This is a group exercise and great for team building. At certain times during the session some people's emotions might rise due to frustration at being misunderstood.
As coach you MUST manage the level of frustration (a little is good, too much is bad) in order to allow the group to fully experience and gain from the steps below. Most participants however are quick to see the simulation for what it is and self-control themselves accordingly. If you feel unsure, practice with a smaller group of friends, for instance, who can safely give you feedback throughout to ensure you are able to facilitate it correctly to the intended benefits.
Always remain on the safe side - for your sake and for your participants' also!
- Enough labels to get people into groups of 6 - preferably the labels are on little hats so that the people who are labelled do not know their own label (sometimes I use post-its stuck to foreheads but this does not work in warm sweaty conditions, sometimes paper tape/medical tape but have the same problem with sweaty foreheads, sometimes name badges tied on short strings under people's chins).
- Labels should be written (or use symbols) big enough so that other people can read them from 2-3 feet away.
- Labels suggested in Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 Exercises That Get Results in Just 15 Minutes by Brian Cole Miller include "laugh at me", "disagree with me", "leader", "brown noser", and many more - *BUY THE BOOK*. I've also used Belbin's team roles for labels, as well as Belbin team role opposites (see Coaching with Belbin for details). Sometimes I just make them up based on the group and behaviours I have observed.
- Printouts for half the group of Stephen R Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (*BUY THE BOOK AND READ FOR FULL DETAILS*) Young Lady:
- Printouts for half the group of Stephen R Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (*BUY THE BOOK*) Old Lady: