Do you think the same way as me?

Someone emailed me recently and reminded me of an exercise I had run in a workshop she had attended. It was, she reminded my, a startling way of seeing how differently we all think.

Let me give it to you as an exercise to try with two others (so make a team of three including yourself)… it doesn’t matter who the others are, but keep to the same ‘set’ (i.e. friends or family or colleagues) each time. It’s also even more interesting if you run it with another three people in a separate ‘team’.

Each person should be given 5 sheets of paper each having ONE different word at the top of the page.

The words I suggest will depend on the ‘set’ (colleagues, friends, family etc). So choose five appropriate words for your team from the following:

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Work
  • Reward
  • Family
  • Money
  • Friendship
  • Challenge
  • Success
  • Communication
  • God
  • Charity

What fun to be a bit daring and use (for instance) the word “Love” as one of your five when playing this game with work colleagues!!

So your five sheets might look like THIS:

Andy Edwards Do you think the same way as me? 9255

Each person gets a set of 5 sheets – as above.

And you don’t have to be restricted to the words shown. Any non specific word is fine like “Fun” “Peace” “Contentment” “Lottery win” “Fear” etc. Got it?

Good… So – you have your five words each separately written at the top of five sheets of paper with enough copies to give to each team member (i.e. all three of you)?

Now –explain that under each heading word, everyone (including you) must write five words that come to mind when they read the word at the top. Give a reasonable amount of time for this to happen.

For example: One of my five sheets of paper might have the word “Success” at the top. Under the word success I might write:

  • Status
  • Security
  • Money
  • Pride
  • Happiness

Someone else might write:

  • Tough
  • Greed
  • Fat cats
  • Selfish
  • Focussed

See how different such a simple word can mean to different people!

Once each of you has finished your five written words move on to the next head word and repeat the exercise on THAT sheet.

As soon as everyone has finished reveal all!

Check one head word at a time… Your team gets two points if two of you have written matching words. If all three of you have written matching words then your team gets three points.

Just be aware that you can’t count similar words (i.e. “Money” and “Riches”) but you MIGHT want to be lenient if one person wrote “Money and another wrote “Cash”.

With three people playing, the maximum score available is 75 points (where all three of you have written five identical words under each of the head words).

I have never seen more than 25 scored – and it’s usually about 12.

Yoo wisdom: How many times have we assumed someone thinks the same way as us… when, in truth, the same words can mean VASTLY different things to different people!

Be your best Yoo

Andy and the Yoo team

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