Near and Far is a wonderful warm-up activity that provides an excellent pathway to build connections and to discuss various issues of corporate culture and dynamics. Suitable for small, medium, and large groups.
- To form connections and to discuss issues related to corporate culture, organizational dynamics, and the building of networks
Step By Step Instructions
Invite participants to stand in a large circle where they can make eye contact with each other. If the group is too large you can divide the circle into smaller groups. It’s best to conduct the activity outdoors because it needs a lot of open space.
- Instruct the participants to look around their circle and make eye contact with other people and smile.
- Each participant has to select a near person to stay close to and keep the identity of this near person a secret.
- To demonstrate, randomly select a person and announce your choice. Invite the selected person to wander around in the middle of the circle and follow him or her trying to get close. Thank the selected person with a round of applause.
- Next, instruct each participant to select a far person to stay away from. Again in doing so, ask participants to keep their choices a secret.
- Continue the demonstration by choosing someone else in the circle and announce your choice. Invite this person to wander around in the middle of the circle and keep a good distance away from him or her. Thank the selected person with a round of applause.
- Check with the participants and make sure everyone has two choices. Ask people to raise their hands to signify they have chosen one person to stand close to (near) and another person to stay away from (far).
- Explain safety requirements to ensure nobody gets hurt: no running, hugging, or touching is allowed.
- Instruct everyone to take a few steps forward to form a tight huddle. At the count of three, ask the participants to mill around, implementing both the near and far rules at the same time without talking. As soon as the group moves into action, weird and interesting dynamics will unfold. Let the system dynamics run its course for about one minute. This is sufficient time for patterns to emerge and not too long that it becomes boring.
Invite people back into a large circle and discuss what happened and what relevance the event has to real-world life. Themes for discussion may include factions, team dynamics, and assumptions about others.