“halitosis” rectangle, because the person doesn’t seemto know something about himself or herself whileothers do. How do people move from Blind to Open?Usually, someone has to tell them. Teachers get paid,for example, to tell students these things so thestudents can move from Blind to Open. Feedback isnot always negative, either. People didn’t alwaysrecognize the talented and gifted, for example.
—Everything about a person is unknownuntil you have a conversation. To a great extent, eachperson controls information about themselves. No onecan make another person do something they don’twant to do, or reveal a secret they don’t want toreveal. Even though it is healthy to keep some thingssecret, the more open a person is, the less guardedthey have to be as an individual. How do people movefrom Closed to Open? Through self-disclosure, ordivulging information willingly about themselves.People need to learn to self-disclose successfully.Information should relate to the here and now. Ourculture values openness. It must happen willingly andwithout coercion. Often it is an invitation to reciproc-ity. This is an important skill.
—Information is unknown to self andto others. Everything that happens to a person isremembered by the brain like a recorder in yoursubconscious or unconscious, including experiencesyou thought about but never did. That is what ex-plains those unexpected things which you’ll do. It’sknowing how a person performs in battle—you neverknow until you’re tested.
The following activity is designed to facilitategroup members moving from Blind, Closed andUnknown to Open, and should be the first activity fora newly formed group.There are five rounds. The first two rounds aretimes and the rest are not. Each group member willhave one minute to talk during Round I and RoundII. The group will select a timer, who will call timeafter one minute.Round I—Things you normally tell other people.Round II—Turning points in your life.Round III—Embarrassing moments.Round IV—Significant person in your life, andwhy.Round V—Someone walks in with a telegram thatbrings you good news. What would it say?Round VI—Choose three to five words thatdescribe each person in your group positively, i.e., “Isee you as a person who is…,” or “I appreciate….”Guidelines for feedback:The person who is getting feedback cannot talk.Every person in the group will give feedback.Look the person you’re talking to in the eyes. Talkwith people in a believable way.Also remember that teachers need positive feed-back, too.
Once you have finished this exercise, answer thefollowing questions:1.List some words that describe the impact of theexercise.2.Which is easier? To give or get feedback?3.Why was there no talking allowed on the feedbackround?
Other Get-To_Know-You Activities:Favorites
Ask students to choose their favoritesong. Analyze each student’s song in a class discus-sion.
Since much modern popular music featuressongs with a message or image attached to them, thisis a good activity to reveal much about each student.Ask lots of follow-up questions.
Put together a collage that will effec-tively portray the high and low points and shapinginfluences in your life.
What results is a single artistic representa-tion of who they are and the forces that helped moldtheir personalities, beliefs, convictions, fears, anxi-eties, insecurities.
They begin to talk about theinterrelatedness of the events of their lives which theyhad not confronted before. They also begin to see thesimilarities and differences within the group.
Take one minute and have everyonewrite down their ideas. After one minute, have threepeople get into a group and put all their ideas on onesheet of paper. After three minutes, have six people(two groups) get in a group to put all their ideas downtogether onto a sheet of paper. After six minutes,choose three to five of the best ideas from each groupto share with the class.
You’re An Animal!
What animal would you pick that bestrepresents you? Why? Do other members of the classthink another animal would be more appropriate?Why?
Valuable insights will occur after thelaughing subsides.