In this activity, participants will trade for animal cards that best represents their personality.
- One set of laminated cards, each featuring an animal name. These are the size of business cards and should have the name of small, large and exotic animals on them.
Space Required: This can be indoors or outdoors and is best played on a table or flat surface.
Group Size: Unlimited.
Total Time: 20 minutes (small group), 30 minutes (large group)
- 5 minutes to brief and setup
- 5 minutes card trading
- 10 minutes to review and debrief
Prerequisite: This exercise can be used prior to participants knowing their DISC style.
- Each participant will initially receive one card. There should be enough cards to have an additional 25 cards on the table.
Running the Activity
- Explain the activity: Each person will randomly receive a card with a printed animal name.
- An additional 25 animal cards will be placed on a nearby table face up.
- Card Selection (5 minutes): Each participant should finish with only one card. They can either keep their initial card, trade cards with other participants or trade their card with one on the table.
- Their chosen card should be one that they feel represents their personality/behavioral style. For example, a person who chooses the “Lion” card might say it represents their focus, fearlessness and ability to work in a team (lion pride).
- After 5 minutes, the facilitator checks in with all participants to make sure they have completed the activity.
- Once the activity is completed, debrief participants by having them share the traits they feel they have in common with the animal they chose.
- For small groups, stands or sit in a circle and have each participant share.
- For larger groups, have participants share in pairs or triads.
- Each participant should finish with only one card.
Suggested DISC Learning Outcomes
- Initial Group Interaction
- Learning the different preferences of each DISC style
Activity Guidance and Notes
This activity presents an opportunity to see the different DISC styles in action. This activity is best used before introducing the DISC assessment results. Participants can see how different DISC styles interact naturally. The activity highlights the preferences of different DISC styles, communication styles and level of comfort with group interaction.
You may want to use some of the lessons and insight shared in The Chameleon to help frame the discussion on flexibility within the DISC styles.
Suggested questions to ask:
- What were your thoughts when you received your initial card?
- Did you seek out a particular animal, or an animal with a particular trait? What was it?
- Describe your comfort/discomfort with the trading process.
- Why did you choose your card? What traits do you believe you share in common with the animal you chose?
- Did anyone question your choice? If so, how did you respond?
- Was anyone handed a card by another participant who decided your card for you? If so, how did you react and did you keep it?
- What do you think your card choice tells others about you?
- What did you learn about another participant through their card choice?
- Is it possible to have several participants choose the same card for different reasons? If so, what does that tell you about style?