Cover Image
close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Enabler (HABITAT, 1994, 18 p.)
close this folderPart II - Workshop on the councillor as enabler
View the documentOverview
View the documentWarm-up exercise: the nine dots
View the documentTrainer presentation
View the documentExercise: service delivery options
View the documentExercise: stakholder's map
View the documentCase study: the Million Houses Programme
View the documentSeries Skill transfer exercise

Warm-up exercise: the nine dots

Time required: 15 minutes

Objective

This is a classic exercise used by trainers to demonstrate how preexisting ways of thinking can prevent us from seeing new ways of doing things. It can be substituted for a longer warm-up exercise when time is a factor or can be used at any time during this or other training units to encourage creative thinking.

If you want to have different results, you need to have different thoughts.

Process

Display on newsprint the pattern of nine dots as shown below. Ask participants to reproduce the pattern on a sheet of their own paper. Give them the task of connecting all nine of the dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines without lifting their pencils or retracing a fine.

The Nine Dot Pattern

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Allow participants a few minutes to make several attempts. Ask how many of them solved the task. Either have a volunteer step forward to display the solution or else show participants how it is done by drawing the lines yourself The key to the nine-dot problem can be found in the Trainer's Guide on Training for Elected Leadership.

1. Lead a discussion of the exercise focused on the three following or similar questions:

2. What approach do we take in attempting to solve the problem? (e.g., we visualize a square and try to circumscribe it, leaving the centre dot untouched.)

3. What change in our thinking is necessary for us to find the solution? (We have to step outside the mental box that we create for ourselves or others create for us.)

4. What implications does the nine-dot problem have for your performance as councillors?