With practice, we get better. It is like learning to drive a car. The Reaching others material is like the driving school’s theory book. It has a lot of useful information, but it is when we go out into traffic amongst the people that we become good at reaching others.

One way to prepare ourselves for conversation in real life is to—like during a slippery road training—practice the different parts of the material in a controlled environment. We have developed exercises with different levels of difficulty. Feel free to start with the simpler ones and embark on the more difficult ones as your skills in reaching others improve.

It is good to practice together with other people. Feel free to arrange recurring meetings where you can try out the exercises and share your experiences. It is in the dynamic with others that we can be challenged and quickly improve.

It is also possible to practice by yourself. With minor adjustments, you can do most of the exercises on your own. We are happy to provide you with feedback on your exercise results.

The exercises have three main stages: They begin with the exercise instructions, then comes the exercise itself, followed by reflection and assessment conducted together with the larger group.

Instruct

The exercises are suitable for groups of various sizes. Most exercises are better suited for smaller groups so that everyone gets a chance to actively participate. Start the exercise by dividing yourselves into suitably sized groups.

The exercise leader then goes on to present the parts of the exercise and answer potential questions that might arise about the design of the exercise. The exercises are described online so participants can also refer to them there. That way, each participant can have the instructions in front of them on their device.

You may also want to remind people of the role of the group secretary and encourage each group to appoint someone in their own group to take notes.

Group secretary

Begin all group exercises by deciding who takes notes. In addition to the notes, it is good if the group secretary helps distribute the time between the parts of the exercise in a good way and ensure that the group does not stay side-tracked for too long.

Practice in a group

As an exercise leader, it is good to walk around the groups and help them get started with the exercise and help them stay on track.

As an exercise participant, it may be good that you read through the exercise yourself so that you feel that you have understood the setup and aim of the exercise in a clear way.

Remember to give everyone in the group an equal chance to actively participate. It is good if the person taking the notes makes sure that the time is distributed appropriately between everyone in the group and between parts of the exercise.

Reflect

At the end of the exercise, choose the greatest insights that you gained while practicing with the group, so you can share it with others. Feel free to write down what you came up with and if you want you can also send it to us, so we can learn from your insights.

If you have any questions about exercises or the material, please send them to us. We will also be happy to receive your exercise results. Send them to us and we will provide you with feedback and that way we can also learn from your insights and share them with others.

Degrees of difficulty

The exercises are divided into degrees of difficulty, marked with ★. It can be good to start with the easier exercises and gradually, as you get more proficient, try the slightly more challenging ones.

★ Simple exercises that are not directly based on the Reaching Others material but still provide valuable insight.

★ ★ Intermediate exercises where we can put to good use what we have learned in Reaching Others material.

★ ★ ★ Difficult exercises where we, in recreated real-life like scenarios, practice what we have learned in Reaching Others material 

Practice yourself

You can practice many of the exercises on your own. Some of the exercises can be done individually without the need of adjusting them (see the designation Suits in the exercises). Most of the other exercises can also be done on your own. You can adjust the discussion section of the exercises to use it as a space where you reflect on what you have come to understand. When you practice on your own the opportunity to receive feedback can be especially valuable. If you have any questions about the exercises or the material, you are welcome to send them to us. We will be happy to receive your exercise results and provide you with feedback. Your insights also provide us with a valuable opportunity to learn from them and share that knowledge with others.

Mind your mindset

With the help of the exercises in this material, we want to understand more about how our mindset and our relationship with each other affects the opportunities to reach others. With a cooperative relationship and a positive mindset we will more easily reach others. We can influence our own mindset, even if that can be at times challenging. To change our mindset, we need to understand why and in what direction we want to change it.

1.1 Where on the scale?  ★

We are all somewhere on the scale between a negative and a positive mindset. With an insight into our mindset, we can see what obstacles we need to overcome to improve our ability to reach others.

Instructions:  1) Consider where would you place yourself on a scale of 0 to 5, for each of the following mindsets below. If you are practicing in a group, do this part by yourself. 2) Then discuss why do you think you hold certain kinds of mindsets.

