Course Outcomes

This team-building workshop challenge will:

  • Provide a forum for formal and informal participant interactions.
  • Offer an introduction to the team-building process.
  • Examine such essential workplace skills as creative thinking, collaboration, and project management.
  • Suggest techniques for active listening.
  • Explore basic storytelling.
  • Look at cross-cultural communication fundamentals.

Course Overview

Many of us associate puppets with preschool, but puppets and the art of puppet making are so much more than a simple sock story. This interactive workshop uses puppets and the craft of puppet making to explore the team-building process, creative thinking, collaboration skills, project management, and communication. Working through a series of activities, participants will look at such concepts as active listening, the Johari Window, storytelling, universal human themes, the stages of a team, delegation and accountability, project planning, and collaborative performance.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the Johari Window.
  • Demonstrate active listening.
  • Describe universal emotions and story themes shared across cultures.
  • Outline the stages of the team-building process.
  • Create a basic project plan.
  • Leverage team strengths and compensate for weak or missing skills.
  • Experiment comfortably and address failure when working to reach a solution.
  • Better collaborate with others.
  • Improvise to handle the unexpected.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline 

Puppet U: Exploring a Character

This workshop opens with a listening challenge. Working in pairs, participants will interview each other and craft a character to represent the person about whom they’ve just learned. Following that activity, we’ll discuss the Johari Window and how what is known and unknown to ourselves and others can affect both our self-perceptions and how our team sees us. 

A Puppetry Timeline: A Quick History Lesson Covering 3000 Years

In this part of the course, participants will take on a presentation skills challenge where they will learn about the history of puppets, different kinds of puppets, and how various cultures have used puppets over the last three millennia. After that exercise, we will discuss some universal truths about communication and highlight some differences in how people from different cultures process information and interact with each other. 

Contrasting Collaboration: Show What You Know

In this next part of the workshop, participants will tackle some basic storytelling principles and participate in a performance challenge where they create a shadow puppet play about some aspect of their workplace. This exercise will test the group’s creative problem-solving skills, time management ability, strengths utilization aptitude, and performance talents. This activity will provide a forum for discussing the five stages teams move through and some of the challenges that occur at each stage.

String Theory: Puppeteering Basics

The skilled puppeteer can breathe life into the most basic puppet. Likewise, a first-rate puppet can appear second class in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand the rules of the stage and basics of congruent communication. This portion of the workshop explores basic puppeteering and the actions puppeteers take to present a credible character. Following this activity, we will discuss how back on the job actions, attitudes, and appearance can affect how people perceive each other and the importance of making conscious choices rather than leaving communication up to chance.

Master of Puppets: The Final Challenge 

In this part of the workshop, the group will form project teams and set off to make larger-than-life creations that move and groove with the help of the project team. During this part of the activity, participants will test their ideation skills, planning ability, troubleshooting talents, and capacity to collaborate.

Puppet Points: Top Designer and Lessons Learned

To conclude this program, we will recap lessons learned and award the “master of puppets” prize.

By the end of this interactive design challenge, participants should understand more about each other, be able to explain the team-development process, and know how to practice behaviors that encourage collaboration.