Seeing Red – Team Building Activity

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Overview:  In this activity, participants will be challenged to become aware of the power of focus.

Resources: None

Space Required: Can be indoors or outdoors.

Group Size:  Any size group

Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 3 minutes to describe activity
  • 4 minutes for the activity
  • 8 minutes to review and debrief

Prerequisite: None

Set Up:

  • Participants can stand or sit.  Look around your environment before you start the activity and notice what colors are prevalent.  Is there a lot of blue?  It could be in the carpet, walls or ceiling or in the clothing of the participants, their shoes, glasses, etc.  Pick two colors that appear the most in your environment.  Let’s say, blue and red.

Running the Activity:

  • Objective:  For participants to create an awareness about the power of focusing.
  • Tell the participants that they will have five minutes to look around the room and memorize everything that they see that is BLUE.
  • Items could be on people or as part of their environment.
  • They can walk around if they like, but they cannot write down the items, take photos, etc.  They need to just remember everything that is BLUE so they can name them later.
  • Then have the participants get into a partnership – sitting or standing does not matter.
  • Have each pairing decide who is Partner A and Partner B.
  • Now have everyone close their eyes and have Partner A start sharing (1 minute) everything in the room that is RED.
  • Call time after one minute.  With everyone’s eyes still closed, have Partner B describe everything that is GREEN.
  • Then, have them open their eyes and see if there are many more objects, in RED and GREEN, than they remembered.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Focus
  • Active Listening
  • Awareness
  • Distractions
  • Communication

Activity Guidance and Notes:

This activity is interesting because participants will be so frustrated by not being able to describe Blue items.  If you have ever decided to buy a new car, say a Jeep, then you might have had the experience of suddenly seeing Jeeps wherever you go.  They were probably there all along, but it is a matter of focus.  Focus on one thing can happen on projects.  However, it also happens in conversations where we hear and see what is comfortable for us – what we are looking for.  It can happen with siblings who come out of the same conversation with a very different experience of the same situation.

Review:

Suggested questions to ask:

  • How many Blue items do you think you could have described?
  • How hard was it to describe Red or Green items when you were focused on Blue?
  • How was the exercise for you?  Frustrating? Illuminating?
  • Have you ever focused on something to the exclusion of seeing everything else that is happening?  What occurs when this happens?
  • How could being more aware and open-minded be beneficial?

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