Yesterday at CAS training we worked on compliments, one aspect of giving and receiving honest feedback. Compliments are difficult to receive, especially for women it seems to me.The Chrysalis After-School mentors and facilitators discussed the kinds of compliments we like to get–about our work, being on time, and those we are not so fond of–our looks, the back-handed kind, those that draw unwanted attention.
This processing activity, adapted from Michelle Cummings at Training Wheels, is a nice way to show appreciation to others, even though it is done silently and anonymously. It’s a very moving closing activity and should be done in complete silence.
Materials Needed: Deck of Playing Cards
- Divide the group into 3 or 4 smaller groups by having them choose a playing card (heart, diamond, club, spade). They should look at their cards but not show it to anyone else. Make sure you have equal numbers of each suit to pass out.
- Have the group sit comfortably around the room, either on the floor or on chairs, so there is space for to walk around.
- Ask everyone to close her eyes. They should keep their eyes (and mouths) closed for the whole activity. Explain the activity while everyone is sitting with their eyes closed.
- Let them know that you will ask each group at a different time to open their eyes and stand. Then you will read a statement, beginning with “Touch someone who…” The standing group will then quietly walk around and gently touch the arm or shoulder of someone for whom the statement applies. Again, there should be no talking. This is a silent and anonymous activity.
- Give enough time for the standing group to touch a number of others before reading the next statement. Come up with at least 3-6 unique statements for each group. After each group finishes its last statement, ask them to return to their seats and close their eyes. Wait for them to settle before you ask the next group to open their eyes and stand. Repeat with all the small groups. Allow a minute or two of quiet reflection after the last group returns to their seats.
Examples of Statements: Touch Someone Who…
- you’d like to get to know better
- you think is a good leader
- inspires you
- you appreciate
- you look up to
- you admire
- you trust
- you wish you knew more about
- makes you laugh
- communicates well
- is a positive influence
- works well with others
- you have learned from
- you enjoy being around