Leadership and The Human Camera Activity

Last week I had a brainstorming call with a colleague and fellow facilitator.  He was looking for new ideas for an upcoming program and shared with me what he had done in the past.  He mentioned a twist he had done on the Human Camera activity that I really liked, and I asked permission to share it in an upcoming newsletter.  Thanks Gerry!

First, if you’ve not heard of the Human Camera activity, click here for a full set of directions.  I first learned this game from Karl Rohnke in his Silver Bullets book.  You can also find it in Facilitated Growth:  Experiential Activities for Recovery and Wellness.  In short, Human Camera is a team building activity that focuses on trust. Participants (photographers) take turns verbally guiding their partner (camera) to three different areas where they open their eyes for three seconds to visually record what they see. Facilitators debrief afterwards to relate the experience to real life.

How Gerry tweaked this activity for a more intense focus on leadership, was to select different postcard images that depicted leadership and use these as the three images that the ‘cameras’ saw when they opened their eyes for three seconds.  He frontloaded the activity with asking participants to think about how each image they see relates to their own leadership walk.

What I like about this tweak, is that you can really focus your debrief to the specific images.  In the traditional Human Camera activity, the ‘photographer’ has a lot of leeway in decided what images their ‘camera’ sees.  There is value in this as well, but this option allows a more concentrated focus on a specific topic.

I also like that you could have conversations around perspective with this option.  Specifically how we may see the same picture, but it means something completely different to each of us.

As for the logistics of this activity goes, I would recommend taping the images up on a wall and ‘photographers’ could lead the ‘cameras’ to each images.  Depending on the size of your group, you may want to have multiple copies of the same image available so you do not incur a log jam.