PS: Two more ways to use, “Get down, Mr. President!”

This is me at the Banff Centre in stunning Banff, Canada. What you can’t see are the rug burns on my knees from being tackled and thrown to the ground by my co-facilitators Karen Dawson and Ian Prinsloo. Yep, that’s right. While facilitating.

If you liked the sound of the game described in the last post, “Get down, Mr. President,”  here are two more ways we found to play it during our week-long Banff Centre course, Leading Through Change.

Way to play #1

On Thursday of our Sunday-Friday course, we broke our lovely group of 12 nice Canadian leaders into 3 “Secret Service” teams. We taught them the game, then invited them to play anytime. “Even during sessions?” they asked. Absolutely, we told them. We figured it would give them a way to inject fun when they needed some. We also wondered if it would be hugely disruptive.

It did, it was, and we all loved it. One group in particular continued to play all the way through to the final hour. It was always the same petite woman who got tackled to the floor, and usually her  6’6″ team mate who was the instigator. We’d be right in the middle of making a point we thought was gripping and essential (of course) when we’d hear a scream, hear GET DOWN, MR. PRESIDENT!, and see limbs flying as three Secret Service people hit the ground and took her with them. The entire course group would have a good laugh, they’d help her up, and we’d get back to it.

Highly recommended – but do consider introducing this in the home stretch of your workshop vs. the very first hour.

Another way to play #2

Karen, Ian and I hate to miss out on anything, so we decided to play as a facilitation trio, too. The rules:

  • When you are not the primary facilitator, keep an eye on the one who is. If you think they are going on too long, raise your finger to your ear.
  • When you notice your fellow facilitator has their finger to their ear, decide whether you agree. If you do not – if you think what the primary facilitator is saying is spot on and providing big value to the group – do nothing. If, however, you agree that the facilitator who’s speaking is getting a bit flabby up there, raise your finger to your ear.
  • When both supporting facilitators have their fingers on their ears, they bound to the front of the room and tackle the speaker. GET DOWN, MR. PRESIDENT!

What delighted us the most was when you were leading the facilitation, lurking in the back of your mind was the knowledge that you could go down any moment if you lost focus or starting waxing on too much. I have to say, we stayed crisper than we ever have.

And I only got the one set of rug burns. Not bad, eh?