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A Group exercise to help you learn more about your team members

As you begin to form teams for your class projects, you may find out that your team consists of members from different cultures, countries, or races with diverse background.  In such situations, it is extremely important for you to learn more about each other so that you can develop an understanding  of  each others' strengths, weaknesses and academic needs. 'Training for Change' resource, with emphasis on experiential learning,  provides  several valuable exercises on how to build effective teams.

Here is one such excercise from this great resource: I am the center...

"Whenever a new group forms people are always curious: Who else is in the room? This kinesthetic exercise allows peoples curiousity to show up and to learn about who is in the room. And, does it in a way that gets people working together.

  • to help the group get to know each other (to "warm up" the room);
  • to have the group learn where each other are literally and figuratively "coming from".
One of you can facilitate this exercise and encourage your team members to actively engage in 'getting to know each other' type of activities.

Have participants stand up and clear out any mess/chairs from the floor space. Physically place yourself in the center of the room and declare, "Where I am standing is" - and finish with the location of the training (Bangkok, Philadelphia, Accra, etc.). Explain that the ground in the room is something like a map of the world - you might have the group point out the directions (North/South/East/West)."

Follow the complete exercise at: I am the center...

Share your experiences with each other. Get to know each other. This will help you as your team begins to work on your group project for a class.

Source: Training for Change, Team Building Tools, URL:
Created by Daniel Hunter with Margaret Lechner and the Conflict Resolution Center in Richmond, Indiana.

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