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Name "Yes"!

Name “Yes!”

Props/Prep: No
Time: 15 min
Audience: Any
Physical: Yes

Activity: This game is easy to play, but a bit difficult to explain. It is not a competition, but rather a team challenge where everyone must work together. It is used mainly to develop communication skills, teamwork, cooperation, etc.  

Time requirements: Varies depending on how long you wish to play the game. Can be accomplished nicely within 15 minutes.

Materials needed: Prop-free, can be done anywhere. Does not require preparation.  

Procedure:
The group stands in a circle. You will start the game. You are trying to move to a new position in the circle. The rules are that you must receive permission from the person whose place you wish to take. In order for you to stand in their place, they must move, using the same process that you are using to move into their place. You must ask their permission, and they must respond PRIOR to moving.

Here is how it goes:
You say “Debbie?”.  You look them in the eyes and say their name as a question.
They say, “Yes”.  This means they are giving you permission to take their place in the circle.
Once you get permission, you can move, BUT…
They must also go through the same process to move by ‘asking’ another person in the circle – in the same process described above. 
Here is an example of what the conversation might look like:

I say your name. “Tom?”  (That’s asking if I can stand in your spot in the circle.)
You say, “Yes.” (That’s you giving me permission to stand in your spot.)
I start moving across the circle to your place. (Remember I can’t start moving until you say the word ‘yes’ though!)
You have to get out of your spot, so you have to ask someone else for their spot.
“Andrea?” (That’s you asking someone across from you for her spot).
“Yes.” (That’s Andrea giving permission for her spot)
Because you heard 'yes', you can start moving now. This allows you to get out before I get to your spot.
Andrea now is going to ask someone for permission for a spot so that it’s clear before you get there.

Extension of this game:
After your team gets good and fast at this… they don’t start moving before getting the "yes"… you can try it with no names! You just use eye contact. When eye contact is made, the person says, “yes” and the move starts. This one is intense and builds great community with the group. They must always look at each other to see if they are being signalled to give permission to move. A wink or wide eyes is the cue.

Function in Class: This game can be used as an activity unto itself, or as an activity to jumpstart discussion about a topic related to group dynamics.