Label me

Generalizations and prejudices hamper good communication in the workplace, in this activity, participants will be treated according to a random tag they will wear on their forehead.

This is a good activity for a group that needs to appreciate diversity and not allow labels and prejudices get in the way of proper communication and collaboration.

Materials needed:

5 or 6 sticky labels for each group that are prepared in advance as follows:

Labels can be directive, like “disagree with me,” “ignore me,” “treat me like the leader,” “laugh at me,” “respect my opinions,” “find fault with me,” “argue with me,” “agree with me,” “interrupt me,” and so forth.

Or, they can be simple labels, such as “arrogant,” “helpful,” “self-promoting,” “brown-noser,” “cooperative,” “a pushover,” “defensive,” “leader,” ….etc.

Directions:

Divide the group into teams of 5 or 6 participants.

Distribute a set of labels to each team face down so they cannot read them.

Each person need to pick up one label and quickly stick it to the forehead of the person next to him/her to make sure no one does not know what label is on his/her forehead. No one should know what their label says.

Tell the group that they have five minutes where they can mingle together and pretend, they are in a party or an event organized by the company. They must respect and act according to the labels others are wearing

Once the 5 minutes are up, stop the activity, debrief and ask questions like:

How did that go? How did it feel about treating people according to a label? Was it fun? Did you feel forced? Did it get easier over time?

How did you feel about the way you were treated? Did you get angry? Frustrated? Puzzled? Annoyed? How can we link this to our day to day dealings with others back on the job?