House, tree, and a dog

This is a highly entertaining exercise for breaking the ice, but it also highlights in a tangible way the problems involved in the collaboration process.

< 24 pers.

10 min.

A4 paper, pens

Outline

Participants work in pairs. Each pair receives an empty sheet of paper and one pen (thick markers work best, bet regular pens or pencils will also do). Speaking is forbidden during the task. Both persons take the pen and together draw a house, a tree, a dog, and add a signature to their joint drawing. Both participants must hold the pen during the whole process. They can use a pseudonym for the signature, but this decision must be done without talking!

If the group has an uneven number of participants, this task can also be carried out in a team of three people.

The finished drawings are exhibited on a wall. In a short feed back round participants share what was going on during the exercise and how they perceived it.

Comment

The following questions can help pinpoint some of these problems: Did leadership change during the drawing process or did one person lead the process from beginning to end? Was there a struggle for the leading role? Did you succeed in defending your interests and get them into the picture?

The trainer should concentrate the discussion on the cooperation process and prevent participants from commenting too much on their drawings.