Pessimist 0├ 1 ─ 2 ─ 3 ─ 4 ┤5 Optimist

Disillusioned 0├ 1 ─ 2 ─ 3 ─ 4 ┤5 Curious

Uncomprehending 0├ 1 ─ 2 ─ 3 ─ 4 ┤5 Understanding

Insecure 0├ 1 ─ 2 ─ 3 ─ 4 ┤5 Secure

Tip: If everyone is comfortable sharing their own assessment, you can compare your results between yourselves.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes, of which 5 minutes for preparation, 10 minutes for the exercise itself and 5 minutes for joint evaluation.

1.2 Bad experience ★

Through personal experiences, we can try to gain insight into how our mindset affects our opportunities to reach others.

Instructions:  Take turns in recounting an experience where things didn’t go so well. 1) Share your own experience of when you have tried to reach someone. During the story, the others in the group can reflect on how your mindset affected the situation. 2) After the story, the others in the group can provide you with their feedback. Perhaps with a different mindset you could have influenced the situation in a different way. Then the next person can take turns and share their experience.

Tip: Avoid discussing how to sharpen the arguments. Instead, focus on exploring the mindset and noticing how it affected the situation.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 2-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes, of which 5 minutes for instruction, 15 minutes for the exercise (3–5 minutes narration per person) and 5 minutes for joint evaluation.

1.3 Good experience ★

With the help of our personal experiences, we can try to gain insight into how our mindset affects our opportunities to reach others. Have you managed to get someone to react with: You’re right about that! or I haven’t thought about that!? Describe the times when you were successful in reaching others and describe why you think you have succeeded.

Instructions: Take turns recounting an experience that went well. 1) Share your own experience of when you have tried to reach someone. During the story, the others in the group can observe how your mindset affected the situation. 2) After the story, the others in the group can give you feedback about how they perceived your mindset affected the situation. Then it’s the next person’s turn to share their experience.

Tip: Focus on how your mindset affected the situation and what lessons can be learnt from that.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 2-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes, of which 5 minutes for instruction, 15 minutes for the exercise (3–5 minutes narration per person) and 5 minutes for joint evaluation.

1.4 Conversational dynamics ★★

Using role-play, we practice in pairs to apply and feel the difference between the two conversational dynamics; oppositional and cooperative.

Instructions: Have brief conversations about the statements provided below. You or your partner starts the conversation with one of the statements. In response the other person chooses to move into either the oppositional or cooperating conversational dynamic for the chosen statement. For the next statement the person chooses a different conversational dynamics and alternates between them until you have gone through all the statements. You then switch roles and the other person starts a new round of conversations with a chosen statement.

Claims:

  1. The vaccines are safe.
  2. Everyone must take responsibility to protect others.
  3. It is an emergency, not a time for questioning.
  4. Conspiracy theorists reflexively reject evidence presented by governments.
  5. Authorities are doing their best to protect us.
  6. The pharmaceutical industry does not sell any medicines that would cause more harm than good.
  7. Feel free to make up your own statements.

Tip: Have short conversations for about 1 minute. That should be enough for you to start feeling the difference between the two dynamics. If you’re by yourself, you can write down a fictional dialogue to get a better feel for the two dynamics.

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 2 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

1.5 Change me ★★★

We will reflect on what changes we can make to our mindset so that it becomes easier to reach others.

Instructions: Take turns in reflecting on what makes it difficult to changeyour mindset. 1) Try to pinpoint what it is that makes it difficult to change how you act when you try to reach others. What are the thoughts that are getting in the way? 2) After your description, the others in the group can get back to you. How do they perceive the problems you have described? How have they handled them? Then it’s the next person’s turn to reflect.

Tip: It is beneficial to do this exercise after you have completed exercise 1.1 “Where on the scale?” ★

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 2-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 30 minutes, including 5 minutes for instructions, 20 minutes for the exercise (5-10 minutes per person) and 5 minutes for joint evaluation.

Behaviour in depth

In following exercises, we examine how our mind works and reflect on how we ourselves and others react. These insights give us an understanding of other people’s thoughts and lead us to take a more comprehensive approach when trying to reach them.

2.1 Feel right ★

We can see through our personal experiences that our mind contains more than just our logical thoughts. When we make important decisions, they must also feel right. The impetus to fulfil that need originates from our thoughts and feelings in the subconscious which want to make themselves feel felt.

