Activities to Encourage Empathy - How Well Do We Know Each Other?

A Day in My Life (all rights reserved)
In the excellent book A Whole New Mind Dan Pink writes about an interesting activity which he calls "A Day in the Life".  I have not used this approach, but I hope to soon.

The activity is for working with an intact group in which people seem to lack insight into the work situation of their colleagues.  I think this will be particularly valuable if some of the colleagues work off-site or are quite introverted or isolated for other reasons.

The approach (with minor tweaking) is:

  1. Have each participant take a piece of Butchers' Paper and fold it in half twice (to make four equal-sized quadrants).
  2. Ask them to write their name on the top of the sheet, and to label each quadrant: My Highs, My Lows, My Frustrations and My Rewards.
  3. These 'posters' are blue-tacked around the walls.
  4. Everyone circulates around the room, writing what they think are the answers for their colleagues (not themselves).
  5. Then each person in turn stands in front of their poster and responds to their colleagues entries and explains what their workday is really like.  

If you've tried this approach, or a similar one, please add a comment about your experience.