This activity is a very valuable way to encourage participation in the debriefing part of your team building activity for a couple of reasons:

  • It allows participants to see how opinions of a particular experience vary greatly in the group.

  • It provides the facilitator with an opportunity to focus the group discussion on a particular topic.


1) Have the group stand in a circle, facing each other.

2) Instruct them to place one hand behind their backs.

3) On the count of three, they will make either a "Thumbs Up", "Thumbs Down", or "Thumb in the Middle" sign with their hand.

In this example, the signs represent "how the group worked together as a whole."

Thumbs up means the group functioned perfectly: took time planning, listened to everyone's ideas, no one argued, everyone participated in a positive fashion, etc.

Thumbs down means that the group did not function well as a team at all: there were lots of arguments, no planning, inappropriate communication, etc.

Thumbs in the Middle means that the group did well, but there is room for improvement.

4) Once you explain the "thumbs" scale, count to three, and have everyone present their thumbs and keep them in front of their bodies.

5) Ask the group to go around the circle and discuss one specific example why they chose the way they did.
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