Instructions:  Take turns describing your own experience of acting contrary to how you have rationally decided to act. Together, try to understand how that came to be.

Tip: Think about which aspects of your mind were involved in influencing the situation.

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.2 Group identity ★

With this exercise, we want to explore how we can find overlapping group identities. We want to understand whether it is difficult or easy to find them with others.

Instructions: Group yourselves into a pair. 1) Now try to find a common hobby. 2) Once you have found it, think about how you found your common hobby.

Tip: Try to carry the conversation in a natural and not overly forced manner.

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 2 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 15 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 5 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.3 Ask them to explain ★

We want to practice dealing with situations where a derogatory label is applied to us.

Instructions:  Discuss how we can act when a derogatory label is applied to us.

Labels: Anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist.

Tip: Feel free to document your insights through a fictitious dialogue. Person A says, person B answers, and so on.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.4 Discuss the concepts ★★

Here we will together explore certain concepts to gain a better understanding of them.

Instructions:  Discuss the concepts below, what they mean and their importance when trying to reach others.

Concepts:

  1. The 90-second rule
  2. Orientation
  3. Cognitive dissonance

Tip: If you are by yourself, you can write down your own reflections.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.5 They nudge us ★★

Society encourages certain behaviours to strengthen collective ideas that emphasize the group and its interests. We want to draw attention to those behaviours and how they can affect our self-image.

Instructions:  Discuss behaviours that society encourages to strengthen collective ideas and think about how they affect our self-image.

Behaviours:

  1. Keeping physical distance
  2. Waste sorting
  3. Choosing public transport
  4. Frequent hand washing
  5. Other examples of behaviours

Tip: Feel free to find other examples of behaviours.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.6 Getting on the same side ★★

We want to practice getting on the same side and choosing a conversational context that helps us approach each other in a better way. We might ask ourselves: “What is our thought-process in a particular situation? What do we think we should say? What is the appropriate tone of our voice? How is our body language?”

Instructions:  Based on one of the situations depicted below, describe how we should orient ourselves to get on the same side. Describe it using a fictional dialogue. Person A says, person B answers, and so on. You can come up with your own examples.

Situations:

  1. You have coffee with your childhood friend who says, “That’s how only you anti-vaxxers talk!” when you try to lead the conversation on vaccine safety.
  2. You are out in town informing the public with placards when someone comes up to you and says, “I’ve taken all the shots, why don’t you do your part?”
  3. You are on a forest walk with your sibling when he/she says: “Do you really believe in that conspiracy theory?” when you talk about how drug manufacturers’ clinical studies were conducted.
  4. Choose your own example.

Tip: Focus less on what arguments you want to use and more on how you can change the conversational dynamic and get on the same side. Prepare to read the dialogue aloud to the other participants.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.7 Argue ★★

With practice we can start recognizing when we ourselves and others have been triggered. We can do this through considering the arguments used in conversational exchanges, noticing if they are of more rational or emotional nature and observing their impact on the speakers.

Instructions: Imagine a situation where two people with completely different views discuss their position about issues described below. 1) Help each other come up with arguments (at least 3 for each position) that either person in the conversation could use. 2) Then examine the arguments you came up with. Are they more rational or more emotional?

Position about:

  1. Face mask requirements for staff, patients and visitors in health and social care.
  2. Coronavirus vaccination requirements for hospital staff.
  3. Introduction of a requirement for a valid health certificate to visit public premises.

Tip: Rational arguments are grounded in facts and logic. Emotional arguments are based on feelings.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

2.8 See from the other perspective ★★★

By examining a position from multiple angles, you can get a better understanding of how other people’s perceptions may differ from your own.

Preparation: Choose a position that you disagree with and try to study it from different angles, examine both its intellectual and emotional (it is important to include the feelings) weight and impact. Feel free to prepare yourself the day before in a peaceful and quiet place. This will give you time to familiarise yourself with the chosen position and find good and convincing arguments for it.

Instructions:  Argue about the statement as if you wanted to convince others of its excellence, truth, and accuracy. You can do this in front of one or more listeners. Those who listen to you should, when you are done, have the chance to ask questions or provide counterarguments. You can then defend the claim further. Afterwards, you become the listener and another person gets the chance to present their chosen claim.

