Are you facilitating a team session about diversity and inclusion? This priming activity of searching for images is a great way to kick-off a D & I workshop. Not everyone is comfortable talking about inclusion, diversity, and equity, so this activity is a warm-up exercise to get a team thinking and talking about the subject. This team building activity is ideal for a virtual meeting in a platform that includes the ability for people to share their screens.
As the old adage says, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This activity allows people to share their views about “Diversity, Inclusion & Equity” via pictures. Many people find it easier to share a picture that represents their views as they begin talking about diversity, inclusion, and equity. This opening exercise is intended to be the gateway to a deeper dialogue. It allows people to begin to open up and work together on the topic in a creative and less intimidating way.
- Organize people into diverse groups of 3-4 people each.
- Give instructions:
- “You will be working in a breakout room with 2-3 people. Your task is to select a photo or image that represents Diversity, Inclusion, and/or Equity. There is one rule: Your image can NOT have people in it. Be as creative as possible.”
- “You will have 8 minutes to work together and find this image or photo. It can be an image you find on the internet or an image or photo that you have in your office or on your phone. It can even be an image that you draw together.”
- “After the breakout session, a spokesperson from your breakout will share your image and the full team and we will guess why you selected this image/photo. Then, you can tell us why you chose that image.”
- Check to see if there are any clarification questions.
- Assign breakout leaders.
- Post the instructions into the chat.
- Open the breakout rooms.
- When they are all back together, ask each breakout group to share their image, and allow the other groups to guess what the image means. Note: Expect some to be obvious and others to have surprising meanings. You will need about 2 minutes per team for this debrief. Then, allow the spokesperson for the breakout to explain why they selected that image.
Using images to begin a conversation about diversity, inclusion, and equity is way to break the ice on a topic that can be uncomfortable for many.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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