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Team Building Exercise: Six Degrees of Separation

Team Building Exercise: Six Degrees of Separation


Purpose

This exercise is based on the famous sig degrees separation and is designed to encourage delegates to find more about each others. Hence, is it ideal for team building exercises and icebreakers where you want to make the group feel comfortable with each other as quickly as possible.

Objective

Find people who like what you do, formulate what you like and repeat the process to find more people that like what you like.

What You Need

  • Papers.

Setup

  • Divide the delegates to pairs. If you have an odd number of people, pair someone with yourself. In this case, you only need to go through the first round and after that you can leave delegates to mix and match between themselves.

Round 1:

  • Ask each pair to identify a list of things they like and write them on a piece of paper.
  • Next, ask them to share their lists and find 5 things they have in common.

Round 2:

  • Ask each person to go around the room and find someone else who likes at least one of the things in the short list of 5 items.
  • Once they have found another person, they should compare their lists and compile a new list with 5 things in common in them.
  • They should keep a record of these lists with the number of the round so they can refer back to it at the end of the exercise.

Round 3 – N:

  • Ask delegates to repeat the search again to find another person they have not worked with so far that likes something in their list. As before continue to make a new list.
  • Repeat this process until delegates have met 5 people.
  • Optionally you can allocate a prize for the first person who finishes the exercise. This encourages faster activity, saves time and makes the exercise more fun.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 20 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

Ask the winner to reveal the sequence of people interacted with and what traits where common at each steps?

Ask everyone:

Did you find many common traits? Was there anyone you could not connect with at all? What were the most common things that most people showed interest in? What does this suggest? How comfortable do you feel now with others in this group? Do you feel you know them more than you did before the exercise?