As trainers we are constantly looking for fresh and interesting ways to subdivide our groups into smaller groups and over the years I guess we all have our favourites.
So what are yours?
As a starter for 10, here are my top 10 (in no particular order!) that I have begged, borrowed, designed and stolen:
- A continuum of how much they know about the topic and then pairing experts with novices, or experts with experts etc.
- Randomly hand out cards/paper with images on such as bacon, egg, sausages (one on each card), strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and other such groups of things. Then get them to find someone with a card that ‘goes’ with their card.
- Imagine a map of your country on the floor – get them to stand where they were born (if not born in the your country widen the map) Either the nearest or the most separated work together
- Take a pack of playing cards – randomly give out the kings, queens and jacks or whatever. Pair/team up accordingly.
- Stick differently coloured dots on delegates or on their place names (if you use them) or on their manuals. (Do we still give out manuals?)
- How about a bag of (preferably washed) socks – each picks one then finds their pair. For larger groups pairs join other pairs by size or colour to form larger sub-groups
- Alphabetical order of favourite food. Quite nice for discussion afterwards
- Distance travelled for a holiday. Great for the show-offs, not so great for the staycationers.
- Find the person who is most like you/least like you. This is a great way to get people talking to each other at the start of the day
- Find the person you know the least in the room/whose job is least like yours or most like yours. Once in their pairs invite them to discuss what they are most hoping to gain from being on this programme.
OK. Those are mine.
What are yours?
Lets see if we can create a master list of the best group splitter-uppers ever
hands on fingers image by mrehan