Too Smart

Write these two words, one below the other, on a flip chart sheet:



Ask the participants to work individually. Give these instructions:

Rearrange the letters in these two words -- NEW and DOOR -- to spell one word. When you have done this, please stand up.

Pause for a couple of minutes. It is unlikely that anyone would solve the puzzle. However, if one or more participants do stand up, quickly check their solutions. Correct or congratulate as appropriate.

STOP! Before you read farther, try this activity yourself.

Get the participants’ attention and tell them,

            Here’s how I rearrange the letters in the two words to spell one word.

Write “ONE WORD” on the flip chart. Pause for a few seconds to let the solution sink in.

Debrief the participants to elicit this learning point: Sometimes we are too smart for our own good. Instead of approaching a problem in a direct, straightforward fashion, we assume that the solution has to be complex and convoluted.