Understanding and analyzing a piece of advice are important activities. Here is a game that requires the participants to analyze the features associated with different pieces of advice.
About the Cards
This game uses a deck of practical advice cards.
Each card in a deck of 52 practical advice cards contains an actionable guideline related to a specific topic. We have more than 25 different ready-to-use decks of cards for sale in our online store on topics such as building trust, coaching, interviewing, customer service, facilitation, feedback, innovation, leadership, listening, managing globally, motivation, presentation skills, teamwork, and training.
We'd love to sell you the cards, but you don't have to buy them. You can create your own cards by writing different pieces of practical advice on blank index cards. If you want to be more efficient (and effective), you can ask the participants to generate their own cards, mix them up, and conduct the game.
The participants study the five cards in their hand and take turns naming a strong feature of one of the pieces of advice. All players play a card that exhibits this feature and receive a score based on how strongly the feature is present.
To analyze the features of different pieces of advice.
Maximum: Any number, divided into groups of 4 to 7
Best: 10 to 20
15 to 30 minutes
- A deck of Practical Advice Cards
Introduce the topic. Announce the training topic for the session. Explain that instead of presenting theoretical models and complex conceptual frameworks about the topic, you will explore a few short pieces of practical advice.
Distribute the cards. Give a deck of cards to the playgroup. Ask someone to deal five cards to each participant.
Study the cards. Ask the participants to read the pieces of advice on different cards. Tell them to identify the features that make each piece of advice unique (such as simple, surprising, obvious, or precise). Demonstrate this task by reading the advice on a card and identifying a set of salient features.
Ask the first player to specify a feature. Select one participant to begin the first round. Ask this person to identify a feature that is strongly associated with the piece of advice on one of the cards that he or she is holding. Ask the participant to place the card with this strong feature in the middle of the table, advice side down.
Ask other players to select a card. Tell them to select a card from their hand that strongly exhibits the feature named by the first player. Ask everyone to place the selected card, advice side down, in the middle of the table.
Reveal the cards. Ask someone to mix up the cards in the middle of the table and turn them over, advice side up. Ask the participants to study the advice on these cards.
Select a card. Tell the players that they may not select the card they themselves placed on the table. Ask them to select from the other cards, the one card that most strongly exhibits the feature named by the first player. At the count of three, ask all players to place a finger on top of the card they selected.
Score the choices. Ignore the cards that nobody selected. Identify the player who played each of the other cards and give him or her a score equal to the number of fingers touching it.
Repeat the procedure. Ask the participants to take back the card they played and place it among the other cards in their hand. Tell the participant to the left of the previous first player to start the next round by identifying another feature strongly associated with one of his or her cards. Repeat the game as before.
Conclude the activity. The activity comes to an end after every participant has had a chance to specify a feature. At this time, the participant with the highest score is the winner.
Replay the game. If time permits, ask the playgroups to continue playing with a fresh hand of five cards.
We recently played Features with a deck of cards called Leadership Strategies. This deck contained pieces of advice on how to inspire followers to achieve common goals.
Althea, the first player, announced “vague and unclear” as the selected feature for the first round.
Here are the five cards that were played during the first round:
- Adjust your leadership style according to the authority you have. If you have high authority, focus on getting results. If you have low authority, focus on establishing relationships.
- Be in touch. Keep connected to your followers, your stakeholders, your customers, your industry, and changes and trends.
- Don't be a transactional leader who exchanges rewards for results produced by followers. Be a transformational leader who changes the followers and is changed by them.
- Demonstrate self-confidence, not arrogance; determination, not obsession; integrity, not saintliness; sociability, not possessiveness; and intelligence, not becoming highbrow.
- Don't take “No” for an answer. Challenge your team to come up with alternative solutions.
Too many participants? If you have eight or more participants, divide them into playgroups of four to seven people each. Give a separate deck for each group. If you have only one deck, split the deck into equal sized packets and give a packet to each playgroup.
Too few participants? You can conduct the activity with just three participants. If you have just two, you can join the game as one of the players.
Not enough time? Play a single round. You name a feature and give a minute for the players to select a suitable card. The rest of the round is played as in the regular game.