Symbols warm-up

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Intent or purpose: 
Use early in process, to enable participants to get to know each other and begin to focus on appreciation and listening skills. This also sets the tone for a workshop where we pay respectful attention to each other's aspirations and thinking.
Used as component of: 
Any workshop or training event
Recognizable Components: 
Distribute plenty of 'symbols cards' or postcards etc around the room. Invite everyone to pick three each that 'represent the working values you aspire to, or you at your very best at work.' Ask participants to pair up with someone they don't know or know least well. Spend 10mins explaining your choices to each other in pairs. Time permitting, each person chooses one of their symbols to talk about to the whole room.
Types of Participants: 
Any participants, though if confidence is low you may omit final step (talking in fron of whole group)
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
15-20 mins
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Expectations are set that: People can move about in this workshop/session. You don't have to stick with your 'best mates' We can get to know someone else quickly. People are encouraged to talk about quite profound matters. The process of getting to know others and being open starts here. People get used to talking early in the workshop process.
Level of participation: 
Participants are encouraged to talk personally with each other about their good points.
Ideal Conditions: 
Room for pairs to sit in their own space to hear each other. Warmth and encouragement from the facilitator to set the scene.
Potential Pitfalls: 
Very little danger, as symbols can be interpreted at varying levels and can just be seen as 'a bit of fun'.
How is success evaluated: 
One hopes that participants are more talkative and trusting of others following this exercise.
Examples of successes and failures: 
I have never seen this fail as long as one is careful never to put anyone on the spot, eg if you go round the room at the end the facilitator should accept each statement with lightness and interest, and make it clear that anyone can say 'pass'.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Facilitator should ensure a sense of safety, warmth and ongoing interest in each participant from the beginning.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Nothing particular needed
Setting and Materials: 
Symbol cards (eg St Luke's Innovative Resources) or other random postcards home-made or bought.
Resources Needed: 
Pre-Work Required: 

See 'Recognizable components'

How flexible is the process?: 
Very flexible.
Follow-Up Required: 
Adapted from commonly known exercise
Epistemological Framework: 
Solution focused approach
Simple process, no references needed