The Hundreth Monkey and Traffic Signs
This week’s activity comes from the recently published Project Adventure book, one of the best activity books I have ever read: The Hundredth Monkey: Activities That Inspire Playful Learning. In my opinion it should be sitting by the desk, bag, or shelf of every facilitator for both quick reference and to develop sound foundational theory for experiential based adventure activities. On page 225 of The Hundredth Monkey is a powerful activity that would benefit all groups…Traffic Signs.
No one puts it better than the authors of the book, so here is a quick excerpt from his book explaining the activity:
Three pieces of flip chart paper per group and a variety of markers.
Write the word Go at the top of one sheet of paper. Write Yield on another and Stop on the final sheet.
Say to the group:
“Traffic signs can help us to navigate out in the world. They can also help us to navigate among ourselves, as members of a working group giving us direction and an understanding of the expected.
- Ask participants to discuss and record behaviors that will help the group to succeed on the sheet labeled Go– behaviors they want to “Go” with.
- Ask participants to discuss and record behaviors that may be distracting to progress on the sheet labeled Yield – behaviors they want to be cautious of.
- Finally, ask participants to discuss and record behaviors that hinder a group’s ability to succeed and lead to disengagement and distrust on the sheet labeled Stop – behaviors that should “Stop” or rarely happen.
- How does exploring group behaviors and expectations provide direction for a group? Why is direction important?
- How are these lists going to help us? How are we going to remember what we discussed?
- Have you ever discussed norms in a group before? Is it helpful?
Tips and Comments
Post the signs in a visible location to refer to in the future. Periodically ask participants to evaluate their progress according to what is written on each sheet.
I love using this activity to start and finish a training or initiative. This allows the group to develop and discuss the different traits or norms they feel would benefit the group. When facilitated before, the participants will use the group-generated Go, Yield, and Stop sheets to help guide them through an initiative. When facilitated after, the group will provide comprehensive feedback to determine what worked well and what didn’t work so well.
Please contact me if you would like more information about this activity, or how to implement it into your program’s curriculum.
Founder, Paradigm Shift