FACILITATION

Sociometry

Sociometry is a fun group exercise that breaks the ice, sparks discussion and enables participants to learn more about one another and their stance on key issues. The facilitator poses a question, then gets group members to position themselves in the space in accordance with their answer.
Goals
  • Activate a group
  • Ignite discussions
  • Integrate different perspectives
Tool themes
  • Large group meetings
  • Icebreaking
Information
Group size 6-300 people
Time 30-60 minutes
Material Tape and a timer
Level Easy
Facilitation Intermediate
peak-sociometry-1.jpg
Before you start
Think about what the group should learn about one another, then use this to narrow down the questions to ask during the exercise. Starting small can be helpful – asking everyone to line up according to age or by years with the company, for example. 
Scale questions usually work quite well. As people will have to arrange themselves physically in the room, give them some guidance by creating a line or shapes on the floor with tape. Get creative and make it fun!

STEP 1

Ask your participants to stand up and gather around. Explain the exercise, its purpose and the room setup.


STEP 2

Share the first question with the group. For an internal company meeting, we recommend something like this: “On a scale of 1-100, how well-informed do you feel about our company’s recent strategy?” Make sure the question is also projected onto a large screen, which will improve information access and prevent confusion. Announce how much time the group has (based on the number of people), and start the timer.


STEP 3

Once time is up, facilitate verbal interaction with selected participants. Discussions usually get interesting at the very ends of the spectrum. You could ask, for example, “You’ve placed yourself quite low – what is a question you still have about the company strategy?” Then ask the rest of the group whether they can provide the missing information.


STEP 4

Repeat the exercise with another question, and then, ideally, a third one. This way of expressing opinions and viewpoints is a very powerful tool for visualizing group characteristics and sparking discussions.To conclude, wrap up your findings for the group before leading into the next exercise.
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