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Tools The Shield

The Shield

Exercise Facilitated

The shield is an exercise for three or more participants that takes 30 min to 4 hours to do. It’s main purpose is to get the participants to talk about and share about themselves. It can help groups connect, get to know each other, and create a climate of trust.

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The shield is an exercise with many purposes but mainly to get the participants to talk about and share about themselves, as well as getting to know each other. The exercise is for three participants or more and takes 30 min to 4 hours to do. Material needed is paper (preferably flip-chart size) and pen (preferably whiteboard variety).

How it can help

This exercise can help participants share deeper about themselves and create a climate of trust.

Learn more

Read the IDG Phase 2 Research Report and get more in-depth information.

How to practice

When starting with the shield for the first time, try the following:

  1. Hand out a paper and pencil to each participant, one for each.
  2. Ask participants to draw a large shield on the paper, which is then divided into four parts.
  3. In each quarter, participants are asked to describe themselves based on four different themes. It is essential that participants use pictures and not words. The themes can be varied, but suggestions can be, for example: This describes me…; A difficulty I got over…; I am proud of this…; This is what you didn't know about me…; Then I made myself disappear…; My dream is to… ; In twenty years…
  4. The participants then share their shields one by one and give a short oral presentation for about a minute. Those listening are invited to take notes and provide positive feedback on the presentations. This feedback is saved for later for the optional feedback session.
  5. When everyone has presented their shields, the exercise can end, or can continue with a feedback session. During the feedback session, the participants must, one by one, turn away outward from the group. When feedback is given, the person receiving feedback must only listen and not comment. Feedback is then given in a round; the person sitting to the left of it starts receiving feedback, and then goes clockwise. When everyone has given their feedback, the person who received feedback turns back to the group and says thanks to the group.

Most relevant skills

Inclusive Mindset and Intercultural Competence
Perspective Skills

Research and resources

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