What Do I Do With Diverse Group Needs?

A long-time playmeo subscriber asks:

We have a large group of staff who comprise young, old, loud, shy and a few very disgruntled people. My manager tells me that personal space is paramount. I have been asked to lead a program that will be fun, highly interactive and make everyone laugh. What can I do?

Here was my response:

Thanks for your question Nigel – let me break my answer into two parts:

  1. Off the top of my head, try activities like One-Two-Three, Your Add, Around The World and Crosstown Connections – they all come to mind because, in my experience, they have worked very well to cater to the needs of diverse group needs; and
  2. Let’s now talk about your philosophical framework. The key to the success of this list of activities is that they tread carefully around all of the diverse needs you mentioned. Importantly, they are generally contagiously fun to play, non-threatening and provide people with ample opportunities for choice. One of the prime motivators that fuel people’s choice to resist is that they feel that they are being coerced to participate. You may think that simply explaining that the program operates under Challenge by Choice is enough, but it is not (view Episode 6 of the Facilitator Tips video series to learn why.) The critical element here is that you must, first, create an atmosphere in which people can make appropriate choices consistent with the goals of your program. Anything less than this will cause (some of) your staff to feel under pressure to participate, and this is typically a recipe for disaster.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

And, if you happen to be reading this and have a curly programming question that needs an answer – click here to ask.


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