Have you ever given your team instructions only to end up with results that don’t meet expectations? It is easy to blame the lack of results on your team not following your directions, but have you considered that maybe your instructions aren’t as clear as you think they are? This Snowflakes exercise is a good example of how people interpret instructions differently.
Adapted from Playmeo.com
How to play:
- Everyone will need some scrap pieces of paper and scissors. Ideally the papers would be roughly the same size and shape.
- Read off the instructions below and have your team try to make the same snowflake.
- Team members may not discuss or clarify the instructions.
- Fold your paper in half.
- Fold your paper in half again.
- Cut off top right corner
- Fold paper in half lengthwise.
- Cut off bottom left corner
- Rotate your paper
- Fold in half again
- Cut out a notch from the bottom, middle of the paper.
- Unfold and see how you did!
- Have the group show their snowflakes. Are they the same or different?
- Why do you think that is?
- How can you adapt the directions to make sure everybody ends up with a similar snowflake?
- If you have time, try a couple more rounds with the group revised instructions and see if you can get matching snowflakes.
- Are there situations at work in which your team isn’t on the “same page?” How can your team make sure you’re all working from the same instructions?
- How can we modify our instructions to better communicate what we want?
I look forward to the day when the challenge course can be available to help your teams reunite. Until then stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected!