by Huiying You

Many of you are familiar with the ORID flow in ToP methods and design. The R (Reflective) level is a stage that acknowledges people’s emotions and past experiences. In this stage, people become aware of various emotions triggered by external observations. Experiences from the past have also been triggered. Allowing people to fully express at this stage can improve empathy, challenge people’s assumptions, and use new ways to relate each other. The creativity of the team is released.

Improv activity includes active listening, responding quickly and being fully present. In addition to the conversation and workshop methods, the facilitator can use these activities at the R level to help people see each other and establish connections.

It’s the holiday season. Let’s try the following improv games with our family members, friends, or work partners, to release emotions, listen to each other, and to use stories to establish new connections between people. (All games are suitable for face-to-face or virtual environment)

1. Name: Portkey
Group size: 2-5
Typical duration: 2-3 minutes per person
a) Give a word related to “holiday”. The first person tells a story based on this word. Start with “I can tell a story about…”
b) After the first story is told, the person who tells the story randomly chooses a word from the story and gives it to the second person.
c) The second person tells a story based on the word. Start with “I can tell a story about…”
d) This continues until everyone who wants to play has had a turn.

2. Name: The Thing in my Wallet
Group size: >2
Typical duration: 2-3 minutes per person
a) Everyone chooses something from their wallet, which can be a photo, bank card, cash, driver’s license, etc.
b) Take turns telling a story about the item you choose, which needs to be related to “holiday” or “gift”

3. Name: I’m Grateful
Group size: >2
Typical duration: 3-5 minutes per person
a) One person tells a thing that is bothering him/her
b) The same person flips back to tell the same thing using “I’m grateful…”
c) Take turns.

4. Name: Gratitude Conversation
Group size: >2
Typical duration: 10-30 minutes
a) Ask people to write down a list of things they are grateful for in 2021.
b) Each one shares what they are grateful for, including something they found very challenging to be grateful for.
c) Take turns to share gratitude.

You can add a Focused Conversation after each game to reflect on the game.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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