Cooperation and Teamwork 2

Workshop Example (Part Two)




Type of exercise: Role play

Duration: 90–100 minutes

Materials: Paper, pencils


Exercise description

Check that everyone has a paper and pencil and then slowly and clearly read the background story at least twice.



“A new planet has been discovered with excellent conditions to sustain life. It needs to be populated. You are members of the commission tasked with populating the planet. Your task is to identify three characteristics and three skills that the people who will populate the new planet should have. You have five minutes to think about it and write down the characteristics and skills.”


Step 1 – Everyone works individually identifying three skills and three characteristics: five minutes

Step 2 – The participants work in pairs and groups of three where they discuss and agree on the three skills and three characteristics for people who will populate the planet: 7 minutes

Step 3 – By combining the pairs and groups of three people, form groups of four or five people. The task is to determine a list of three characteristics and three skills: 12 minutes

Step 4 – By combining the groups, form two large groups (of nine or ten people): 15 minutes

Step 5 – Reconvene in plenary. The task is to determine a list of three characteristics and three skills: 20 minutes



Suggested questions to evaluate the exercise:

Did you reach an outcome? What is it?

What was it like? What happened? How satisfied are you with the outcome?

How satisfied are you with the process? Was the decision reached by consensus? Was it easier to reach a decision in pairs or in one of the subsequent steps or in the plenary? How and why?

What was difficult?



This exercise most often elicits strong emotions due to conflicts in the decision making, so even during evaluation participants will feel the need to continue the discussion about who was right and which decision and/or skills are better. Different scenarios are possible with this exercise: the group may manage to reach agreement on only a few points; they may not be able to reach agreement at all; they may have a vote to expedite the task; a few people may take over the process and agree on the outcome while others watch – some are relieved to do so because they feel they’ve been let off the hook, while others will be frustrated at not being able to join in; the process may turn out to be so chaotic that some participants will be convinced they had all agreed on one thing, while others are convinced the agreement was something else. That is why it is recommended that you ask the participants as soon as they are done whether they have reached an agreement and what the outcome is.

At the start of evaluation, it is important to make room for people to express their feelings and articulate their frustrations if they wish. Skilful moderation may be needed to avoid people going over every step in detail, describing who said what.

This is an excellent exercise for analysing teamwork, communication and decision making in a team.


Reflection and Analysis of Teamwork

Type of exercise: Work in small groups

Duration: 50 minutes

Materials: Flipchart paper, markers


Exercise description

Step 1 – Everyone thinks individually about the following:

How   satisfied   am   I   with   my   behaviour   in teamwork?

How satisfied am I with the behaviour of others?


Step 2 – Divide into small groups of four and discuss the above questions (15–20 minutes).

Step 3 – The small groups are then tasked with preparing wall newspapers about:

Why teamwork? What is the benefit of teamwork?

Why a leader? When is it necessary to have a leader?

Make an “exhibition” of wall newspapers so that everyone can read them.

Step 4 – Brief discussion in plenary.



The Teamwork Workshop is usually very emotional, so it is beneficial to set aside some time at the end for working in small groups and reflecting on the experience in order to give people an opportunity to think about what they got out of the day in a safe space.


Wall Newspaper: How Satisfied Are We with Teamwork?

Duration: 10 minutes