SERIOUSLY FUN ACTIVITIES FOR TRAINERS, FACILITATORS, PERFORMANCE CONSULTANTS, AND MANAGERS.
Our mission statement, copyright notice, and cast of characters.
Practical Advice Card Games
Five decks of cards, eight engaging games, and 15 reasons for playing them.
Classification and communication.
Too close for comfort.
One, Two, Three, … Clap!
The most important leadership secret.
Interactive Training Strategies Workshops
Playing (and learning) around the world.
From Brian's Brain
The Group Work Deck: The Right Attitudes for Facilitators by Brian Remer
A link to the latest issue of Brian's newsletter.
Share a piece of practical advice.
SERIOUSLY FUN ACTIVITIES FOR TRAINERS, FACILITATORS, PERFORMANCE CONSULTANTS, AND MANAGERS.
To increase and improve the use of interactive, experiential strategies to improve human performance in an effective, efficient, and enjoyable way.
Author and Editor : Sivasailam (Thiagi) Thiagarajan
Assistant Editor : Raja Thiagarajan
Associate Editors: Jean Reese and Tracy Tagliati
Contributing Editors: Brian Remer
Editorial Advisory Board: Bill Wake, Matthew Richter, Samuel van den Bergh, and <type your name here>
The materials in this newsletter are copyright 2012 by The Thiagi Group. However, they may be freely reproduced for educational/training activities. There is no need to obtain special permission for such use as long as you do not reproduce more than 100 copies per year. Please include the following statement on all reproductions:
Reprinted from THIAGI GAMELETTER. Copyright © 2012 by The Thiagi Group, Inc.
For any other use of the content, please contact us ( email@example.com ) for permission.
To sign up, or to donate and help us continue this newsletter, please see the Online Newsletter page on our website ( http://thiagi.com/pfp.html ).
Thiagi believes in practicing what he preaches. This is an interactive newsletter, so interact already! Send us your feedback, sarcastic remarks, and gratuitous advice through email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks!
After 14 years of field-testing and continuous improvement, we have a new card game system ready for use.
We have designed Practical Advice Card decks on these five key corporate training topics:
We are working on other key training topics. These decks will be available soon.
Each deck contains 52 practical advice cards (plus a couple of Jokers).
A practical advice card (PAC) presents a useful tip related to an important corporate strategy. Here are some sample practical advice tips from the decks that are currently available:
You can read each piece of advice as if it were a tip for the day. To go beyond passive reading, we have designed several training games to entice people to discuss, evaluate, and apply the suggestions from these cards. These games can be played by different numbers of players (ranging from 1 to 100), and last for different periods of time (from 10 minutes to 52 weeks).
Here are brief specifications of eight training games described in detail in the How To Play manual:
We are designing and field-testing more training games that use practical advice cards. You can access complete instructions for these games from our web site.
This activity requires a team to rate the usefulness of different pieces of practical advice. It also serves another purpose: Based on their experience in the activity, the participants learn how to communicate effectively and to provide equal opportunity to all team members.
Teams of participants classify 16 practical advice cards into seven categories related to the usefulness of the advice. Later, they reflect on the effectiveness of their joint decisionmaking and plan for better communication. They implement this plan by sorting another set of 16 cards.
To work as a team and sort a set of practical advice cards into seven categories related to the usefulness of each piece of advice.
Maximum: Any number, divided into teams of 3 to 7
Best: 10 to 30
40 - 60 minutes
Organize teams. Divide the participants into two or more teams of three to seven members each.
Distribute practical advice cards. Deal 16 practical advice cards, one card at a time to each team member. Some participants may receive one more card than the others.
Explain the task to the participants. Working as a team, they should classify the 16 cards into seven categories related to their usefulness. The cards must be organized to form a “forced bell curve.”
Specify the details of each category:
The results should look like this:
Sort the cards. Ask the participants to set up space for the seven categories. Tell them to take turns to read one card at a time, discuss it, and place it on the appropriate category. Encourage the participants to rearrange the cards as more items are added to the continuum. Announce a 15-minute time limit for completing the task.
Conclude the task. At the end of 15 minutes, ask the teams to stop classifying the cards. Reassure them that it does not matter if the task is not completed.
Ask and discuss the following types of questions:
Brief the teams. Inform the teams that you are going to give them another set of 16 cards. They have to repeat the process of classifying this new set of cards into the same seven categories reflecting their usefulness.
Ask the teams to plan. Based on their previous experience and on the debriefing discussion, ask the team members to come up with a suitable procedure. Explain that their goal is to complete the classification task efficiently and to give all participants equal opportunity to share their ideas. Announce a time limit of 5 minutes to plan an appropriate procedure.
