"Respect Inventory" Icebreaker Game

by Anajra

Time Required: 25 minutes

Goal: To develop an "experience inventory" to analyze a group’s experience in being treated with respect in the workplace.

Overview: This icebreaker involves participants working in small groups to develop an inventory of their experiences with respect (or lack of respect) in the workplace. It helps answer the question of why a training session is being conducted by having participants define the extent to which the issue is a problem for them.

Instructions: Instruct team members to discuss and record individual answers to five questions:

1) How frequently are you treated disrespectfully (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)?

2) What factors are driving the disrespectful behavior (race, gender, rank, education, location, etc.)?

3) What behaviors do you consider disrespectful?

4) What behaviors should be exhibited instead of those disrespectful behaviors?

5) How do you usually respond when treated disrespectfully (ignore, assert, attack, report, etc.)?

Allow teams 10-15 minutes to discuss each question and record their answers.

Ideally, these answers should be posted on a flip chart. Then have them present their Inventory to the rest of the class.

Handout: Team Exercise instructions with the five questions to be answered.

Debrief: After team presentations, discuss their experiences by asking questions such as:

1) Why do you think some people are more frequently disrespected?

2) Do you think your group is typical here, or are you a unique group as it relates to how respectfully you are treated?

3) What kinds of disagreements did your team have about the behaviors you classified as disrespectful? How about the behaviors you think are respectful?

4) Why do we sometimes ignore disrespectful behaviors? When are you more likely to do something about it?

5) What is the impact of disrespectful behavior? Does it hurt the company?

6) Given what you’ve discussed and heard from other teams, on a scale of 1-10, how big of a problem is respect here?

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