Group of people mingling together, as part of interactive ice-breaker which sets the tone called Elevator Air

Elevator Air

Powerful exercise to set the tone & teach responsibility.

  • Simple
  • Non-threatening
  • Inspires powerful metaphors
  • Sets the tone
  • No props

Step-by-Step Instructions

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Add your Comments...

Have you played this activity? What worked, what didn't work? What type of group? Do you have useful advice for other users? Do you know a fun variation?

Comments (3)

  1. texasteambuilder

    I just use this after I read through your recent blog post. I honestly was a little nervous I wasn’t sure how it would come off. I had a group of 14 adults who actually worked in an office building with an elevator so that was perfect.
    The difference in each of the three rounds, the behaviors in each of the three rounds was dramatic. They are in an office, all in their separate cubicles and they really wanted to carry forward that energy of the third round into their year. The boss even commented that often in their workplace it feels a lot more like elevator air.
    Thank you for sharing this great activity. I plan to use it again

    • Mark Collard

      Jen, this is so fantastic to hear. I agree, it is often a very powerful learning for many groups and I’m glad you had a similar experience. Tip: it gets better and better the more you use it because you start to see more connections between the message of this exercise and the behavioural norms of the group I am working with.

  2. Nick Atkin

    One of my all-time favourite, go-to activities. Great for helping to frame a multi-day expedition or outdoor program, I often use it on the first or second day if people are grumbling about needing to hike up that hill or (insert grumble topic here)…

    Certain things on an expedition are out of the group’s control (distance, terrain, companions, weather etc.) these can be compared with the distance across the circle and the group of people involved. Ultimately, the distance and group don’t change, but the collective attitude does and this is ultimately the decisive factor (contrast elevator scenario vs room full of friends scenario).

    Takeaway – attitude trumps circumstance

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