Making an entrance – Instructions

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These instructions are released under a creative commons license by-sa 3.0. Please credit the gang here by including a link to this page. And we are very curious about your experiences and results. So let us know what happens!

  1. Gather participants, establish safety.  If necessary, describe in a few words what a simulation is, and in how it differs from other workshops.  Make sure everyone understands there’s going to be time for the simulation “per se,” which consists of playing three different situations, and there will also be time for the debriefing.
  2. Indicate observers could be useful in this simulation.  Describe observers’ role.  Establish a rule that observers can’t interact with other participants during the simulations themselves – except in between the simulations in some cases, and that they’ll be asked during the debrief for what they’ve seen.  Ask if some participants would rather be observers.  If some say yes, suggest they make notes as we will want to compare the three situations.
  3. Describe what the simulation will be.
    • One participants gets out of the room.
    • Both entrant and group choose how to play. Participants decide for something they’ll do together, and entrant chooses a entry stance, for example from How to make the worst entrance ever!
    • Then the participant enters the room, and does his or her thing.
    • This will happen three times : first time, the group acts defensively to protect itself against the “enterer.” Second time, the group acts inclusively, welcoming the newcomer and make him/her as comfortable as possible with the group. Third time, the group acts as if the “enterer” is already part of the group, and comes back after 30 seconds of absence.
    • … and no one can talk during the simulations.

    Make sure every one understands.  Answer questions if needed, but don’t give any indications on what the entrant may do or not, what the common activity could be, whether it has to be the same the three times, etc.  One possible answer to such questions could be “there’s no right or wrong solution to this game. Do whatever you’d like to explore.

  4. Ask for a volunteer to play the “entrant”
  5. Start the simulation quickly after.  Remind participants they can’t talk during the simulation, and remind the observers they can’t interact in any way with others during the actual simulations. Remind everyone what the first situation is about. Ask the enterer to leave the room and let the group do what they want.
  6. When you feel it’s appropriate, call for a pause for the end of the first sub-simulation, perhaps by saying “thank you all, that’s the end of the first simulation.”  Don’t give people time to discuss what happened or what they could do during the next situation.  Do acknowledge this is a hard exercise, and tell everyone they’re doing a great job.  Remind everyone what the second simulation is about, then invite the entrant to leave for the second time.  See what happens.
  7. Repeat 6. one more time for the third situation.
  8. At the end of the third simulation, do a brief exercise for people to ”shake their character out of their body”.  Bring everyone back to the “real world”.  Bring chairs in circle and facilitate debrief. Start with the enterer, perhaps using the ingredients of an interaction (pdf).  Ask observers what they’ve observed from their own point of view.  Ask the other participants how it worked for them.  Let the discussion roll a bit. Then conclude by asking everyone if they’ve learned something from this exercise for use in real life that they’d like to share with others.  Make everyone comfortable with remaining silent by saying that in this kind of exercises, people often need time to let what they’ve experienced ”sink in.”  Sometimes it takes days, sometimes months, and that’s ok.
  9. Conclude in any preferred way.  Thank everyone for participating, and close the session.
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