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Before your regular staff meeting, break your team into groups. Instruct the groups to find out one commonality among themselves. It might be a hobby or an interest they all do, or having the same favorite genre of music or favorite food. Once they discover a commonality they can agree on, they create a list of what might be stereotypical qualities of such people.
Then, the groups come together to announce to the rest of the groups who they are. For example, they might be “Roller Coaster Buffs” or “Jane Austenites.” For the rest of the regular staff meeting (or the day, if you’re daring), group members must fulfill the stereotypes they listed. The Roller Coaster Buffs, for example, might periodically raise their arms and holler, or the Jane Austenites might rephrase all of their speech to co-workers as quotes from Jane Austen books. At the completion of the meeting (or day), talk about stereotypes that we assign to people. Discuss how they affect how we perceive other people’s abilities. Talk about how people managed to find a commonality, and the process it took to dig it up.
Purpose: The idea is to force your team to confront the foolish nature of stereotypes and how, if people really behaved as we casually write them off to be, the office would be much different. The game also reveals the ability of a seemingly random group of people to find a commonality.
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