Position:

  1. Home schooling
  2. Profit motive in healthcare
  3. Active euthanasia
  4. Foreign aid
  5. Allowing firearms for self-defence
  6. Choose your own position

Tip: You can choose any position that you don’t agree with.

What is needed: An open mind.

Suits: 2–10 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 15 minutes per person, the presentation itself should be done in 5-10 minutes followed by 5 minutes for questions from the listeners. Requires 1-2 hours of preparation (sometimes longer for the “difficult” claims).

Become a map reader

We can learn to improve our understanding of each other’s maps and practice the usage of common basic truths. We will investigate how propaganda works and how the public narratives are structured, and which pieces of the puzzle need to be put on the map.

3.1 Three errors in conversations ★

We can practice seeing what doesn’t work in conversations when we try to reach others. This helps us recognize unsuccessful strategies.

Instructions:  Discuss what usually goes wrong when we can’t reach others. Give at least three suggestions of common mistakes we make.

Tip: If you have time, you can also think about how to avoid making those mistakes.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.2 Three good practices in conversations ★

We can also practice seeing what works well when trying to reach others. We can help each other by sharing good conversational practices. 

Instructions:  Discuss what you think can make it easier to reach others. Give at least three suggestions of what we should think about when trying to reach others.

Tip: If you have time, you can also think about what might make it difficult to follow your advice.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.3 Narrative deconstruction ★★

We want to get a better insight into how the public narratives are structured and better understand what truths need to be put on the map.

Instructions:  1) Select any of the public narratives. 2) Discuss what needs to be true for you to believe it. Discuss what assumptions have been made and 3) think about what truths need to be put on the map for someone to start questioning the narrative.

Tip: Use the covid narrative if you’re having a hard time finding anything else.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 2-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 30 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 20 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.4 That is propaganda ★★

For many it is difficult to detect propaganda because we were brought up to trust authority. Here we want to help others and ourselves become better at detecting it.

Instructions:  1) Discuss your own experiences of discovering propaganda regarding a certain issue. What were your thoughts when you discovered it? 2) Think about how we can help others become better at detecting propaganda as well.

Tip: Start from the five basic rules of propaganda; simplification, disfiguration, transfusion, unanimity and orchestration.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 2-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 30 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 20 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.5 Orient yourself and come to the same side ★★

Using role-play, we practice getting on the same side and choosing a conversational context that helps bring us closer together.

Instructions:  Divide the following 3 roles, someone who wants to reach others, someone who trusts authorities and the observer, between yourselves. In the imagined situation, have a role play for 2–3 minutes, followed by 2–3 minutes of feedback and a discussion within the group. Then switch roles.

Situation: Imagine a situation where you are out in town informing the public about a particular issue. Then you (the person wanting to reach others) meet someone from the public (who trusts authorities) and engage in a conversation.

Wants to reach others: Orient yourself to the person you’re talking to and try to get on the same side.

Trusts authorities: Play someone who has accepted the narrative, but who is otherwise open to other ideas. You decide if it’s you or the person who wants to reach you that will initiate the conversation.

Observer: Does not participate in conversation but helps to analyse it. Keeps track of time.

Tip: What is your thought-process in this situation? What do you think you should say? What is the appropriate tone of your voice? How is your body language?

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 3 people.

Duration: 30 minutes (10 minutes for instructions, 20 minutes for the exercise).

3.6 Place on stage ★★

This is an exercise that we can all practice together simultaneously. We want to practice getting on the same side and choosing conversational contexts which help bring us closer.

Instructions:  Two volunteers play the role of a person who wants to reach others and the one who trusts authorities. First, present the mindset of these two characters and the situation in which they find themselves in. After that the volunteers can start acting out their roles. When the volunteers are acting, the other participants can give them directions. You can provide suggestions on how they could change their behaviour in the conversation and then the volunteers can try reenacting that conversation again.

Want to reach others: Orient yourself and get on the same side.

Trusts authorities: Plays someone who has accepted the narrative, but who is otherwise open to other ideas.