Begin the second round. Distribute 16 cards, one card at a time to each participant as before. Announce a time limit of 15 minutes and ask the teams to get started.
Conclude the session and discuss the procedure. At the end of 15 minutes, announce the end of the task. As before, reassure the teams that it does not matter if they have not completed the classification task. Ask and discuss the following types of questions:
Here's a slightly modified version of Tracy's jolt, Do You See What I See?, published in the April 2011 issue of TGL.
This version is inspired by puzzles that display extreme close-up photographs and require you to guess what the object is. The jolt explores the concept of getting too close to something both literally and metaphorically.
Participants make a circle with their right thumb and index finger. They note what are able to see through this circle when they are close to an object and away from it.
To explore how looking at an object from a distance helps us see a wider picture.
One or more, working independently. Best results are obtained with groups of more than 10.
3 minutes for the activity
3 minutes for debriefing
Rehearse the activity. Follow the instructions give below to experience what the participants will be doing and seeing.
Give initial instructions. Tell them to do these steps as you demonstrate each of them:
Give additional instructions. Give these instructions as you demonstrate each step:
Comment on what can be seen through the circle. Ask the participants to move their thumb-index finger circle close to the left palm and away from it. Point out that they are able to see the entire palm and parts of the left hand as they move away from the palm. When the circle gets closer to the palm, they are able to see only a small part.
Explain the key learning point: When we get too close to an object, we see only parts of it. Judging from what we see, sometime we many not even be able to figure out the true nature of the object. When we move away from the object, we see the entire object in context. It becomes more meaningful.
Ask the participants for real-world examples. Encourage them to talk about situations where getting too close to an object conceals the broader context.
Discuss metaphorical equivalents. Invite the participants to talk about how looking at objects, people, and events from a psychological distance enables us to see the bigger picture.
We are producing a series of video jolts and hope to release them in upcoming issues of TGL.
This issue's jolt lasts for 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Visit http://bit.ly/PFD7A9 to watch Thiagi demonstrating one of his favorite jolts.
Watch the video and master the mechanics of the jolt. Modify the jolt to suit your personal style and use it with your participants to drive home your learning point.
During the next few months Thiagi will be piling up frequent flyer miles traveling to different parts of Europe and Asia, conducting his 3-day interactive training strategies workshop. Here's an update of our international workshops. For additional information, brochures, and registration forms, visit our website calendar.
Interactive Strategies for Training and Education (Stratégies interactives pour la formation et l'enseignement). Organized by Bruno Hourst and his team at Mieux Apprendre. In English with simultaneous translation.
Techniques interactives de formation: les outils fondamentaux. Présenté par Thiagi, Bruno Hourst et Patrick Dorpmund.
Participants and Presenters: Better Together. Preconference workshop at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers National Convention 2012.
Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance—All New!.
Interactive Training Strategies. Organized by Stanis Benjamin and his team at Centre for Communication and Sales Training.
Interactive Training Strategies. Organized by Click Academy Asia.
Interactive Training Strategies, Switzerland. Organized by Samuel van den Bergh and his team at van den Bergh Thiagi Associates.
Design Clinic and Advance Interactive Strategies, Switzerland. Presented by Thiagi and Samuel van den Bergh. Organized by Samuel van den Bergh and his team at van den Bergh Thiagi Associates.
We are in the final stages of organizing our workshops in Australia and India.
Successful group facilitation depends as much on attitude as technique. Plenty of books give a variety of strategies to keep a group engaged and focused. But resources for honing the internal attitudes helpful for effective facilitation are not as common. This issue of the Firefly News Flash features a deck of cards that will challenge anyone to consider the best attitudes for balanced, impartial facilitation. Power Tip: Distribute facilitation roles among all participants for a harmonious group.
Read more in the October 2012 issue of Firefly News Flash: http://www.thefirefly.org/Firefly/html/News%20Flash/2012/October%202012.htm .
Many of my friends conduct training sessions on behavioral interviewing. You are probably familiar with this technique. This issue's survey is related to behavioral interviewing.
What practical advice do you have for a manager who is planning to conduct a behavioral interview?
(The survey opens in a new window.)
You may include your name along with your response, or if you prefer, keep it anonymous.
PsyBlog is a website about scientific research into how the mind works. It's written, designed, and coded by Jeremy Dean, who is a researcher at University College London working towards a PhD. Jeremy translates articles published in reputable academic journals into readable and practical prose.
Here are a few recent articles that I found very useful:
There are five free and easy ways to follow website updates at http://www.spring.org.uk/get-the-latest-from-psyblog . I use PsyBlog's Twitter feed.
The website archives back issues of the blog since 2004. It also contains a list of popular articles and a convenient search engine.