for those kinds of training, we’ve identified several “topical” games that work particularly well in specific situations. A Few Words About Using These Games Whether it’s the first time or the five hundredth time you’ve used games in your classroom, I believe there are some fundamentals you should be aware of when implementing these exercises.  Assess your audience and know the risks. Some of the following exercises will be natural hits with certain types of audiences, but others might bomb. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what kind of game to play with what kind of audience. But you also need to assess your own comfort level with “pulling off” these games. A rule of thumb: If you’re even remotely uncomfortable with an exercise, don’t use it. Participants will sense your hesitation and share your discomfort.  Never use a game without debriefing afterward. It might be obvious to you how a game enhances your subject matter, but it’s danger- ous to assume your participants are on the same page. Follow every game with a debriefing session to help participants ease back into the session itself, see the transition you’ve attempted to create, and assimilate the game’s learning points.  Be creative. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Nothing about any game in this book is set in stone. The trainers to whom these ideas are attributed were successful in using these games because they adapted the exercises to suit their own needs. Though you’ll be able to pluck many of them right off the page and insert them into your sessions, I challenge you to make these games uniquely your own whenever you can. The result will be an exercise that has even more relevance to you, your company, and your classroom. But most important, the result will be an exercise that’s more fun. xii 101 More Games for Trainers GAME 1: Alphabet Review Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To engage participants creatively in a review of course material. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 15 to 20 minutes. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited, but participants should play the game in teams of three to six. ❖❖❖❖ Materials Required: Index-sized “question cards,” prepared in advance by the trainer. Small “service” bells for as many as there are teams (the type found at service counters). ❖❖ The Exercise in Action: Prior to class, Bob Parsons, a training ❖❖ coordinator with Deluxe Corp. of Shoreview, MN, prepares a list of 26 questions and answers related to course material—one for each letter of the alphabet—and writes the question on the back of index cards, each with a different letter on the front. He splits the class into teams and gives each team a bell. He lists the letters on a flipchart page and has teams take turns selecting letters. As they select letters, Parsons crosses off that letter from the flipchart and reads the corresponding card. The first team to “ring in” tries to answer the question (if that answer is wrong, the first team to recognize that and ring in again gets a shot at it). When a question is answered correctly, Parsons hands the card to the successful team. In its shortened version, the game ends when all 26 questions have been read, with prizes going to the team with the most cards. If time permits, Parsons allows five minutes for the teams to spell as many course- related words as possible, beginning with only the letters they’ve earned. He awards prizes to the team with the longest list. 101 More Games for Trainers 1 GAME 2: Autobiographical Scavenger Hunt Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To break the ice and help introduce participants to one another. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 15 minutes. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited. ❖❖❖❖ Materials Required: A list of autobiographical information for each participant, prepared in advance by the trainer. ❖❖ The Exercise in Action: Dale Ditmanson, training specialist for the ❖❖ National Park Service, asks participants to send in an “autobiography” before his courses. As a course opener, he selects a line or two from each autobiography and types them as a list. Each participant is given a copy of the list as they arrive, and is then sent on a “human scavenger hunt” in the classroom until they discover which person matches each line on the sheet. 2 101 More Games for Trainers GAME 3: The Winning Equation Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To help participants think creatively in any type of training class. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 10 minutes. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited. ❖❖❖❖ Materials Required: Flipchart. ❖❖❖❖ The Exercise in Action: To help participants begin thinking about creative solutions to problems, Gary Polain, vice president of business development with Priority Management in Bellevue, WA, poses the following brainteaser: Polain writes the equation 5+5+5 = 550 on a flipchart at the front of the classroom. He then instructs participants to copy the equation and to add one straight line to make it a correct statement. Polain tells participants that while adding a line through the equal sign to come up with 5+5+5 ≠ 550 is good thinking, it isn’t the “right” answer he’s looking for. See “Answer” graphic below for the solution. Brainteaser 5+5+5 = 550 101 More Games for Trainers 3 Answer Connect the top of the first addition sign to the left arm of its cross. That way, you end up with: 545+5 = 550 GAME 4: Fact or Fiction Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To encourage participants to create their own review session and provide the trainer with a snapshot evaluation of the material. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 15 minutes. