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Tips for trainers - Pairing of proverbs to find your partner

Ced Hesse, Pippa Trench

Journal article

This is a variant of a well-known introductions exercise used as an ‘ice-breaker’ to introduce participants to each other in workshop settings. It was ‘invented’ at the 1999 annual workshop of the regional action-research programme on the ‘Shared Management of Common Property Resources in the Sahel’ project, jointly undertaken by SOS Sahel/GB and the Drylands Programme of IIED.
The exercise breaks down language barriers and initial feelings of embarrassment between workshop participants not all speaking the same language. The game pairs participants by different language group (eg English–French) and, once paired up, gets them to interview their partner as best they can and then present him or her back to the rest of the workshop. This game works best when there are participants from two language groups in roughly equal numbers.

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