This core values activity focuses on the importance of clear communication, whether you’re the person listening or the person giving the instructions.
Paper for folding (you can purchase origami paper at craft stores, or use plain printer paper or even newspaper)
Origami instructions (There are many books that provide instructions. If you buy a pack of origami paper, it will probably include a sheet of instructions for several models. Or you can search online for “origami instructions” or “easy origami.”)
Select at least two origami models for the team to create. Make sure the paper you will be using is the correct shape – most traditional origami patterns require square paper. If you are using printer paper or newspaper, search for “origami printer paper” or “newspaper origami” instructions. Paper airplanes and animal faces are among the easiest models. Take a little time to rehearse your instructions. For example, you’ll want to specify whether the team members should start with a flat edge of the paper facing them, or a corner point facing them. If you want to tell them to fold the paper in half, should it be horizontally or vertically? If it’s on the horizontal axis, should they fold the top half toward themselves, or fold the bottom half up away from themselves?
Instructions to the team: You will each take a piece of paper and follow my instructions for what to do with the paper. If we are successful in giving and following instructions, you will end up with a completed origami model that matches mine. (Then start the series of instructions).
Variation 1: Have team members taking turns give the instructions to the rest of the team.
Variation 2: Here’s a good way to make the activity easier for younger teams. Rather than asking the team members to complete an origami model, you can ask them to follow a series of instructions that don’t result in an origami model (for example, fold the paper in half, tear off the lower left hand corner, fold the paper in half again, tear off the upper right hand corner, and so on). Take the same actions on your own sheet of paper as you go, but don’t let the team see what you are doing, and then compare everyone’s sheets of paper to see if any of the sheets match yours or match each other.
Discussion: If several people took turns as the instructor, was one more effective than others? Why or why not? Make sure to keep the discussion positive, with a focus on what worked, such as “It helped me when Alex was very specific about whether to fold on a horizontal or vertical axis.” The goal is to get better at communicating as a team, not to be negative. You can also discuss listening skills. Did everyone hear the same thing? Did they interpret it in the same way?