GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHERIntroductionAny work that asks people to look at topics of a controversial kind or to use imagination and explorefeelings can only succeed if people feel comfortable with each other. So, time spent on getting to knoweach other, even if it seems wasted (not on the topic), is actually vitally important. A variety ofactivities can be used. Only a few of them are mentioned here.Activities1. First NamesAsk each person in turn to come and write their name on the board or paper and tell something about it- the origin; why they are named it; whether they like it; if they prefer. shorter or longer versions etc.2. Talking in PairsPeople are asked to speak with one other person that they dont know, or dont know well, to introducethemselves to each other. They are encouraged to spend five minutes each. It is possible to give morespecific questions to talk about.Afterwards each person in the pair could introduce the other to another couple or to the whole group.3. Ball of woolPeople stand in a circle. The first person throws a ball of wool to another (anywhere in the circle)saying their first name and where they are from (or any other single thing that you decide on). The nextperson does the same. The wool should crasscross the circle. A point could be made at the end aboutthe fact that everybody in the group is connected in some way by the wool and their being togetherright now.4. What I would rather doSitting in a circle each person says their name and what they would do with their life Oob perhaps) ifthey could change. For example: llaria - Actress. The next person then introduces their neighbour,saying their own name and what they would rather do. This continues until the last person introduceseverybody and then themselves. This is not only a way for people to learn the names of others but todiscover something more about them at the same time.5. I AM...Each person is given the I AM... sheet (copy attached) and asked to write largely and clearly threethings about themselves that are not obvious. So not, I am female or wear spectacles or have red hair.They can be as revealing or ordinary as each person wants them to be. Then they attach the sheet totheir front. Stand. Walk around and introduce themselves to all the other participants by shaking hands;exchanging names; looking at the sheet of the other person and briefly commenting or asking aquestion. This allows a real personal connection between each person at the start.ConclusionThe Personal Shield and Human Bingo, also in the pack, can be used as getting to know each otherexercises or later as re-connection ones. The value of all of them is that they stress that each individualmatters and is being valued for themselves, before anything is done in groups or on the content. This isessential for this work that looks at respecting others and accepting difference. It sends a very clearsignal right from the start.
PERSONAL SHELDIntroductionA short exercise for people in a group who do not know each other very well or who have not seeneach other for a while. To encourage easier communication between -group members.A BC DMOTTOEach person draws - or makes - their own shield including the following:A - 3 Favourite things to do in leisure time (drawn);B - 3 Ambitions (drawn);C - 3 People you admire (drawn);D - 3 Places you like or would like to visit (drawn);Alternatively: A Three depictions of your family, personal life.B Three depictions of your work or study life.C Three spare time activities.D Three places you like or would like to visit.Other variations are possible.They also adopt a phrase thats applicable to them which will be their motto.Once complete, with a partner each person talks about their shield and motto for ten minutes and thenlistens as their partner explains theirs for ten minutes.They can then be put on the wall of the meeting room for people to look at and guess which belongs toeach person or with names on the top.