Situations:

  1. You have coffee with your childhood friend who says, “That’s how only you anti-vaxxers talk!” when you try to lead the conversation on vaccine safety.
  2. You are out in town informing the public with placards when someone comes up to you and says, “I’ve taken all the shots, why don’t you do your part?”
  3. You are on a forest walk with your sibling when he/she says: “Do you really believe in that conspiracy theory?” when you talk about how drug manufacturers’ clinical studies were conducted.
  4. Choose your own example.

Tip: It may be appropriate to replay the situation 3 to 4 times. What is your thought-process in a chosen situation? What do you think you should say? What is the appropriate tone of your voice? How is your body language?

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 5–30 people in a larger quiet place.

Duration: 40 minutes (10 minutes for instructions, 30 minutes for the exercise).

3.7 What is your perspective? ★★★

In this exercise we will work in pairs in order to better understand each other’s perceptions of reality— we will be examining each other’s maps. You can choose a topic around which you hold a different opinion from one another, to make the exercise feel more real. Understanding each other is not about being oppositional and arguing with each other. Should you start arguing, stop the exercise.

Instructions:  1) Begin with the topics described below. Start with the first one and then both try to answer whether you view the topic positively or negatively. If you thought alike, skip ahead and assess the next topic. Choose a topic that you have different views on. 2) Then start interviewing each other and try to understand each other’s points of view. What is your position based on?

Position about:

  1. Home schooling
  2. Profit motive in healthcare
  3. Active euthanasia
  4. Foreign aid
  5. Allowing firearms for self-defence
  6. Choose your own position

Tip: Stop the exercise as soon as you start arguing about who is right or wrong. Instead, consider why you ended up in an oppositional dynamic and started arguing with each other.

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 2 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.8 In the lobby of the hotel of knowledge ★★★

With this exercise we will practice finding common truths that most people share and that can inspire them to reflect on their perspective. 

Instructions:  Help each other find common ground truths. Below are a few examples of such universal truths. Try to find more of them.

Common ground truths:

  1. Politicians are influenced by special interests.
  2. Corruption exists and may even be common.
  3. Advocacy campaigns are common and sometimes openly promoted.

Tip: Think about what happens when you utilize common ground truths in conversations.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

3.9 Map reader ★★★

In this exercise we want to practice choosing conversational contexts which help bring us closer and help us to read each other’s maps.  What is our thought-process in such situations? What should we say, ask or do?

Instructions:  1) Choose which person plays the one who wants to reach others and who is playing a person that trusts authorities. 2) The exercise begins with the trusting person choosing a perception of reality that he/she will endorse. 3) After that, the person who wants to reach others initiates a conversation. 4) Switch roles after a few minutes.

Want to reach others: Orient yourself and try to understand the other person’s perception of reality around a chosen issue, for example, the covid narrative.

Trusts: Impersonates someone who holds one of the following perceptions of reality mentioned below.

Perceptions of reality:

  1. An elderly relative passed away with a respiratory infection. It was assessed as a covid case. The person that trusts authorities is thus convinced that covid-19 is a deadly disease.
  2. They were subjected to bullying during elementary school. They learned that it is safest not to stand out and want to stay well within what the collective deems right and proper.
  3. Appreciates the attention that comes when they can show off their knowledge. Is interested in popular science and news. Likes to win arguments and point out erroneous theories and beliefs. Sees the change in narrative as natural, as that simply reflects how the science evolves.
  4. Going through a difficult family situation. All energy is spent dealing with that situation and therefore avoids other things that require thought and pondering. Has doubts about the narrative but doesn’t have the energy to try to understand what it is and what is not true.
  5. Choose a perception of reality that you yourself have encountered before.

Tip: Afterwards, think about how you could have acted differently in order to better understand each other.

What is needed: No equipment needed.

Suits: 2 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

Engaging conversations

In this section we want to practice developing stories, metaphors and questions that can help us reach others. We will also examine moral standpoints and problematize the question of who should hold priority in societal issues – the individual or the collective?

4.1 Details of the story ★

We will practice analysing stories. When information is presented through a story, it can reach us on a deep subconscious level. That way, information can move past the conscious resistance of the person.

Instructions:  1) Read the story. 2) Analyse it. What facts are interwoven into it? What makes the story captivating? Can it bypass resistance?

