In a group, you will often find members with a different background and with different viewpoints. It is important to understand that a different viewpoint can influence the thinking and actions of people. In a similar situation, two persons may respond in a different way, because of their individual viewpoint. This “Front or Behind” exercise will demonstrate how different viewpoints can affect group work.
- To demonstrate how different viewpoints can affect group work.
- To discuss factors affecting people’s view of reality.
- 20-30 minutes
- Two chairs
- One object, for example a ball
- Ask three volunteers to act in a role play and brief them how to play the following situation:
- Two persons are sitting on the chairs, facing each other. The ball is behind one of the chairs. The third person now approaches from the side and asks: “Where is the ball?”
- The two persons both answer immediately.
The one facing the ball says: “In front”.
The one with the back to the ball says: “Behind”.
- The third persons asks again: “Where?” and gets the same response. This is repeated several times with the players starting to shout at each other: “front” … “behind” … “FRONT” … “BEHIND” …
- Discuss with the group what happened in the role play.
Some guidelines for discussion
- Who was correct?
- Was any person correct? (Note: For the third person who asked the question the ball was at the side, not behind or in front.)
- What does this role play tell us?
- Does this happen sometimes in real life? Can you give examples?
- If needed suggest examples such as pesticide dealers who often give advise to spray chemicals (they like to sell). We as facilitators discourage spraying (we like to protect the farmers health, the natural enemies and the environment).
- What factors affect people’s view of reality? (education, culture, gender, age, job, etc.)
- How can group work be improved? (understand the viewpoint of others)