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited. ❖❖❖❖ Materials Required: None. ❖❖❖❖ The Exercise in Action: At the end of a training program, have participants evaluate the curriculum by helping them create their own “fact/fiction” sheets. Individuals or small groups develop a series of true or false statements based on the information covered. Once the statements are written, participants exchange lists and then attempt to identify which statements are true and which are false. The exercise provides a thorough review and evaluation, and can also yield good questions for future tests. 4 101 More Games for Trainers GAME 5: Group Goals Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To help teams learn to set—and meet—group goals. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 30 minutes, stretched over the course of a one-day session or over two days in a longer class. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited, but participants should work in teams of about four. ❖❖ Materials Required: None. ❖❖ ❖❖ The Exercise in Action: Faye Johnson, program specialist for the ❖❖ Bureau of Career Development, uses this technique to teach goal setting in teams: Step 1: Ask participants to list the three most important “things” in their lives. Do not define “things.” Have participants share what they’ve written in small groups and look for differences and common elements. Ask the group to consider whether the differences or similarities are affected by factors like age, job position, and upbringing. Step 2: The next day (or later in the day if it’s a one-day program), ask participants to imagine a stack of money—30,000 or more—on the table in front of them. Ask them to list how they would spend the money and then share the lists with their small groups. Point out how some people make budget lists while others just get excited and buy, buy, buy. Then reflect on the items they have listed as important in the previous exercise and look for discrepancies. Use this as a time to let each person reevaluate what is really important. Step 3: Ask participants to list 10 personal goals. They might include goals they have already achieved and goals not yet accomplished. Step 4: Prioritize the goals list. Then list the roadblocks that have kept them from obtaining the top three goals. Ask a volunteer to share his or her top three goals and roadblocks. Step 5: Have the group brainstorm to resolve problems or road- blocks. Demonstrate the group problem-solving technique and then stay clear of the process. Intervene only to keep the group on task, build network systems, ongoing analysis, and so on. Once this technique has been modeled for one person, you can allow the small groups to spend time working through the process with each individual. 101 More Games for Trainers 5 GAME 6: Learn by Doing Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical: Sales Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To help sales trainees more readily absorb product informa- tion, ultimately producing material that can be used in new sales trainee orientation, as review material, or as job aids. ❖❖ Time Required: 10 to 15 minutes. ❖❖ ❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited, but participants should work in small ❖❖ groups. ❖❖❖❖ Materials Required: None. ❖❖❖❖ The Exercise in Action: Product knowledge information can be readily adapted to a “learn by doing” exercise. For instance, Martha Krzic, a training specialist in telemarketing with Xerox Canada, taps the experi- ence of her sales training groups by asking them to brainstorm and list features and benefits of the products they sell, offer proof of those features and benefits, and put the items in descending order of importance. After several groups have done this, she compiles the information and uses it as a product resource manual for all new representatives in the organization. With new products continually being introduced, there is always a group working on a new “chapter.” The exercise acts as a review for the groups, and their experience benefits the organization as it is passed on to others. Similarly, Paula Peck, training officer at Union Safe Deposit Bank, uses small groups of four or fewer participants to create “features and benefits” charts for bank products. The charts include product names, features, benefits, target group, who handles the product, and any restric- tions and/or requirements. Each group completes at least four charts and presents them to the entire training session. The entire group then dis- cusses each chart. The charts can later be reduced or retyped on standard- sized paper and used as job aids when participants return to work. 6 101 More Games for Trainers GAME 7: What’s a Metaphor For? Game Opener Team-building Categories: Energizer Review Topical Communication ❖❖❖❖ Purpose: To challenge participants to develop metaphors from everyday objects as an exercise in creativity. ❖❖❖❖ Time Required: 10 to 20 minutes. ❖❖❖❖ Size of Group: Unlimited, but participants should work in small groups of five to seven. ❖❖ Materials Required: A paper sack for every small group, filled with a ❖❖ variety of everyday objects. ❖❖❖❖ The Exercise in Action: Alana Gallaher, a program specialist for the Department of Education in Tallahassee, FL, places a variety of objects in paper bags, such as a rubber band, paper clip, penny, eraser, pencil stub, or pen. She gives one sack to each small group and asks members of the group to choose an object out of the sack and find a way to relate the object to the training topic. For example, a rubber band can be stretched—and a good instructor stretches the minds of his or her participants; a paper clip holds things together—and a good manager communicates with the entire team in order to build team spirit and hold people together even in tough times. 101 More Games for Trainers 7