Narrative: Journalists’ and politicians’ priorities are completely unreasonable, https://nyadagbladet.se/debatt/journalisters-och-politikers-prioriteringar-ar-fullstandigt-orimliga/

Tip: You can choose your own story.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.2 What kind of question is that?  ★

Questions can be open or closed. Open-ended questions provide an opportunity for thought and reflection. Closed questions can be answered with yes, no or I don’t know.

Questions can also be in a passive or active form. In passive form, the subject matter is put into the focus. In active form, the person is put into the focus. Issues presented in active form might be met with greater resistance since they might feel threatening to a person’s sense of self-identity.

Questions can also be superficial or deep. Questions about what are directed at our behaviour. When they are about how, we speak about our capabilities, habits and knowledge. If we ask why, we aim for the mindset, perception, attitudes and values of the person. Questions about who is targeting a person’s identity and self-image.

Instructions:  Discuss whether the questions are open or closed, if they are in passive or active form and which level and aspect of our mind they aim for.

Questions:

  1. How much can face masks really help?
  2. How can you believe that the vaccine works when everyone got covid anyway?
  3. What can you do to become the best version of yourself?

Tip: Feel free to choose and analyse your own questions.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (Expect 5 minutes for preparation, where you give the participants instructions, about 10 minutes for the exercise itself and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.3 Figuratively speaking ★★

This exercise aims to explore how a metaphor can gently help convey understanding about something to others.

Instructions:  Describe what the metaphors convey.

Metaphors:

  1. Verbal tennis match
  2. Flatten the curve
  3. Roll up your sleeve
  4. Don’t step in the ring
  5. Rise to the occasion

Tip: Think about what happens when we use metaphors.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Fits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.4 What is most important ★★

In this exercise, we want to examine moral standpoints and problematize the question of who should hold priority in societal issues – the individual or the collective?

Instructions:  Based on the given questions, discuss what happens in society if it is the collective that is prioritized or if it is the individual. Describe the two different priorities. What will be the likely outcome if the individual’s interests are prioritized? What happens if the collective is prioritized?

Problem area:

  1. Where are the limits to freedom of expression when society is under threat?
  2. How far should you go to protect the health of the elderly in nursing homes?
  3. The use of unproven drugs to deal with emergencies.

Tip: Think about how we can employ moral stances when trying to reach others.

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 25 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 15 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.5 Historiography ★★

Choose a story that conveys important information to those we want to reach. When information is presented in a story, it reaches us on a deep subconscious level. That way, the information can circumvent and move past the conscious resistance of the person.

Instructions:  The exercise has two parts, the first is creative and the second analytical. 1) Help each other find stories that can be useful for reaching others. 2) Select the best proposals and analyse them. What facts are interwoven into the story? What makes the story captivating? Can it bypass resistance?

Tip: Start with the stories you already know. If you have the time, you can do the exercise on your own and also look for stories online. Divide the available time equally between the creative and the analytical part. Try to describe the story in brief terms. You can use a bulleted list to note the important pieces of information that are included in the story.

What is needed: Pen and paper (computer or phone)

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 30 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 20 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.6 Questionary ★★★

With questions, we can gently guide the attention of others. This exercise is about practicing finding good questions that we can use to reach others.

A question can serve several purposes: to lead the conversation in a desired direction, to bring something up and to inspire reflection.

Instructions:  The exercise has two parts. The first is creative and the second is analytical. Divide the available time equally between the two parts. During the creative part, come up with questions that can be useful for reaching others. During the analytical part, select the best proposals and analyse them. Describe what you think will happen when we decide to use those questions.

Tip: If you find it too difficult, you can first focus on what questions we should not use. Which ones do raise a red flag?

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.

Duration: 30 minutes (Expect 5 minutes for preparation, where you give the participants instructions, about 15 minutes for the exercise itself and 10 minutes for joint evaluation).

4.7 Imagery ★★

With this exercise, we want to investigate how metaphor can gently help transfer understanding about something to others.

Instructions:  Find metaphors that can provide understanding about something that we want to convey.

Tip: Describe what the parable or analogy conveys. It is an advantage to do this exercise after you have completed exercise 4.3 Figuratively speaking ★★

What is needed: Paper and pencil.

Suits: 1-4 people in a quiet place.Duration: 20 minutes (5 minutes for instructions, 10 minutes for the exercise and 5 minutes for joint evaluation).

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