Here's an activity that begins with the participants creating a realistic scenario to which the pieces of advice can be applied. Later, the participants find the most cost-effective piece of advice that is applicable to the situation in their scenario.

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 create a realistic scenario to which the pieces of advice from the deck of cards can be applied. The participants review the pieces of advice, compare the relative merits of two cards, and select the better piece of advice. They continue this procedure to identify the best piece of advice for the context in their scenario.


To identify the best piece of advice that can be applied to a given situation.


Minimum: 2
Maximum: Any number, divided into groups of 4 to 7
Best: 10 to 20


15 to 30 minutes


  • A deck of Practical Advice Cards
  • Timer
  • Whistle


Introduce the topic. Announce the topic associated with the game. Briefly explain the nature of the pieces of advice found in the deck of cards. Read a sample piece of advice.

Create a scenario. Ask the participants to come up with a realistic scenario that can benefit from the pieces of advice on the cards. Emphasize that they should identify the key people in the scenario and the context in which they interact with each other. Also the participants should specify the person who is to receive a suitable piece of advice. Give a sample scenario and announce a 3-minute time limit.

Distribute the cards. Give a deck of cards to the playgroup. Ask them to shuffle the deck and place it, printed side down, in the middle of the table. Explain that you are about to begin the activity that will last for 10 minutes.

Process the top card. Emphasize that this is a collaborative activity. Ask one of the participants to pick up the card from the top of the deck, turn it over, and read the piece of advice on the card. Ask all members of the group to reflect on this piece of advice and jointly decide whether or not it is applicable to the context in the scenario they created. If it is applicable, place the card, printed side up, on the table to start an application pile. If the piece of advice on the card is not applicable, place the card, printed side down, to start a discard pile.

Continue reviewing one card at a time. Ask the group to turn over one card at a time and review the piece of advice on the card. If the advice is not applicable to the context in the scenario, place it in the discard pile. If the advice is applicable, compare it with the top card on the application pile. Decide which one is likely to be the more cost-effective piece of advice. Place the card with this piece of advice on top of the application pile. Place the other card at the bottom of the application pile.

Continue the procedure. Keep turning over one card at a time from the top of the deck and processing the piece of advice on the new card. Place the card with the most cost-effective piece of advice on the top of the application pile.

Conclude the session. At the end of 10 minutes, blow your whistle and announce the end of the activity. Point out that the top card of the discard pile is the most suitable piece of advice for the situation described in the scenario. Other pieces of applicable advice are placed below this card. All unsuitable and irrelevant pieces of advice are found in the discard pile.

Play Example

We recently played Scenario with a deck of cards called Flourishing from Feedback. This deck contained pieces of advice on how to benefit from the feedback that you receive.

This is the scenario that we came up with:

Your client is a top manager in a large corporation. He reacts angrily and defensively to all feedback given to him.

The first card that we turned over contained this piece of practical advice:

When you are getting rated, ranked, scored, or evaluated, find out what criteria and what scales are used.

We decided that this piece of advice was not suitable for the manager in the scenario. So we placed this card aside to start the discard pile.

This is what the next card contained:

Somebody criticized you? Don't whine, counterattack, deny, withdraw, or come up with excuses. Discover useful facts.

We all agreed that this piece of advice was on target to the needs of our manager in the scenario. One member of our playgroup, however, thought this advice was a little bit too strong, but we ignored her. We used this card to start our application pile.

This was the piece of advice on the next card:

When you receive feedback, separate your emotional reaction from logical analysis. Don't let emotion hijack logic.

We all agreed that this was a suitable piece of advice and that it was better than the advice on the previous card. So we placed this card on top of the application pile.

We continued the activity with 11 more cards. We placed four of them in the discard pile (because they were not suitable for our scenario). We added the other seven to the application pile.

When the facilitator announced the end of play time, the card on top of the application pile contained this piece of advice:

Give feedback to yourself on how you handled a piece of feedback from someone else and how much you learned from it.

We all agreed that this would be the best piece of advice to give to the manager in our scenario.


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? This should not be a problem. You can conduct the activity with just two participants. Actually, you can conduct the activity as a solitaire game with a single participant.

Not enough time? You can reduce the playtime to 5 minutes. You can also supply the participants with ready-made scenario at the beginning of the activity.

Ample time? You can stretch the activity to last for a long period of time. After identifying the most suitable piece of advice, set the card aside. Repeat the activity with the other cards in the application pile.