Visual ice breakers for personal and team development

How to Use ForumCards: Animal Instincts

There are many ways to use ForumCards:Animal Instincts. We have included some suggestions, but of course you should feel free to improvise with your own ideas (and hopefully share them with us as well).

What are Your Own Animal Instincts

Here are three different ways to use ForumCards:Animal Instincts as a means to better understanding one’s own conflict management style. Identifying cards that one either resonates with or disassociates with helps encourage self reflection and insight. Options 1-3 can be done by oneself, in pairs or in a group.

Option 1. My Instinctive Style

Participants are asked to pick a card (choose an animal) that they believe most closely resembles their instinctive response to dealing with conflict. They show the card to the group, and explain how effective they feel this conflict management style has been for them as well as to discuss what might be any drawbacks of this particular style.

Option 2. What am I Lacking?

Participants are asked to select a card/animal that represents an approach to conflict management that they feel might be productive and one which they might want to add to their style repertoire, but that they do not seem to currently practice. They are then asked to describe when it this strategy might be useful and with whom (spouse/partner, boss/employees, kids, etc…), and why they might find it to be difficult to practice.

Option 3. What is my Hot Button?

Participants are asked to identify the animal representing the conflict management style they find to be the most offensive. What really “gets your goat?” What is it about that style that sets them off? How do they respond? Who are the people in their lives who use that style most often?

In Pairs and Groups Only: What is the Relationship Between Styles?

Two participants (who have chosen different animals) take turns describing how they react to each other’s conflict management styles. The group continues to rotate and in the end there is a discussion within the group about which conflict management style pairs yield the most and least productive results. What happens when a sheep has a conflict with a wolf? What happens when an ostrich and a pit bull have a clash? How could a change in conflict style or the introduction of an additional style yield a change in the dynamic and the outcome of the conflict?

Role of the Facilitator

The facilitator can adapt the uses to match the goals and nature of his/her group. When a person is sharing in a group setting it is important that he/she speaks uninterrupted. The facilitator determines the timing of the sharing, the subsequent discussion and the lessons learned. Timing will depend upon group goals, the number of participants and the time available.