How To Invite People to Pick a Partner
Facilitator Tips Episode 03

The Right & Wrong Way of ‘Picking a Partner’


This week’s Facilitator Tips episode shares the many benefits of using various simple, non-traditional and fun strategies to help your groups ‘pick a partner.’


<< Go to Episode 2   Go to Episode 4 >>


If your only way of inviting people to form a pair or partnership involves reinforcing existing cliques and friendships, this video will transform the way you lead groups.

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Video Transcript


Hi there, and welcome to Episode 3 of the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard. I’m an experiential trainer and author and the founder of www.playmeo.com, and today I want to talk to you about how to pick a partner.

It seems so easy. These words that just flow off the lips of a group leader or a teacher or a corporate trainer, pick a partner. But let me tell you, my experience at school as the smallest, least coordinated kid was always the most scariest thing my PE teacher could ask was to pick a partner, because while he said the words “pick a partner”, what I really heard him say was find someone you like or are like.

One of the issues with just simply saying pick a partner particularly for groups that are just forming is that often you’ll form cliques. They are very hard to break away from. It’s awkward. It’ll always be me the slowest kid, the least coordinated kid having to pair up with someone who doesn’t want to be with me. And then, of course, this is not a self-esteem building exercise.

Not that you should never say those words, but there are just so many other options and I described those in Episodes 1 and 2 of the Facilitator Tips video series. The positives for doing something random is that you’ll end up with a greater mix. Many different ways that you can find pairs and teams to form without having to say ‘pick a partner.’

It’s also fun. They can be little things like you know, crossing your arms over your hands and just determining which one goes over the top of the other. It’s like wow… maybe you never even thought about that. Or it’s the last digit of your phone number, can be another way that you can randomly find a group. It’s simple. You don’t have to make this very complex. And finally, most importantly, it’s helping people build connections.

Now my last-minute tip is to really encourage you to check out Episodes 1 and 2, how to form partners and how to form teams. It’ll give you dozens and dozens of ways to find different ways, fun ways, engaging ways to form teams and indeed partners.

And that’s it for now.

Please check out the show notes at www.playmeo.com/facilitatortips/episode3 and please leave a comment if you’ve got some other ideas too.

And remember, one lucky commenter every episode receives a free subscription to playmeo’s activity database.

Until then have fun.


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